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<-Page <-Team Wed 07 Jan 2009 Motherwell 1 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type BBC ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Martin Conaghan auth-> David Somers
[C Porter 11]
3 of 013 ----- L SPL A

Motherwell 1-0 Hearts

Martin Conaghan

A Chris Porter header was enough for Motherwell to collect all three points in a dull encounter with Hearts.

The home side opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Porter leapt at the back post to meet a Stephen Hughes cross and head past Janos Balogh.

Hearts failed to make an impact on the match, although Christian Nade came close with a first-half header.

Keith Lasley passed up an opportunity to strike in the 68th minute after Porter had released him 18 yards out.

Hearts were forced to make three changes for the match, with Christos Karipidis, Jason Thomson and Laryea Kingston all dropped after picking up injuries in Saturday's goalless draw with Hibernian.

However, Marius Zaliukas and Lee Wallace returned from suspension and David Obua was back after injury.

Mark McGhee's side were unchanged following their draw with St Mirren in the last ever match at Love Street.

Jim O'Brien flashed a neat ball across the face of the Hearts goal inside the first five minutes, but none of his Motherwell colleagues were on-hand to pounce.

A few minutes later, O'Brien tried again with a neat lob from the edge of the penalty area, but Hearts keeper Balogh smothered the danger.

With 11 minutes on the clock, Motherwell opened the scoring when Paul Quinn released Hughes inside the Hearts penalty area for the former Rangers man to flight in a ball that met the head of Porter and soared into the back of the net.
Chris Porter (right) celebrates with Steven Hammell (centre) and Maros Klimpl after the putting his side ahead
Chris Porter celebrates with Steven Hammell and Maros Klimpl

Hearts struggled to gain a foothold on the match, although Andrew Driver sent in a long-range free-kick in the 32nd minute, but Nade's header was wide of the mark.

As half-time approached Michael Stewart handled the ball out on the left and Steven Hammell flighted in the resulting free-kick, but Porter nodded it wide.

Immediately following the re-start Hearts' Eggert Jonsson fired in a shot from the edge of the Motherwell penalty area, but Graeme Smith was on hand to gather.

Hearts looked more lively in the second half, but struggled to make a significant breakthrough, despite the best efforts of Nade down the left-hand side.

The pace of the match slowed to a crawl as the hour mark approached, with both sides cancelling each other out and few chances at either end.

Lasley passed up a golden opportunity in the 68th minute when Porter worked the ball across the face of the Hearts penalty area and released the former Blackpool man directly in front of goal, but he opted to lay-off the ball and the opportunity evaporated.

The remaining 20 minutes of the match continued at a frustrating pace, with both sides reaching a stalemate.

Hearts defender Christophe Berra had an anxious moment in the dying minutes when he was forced to make a clearance in front of Balogh to deny Motherwell a second goal.

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
"I'm absolutely happy with the result. We'll take it.

"It was a great goal, but I knew the after the Inverness game we were back and I expected us to play well and pass the ball.

"I didn't know if we were going to win, because you expect a lot from Hearts, as they're a difficult opponent. We had to concentrate, and they test you physically, but we've come through it, and we look much more like ourselves."

Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo:
"This was the biggest game in this season for my team, but Motherwell were not the best, but they scored a goal in 10 minutes.

"In the last four games, we created goals, but we did not score any - and in this match, we only had one chance from Christian Nade, which is a big sickness.

"At this moment, I am very disappointed with some people."

Motherwell: Graeme Smith, Quinn, Craigan, Reynolds, Hammell, Klimpl, O'Brien (Murphy 87), Lasley, Hughes, Porter (Darren Smith 86), Clarkson.

Subs Not Used: Krysiak, Malcolm, Sutton, McGarry, Saunders.

Booked: Craigan.

Goals: Porter 11.

Hearts: Balogh, Neilson, Berra, Zaliukas, Lee Wallace (Cesnauskis 73), Jonsson, Stewart, Palazuelos, Driver, Nade (Elliot 63), Obua (Glen 68).

Subs Not Used: Kello, McGowan, Templeton, Rapnik.

Att: 4,928

Ref: D Somers

Taken from the BBC

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