London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2008-09--> All for 20090107
<-Page <-Team Wed 07 Jan 2009 Motherwell 1 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Telegraph ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Ewing Grahame auth-> David Somers
[C Porter 11]
13 of 013 ----- L SPL A

Chris Porter proves his worth with Motherwell winner against toothless Hearts

Ewing Grahame

The Motherwell revival continued on a bitterly cold Lanarkshire evening with a victory which was simultaneously merited and strangely unsatisfying.

Seven points from their last three matches have now taken them closer to the top six than the foot of the table but they should have had more to show for their superiority against a toothless Hearts side.

For a team aspiring to qualify for Europe, the Edinburgh club lacked as much ambition on the pitch as they seemingly do off it. Dundee United have little to fear.

The visitors looked sluggish from the start and struggled to string passes together. Motherwell, by contrast, were sharp and seemingly untroubled by the adverse conditions, spraying the ball around with purpose and vision.

Fittingly, then, when they opened the scoring it was with a goal of quality and distinction. Wide man Jim O'Brien appeared to have run out of options as he reached the by-line but an audacious backheel picked out Paul Quinn, who in turn released Stephen Hughes.

The midfielder sidestepped a Hearts defender before crossing to the far post, where Chris Porter outjumped Marius Zaliuska to head home from six yards.

Porter is a player Hearts coach Csaba Laszlo would like to take to Tynecastle this month but his counterpart at Fir Park, Mark McGhee, is in no rush to lose his top scorer.

"I'm under no pressure to sell him because his contract expires at the end of this season," he said. "We may lose him for nothing but we also signed him for nothing and we've had two good seasons out of him."

Hearts failed to register an attempt at goal until the 31st minute, when Christian Nade was picked out by Andrew Driver's free-kick only to head wastefully over from close range.

The home side continued to play the better football but Hearts were at least defending well enough and comfortably saw out the remainder of the first half without further concern.

Everton and Cardiff City were present to run the rule over Hearts captain Christophe Berra while Sheffield United continued to monitor Porter: all three would have been impressed.

Unfortunately, the snap which characterised their early play evaporated after the interval and the hosts were dragged down to the same level of mediocrity as their opponents.

Goalmouth incidents were as rare as final salary pensions in the private sector and, although Motherwell continued to be the better team, they were by now no more than the lesser of two evils.

Hearts' lack of a decent striker has been a major obstacle for Laszlo, who has done an impressive job in difficult circumstances. There is a limit to what can be achieved without the proper tools, though, and the Romanian may already have reached it.

Janos Balogh raced out of his penalty area to hoof a Hughes through ball away from David Clarkson but that was a rare moment of excitement in a dire second half.

Match details

Motherwell (4-4-2): G Smith; Quinn, Craigan, Reynolds, Hammell; O'Brien, Lasley, Klimpl, O'Brien (Murphy 87); Clarkson, Porter (D Smith 85). Subs: Krysiak (g), Malcolm, Sutton, McGarry, Saunders. Booked: Craigan, Klimpl.

Hearts (4-4-1-1): Balogh; Neilson, Zaliukas, Berra, Wallace (Cesnauskis 72); Jonsson, Stewart, Palazuelos, Driver; Obua (Glen 67); Nade (Elliot 62). Subs: Kello (g), McGowan, Templeton, Rapnik.

Att: 4,928.

Referee: David Somers.

Taken from

<-Page <-Team Wed 07 Jan 2009 Motherwell 1 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |