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Csaba Laszlo <-auth auth-> David Somers
Jonsson Eggert [R Forbes 55]
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Motherwell 1 - 0 Hearts - match report

Published Date: 31 October 2009
A ROSS FORBES volley and Eggert Jonsson's dismissal completed a miserable afternoon for Hearts in Lanarkshire as the Edinburgh club suffered a defeat at the hands of Jim Gannon's impressive Motherwell.

From Yassin Moutaouakil's 55th-minute cross, Forbes drove a powerful volley beyond Janos Balogh to open the scoring. Twelve minutes later Jonsson tugged the shirt of the outstanding Jim O'Brien and, having denied a clear scoring opportunity, was instantly shown a red card.

Ironically, Hearts produced their best football of the afternoon between Jonsson's early exit and the final whistle but, despite seven minutes of stoppage-time, an equaliser remained elusive.

With midweek goalscorer Michael Stewart precluded by an ankle complaint, Jonsson returned to the starting 11 in a holding midfield role but was a picture of frustration leaving the field early and must now serve a suspension to boot.

Jose Goncalves assumed the captaincy against a capable looking Motherwell attack, with O'Brien supporting the imposing figures of John Sutton and Lukas Jutkiewicz. It was O'Brien who first threatened when he fell inside the box under Ismael Bouzid's 13th-minute challenge, prompting howls for a penalty from the Lanarkshire crowd. Referee David Somers remained impassive.

Motherwell's pressure continued and only the fingertips of Balogh prevented Shaun Hutchinson heading the opening goal. Following Sutton's chested lay-off, Jutkiewicz's first-time attempt bounced wide. Hearts required to gain a foothold in midfield but their efforts were countered by the lively Giles Coke, Tom Hateley and Ross Forbes, who were both industrious and creative in equal measure. O'Brien flighted a free-kick across goal on 30 minutes which begged a conversion as it bounced across the six-yard area. Forbes then struck an indirect free-kick into the crowd after Goncalves was judged to have played a backpass to Balogh.

After the interval, play resumed with the hosts still probing. O'Brien volleyed Sutton's lay-off narrowly wide from 18 yards and Ruben Palazuelos, bandaged due to a cut head sustained in the first half, was forced off for further treatment. He had only just returned when Forbes struck. Moutaouakil's deep right-sided cross was met by the midfielder's precise left-footed volley and, although Balogh got a hand to the ball, he was beaten by its sheer power.

Injury curtailed Christian Nade's involvement shortly before the hour mark and he was stretchered off to be replaced by Gary Glen. Any hope that the alteration might imbue Hearts with a greater sense of purpose was in vain, though, as the visitors were soon reduced to ten men with Jonsson's dismissal. The Icelandic international attempted to nod a bouncing ball back to Balogh under pressure from O'Brien, and his tame header allowed his opponent to take possession. Jonsson then tugged O'Brien back on the edge of the penalty area and incurred the subsequent red card for a professional foul.

Hearts seemed to derive some inspiration from the ordering off and went on the ascendency. Andy Driver's run and cross was perfectly placed for Glen to score but his left-footed attempt from six yards was blocked by John Ruddy, the hitherto largely anonymous Motherwell goalkeeper.

David Obua, another inactive figure, brought the loudest cheer of the afternoon from the travelling support when he was substituted on 88 minutes. Six minutes previously the Hearts fans had jeered Craig Thomson's withdrawal given that he was one of few in maroon who achieved pass marks. The others were Jose Goncalves, Lee Wallace and Ruben Palazuelos, but overall it was a day to forget for the Tynecastle side.

Motherwell (4-3-1-2): Ruddy; Moutaouakil, Saunders, Hutchinson, Reynolds; Coke, Hateley, Forbes; O'Brien; Sutton, Jutkiewicz. Subs: Fraser, Humphrey 75 (for Forbes), Jennings, Lasley 85 (for Jutkiewicz), Murphy 85 (for O'Brien), Archdeacon, Page.

Hearts (4-2-3-1): Balogh; C Thomson, Bouzid, Goncalves, Wallace; Jonsson, Palazuelos; Obua, Black, Driver; Nade. Subs: Kello, Kucharski, Witteveen 88 (for Obua), Novikovas 82 (for C Thomson), J Thomson, Glen 59 (for Nade), Mulrooney.

Referee: David Somers.

Attendance: 4830

Taken from the Scotsman

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