Jambos dig in to sink Well

Ian Black, who has been working as a painter and decorator recently
due to Hearts’ money worries, netted from the edge of the area
after 17 minutes and Stephen Elliott tapped in a second after 28
minutes following a good David Templeton run. Hearts full-back
Jamie Hamill was carried off on a stretcher midway through the
second half of a match in which Motherwell struggled and slumped to
their second away loss of the season. The result saw Hearts manager
Paulo Sergio celebrate his return to the dugout following a
five-match touchline ban with a third win from nine matches since
the first team first suffered delayed payment of their wages.
Hearts named an unchanged team following the 4-0 defeat of
Dunfermline, with Templeton retained despite being ill during the
week. He gave Tom Hateley a torrid time in the first half, the Well
right-back suffering the indignity of falling on his backside while
trying to track his opponent. While much of Templeton’s play was
good, Hateley was poor and was often left exposed against the
winger, who had support from full-back Ryan McGowan. After having a
hand in both goals, Templeton was withdrawn after 62 minutes and
replaced by Andrew Driver. Driver was left out of the squad against
the Pars following talks with Sergio, but on Thursday denied he had
refused to play under the Portuguese and returned to the bench.
However, Ryan Stevenson was missing, the midfielder having taken a
self-imposed leave of absence due to his frustrations with ongoing
events at Tynecastle. Hearts’ first-team squad are still awaiting
their December wages and, with their salaries overdue for a third
successive month, Stevenson opted to take time out to consider his
position. How John Sutton, who was ill today, must wish he had not
swapped Fir Park for Tynecastle last summer. Michael Higdon, who
replaced Sutton at Well, had the game’s first shot, with Marian
Kello making a comfortable save. Hearts then began to get on top
and Darren Randolph reacted well to save a Templeton shot which had
ricocheted off Shaun Hutchinson. Templeton then skipped past
Hateley on the left before having a shot blocked. The rebound fell
for Black, who made space for himself on the edge of the box and
hit a shot into the bottom corner. Templeton hit a shot from 30
yards narrowly over before his blistering pace took him by Hateley
again. The Hearts winger surged into the area and threaded a cross
through for Elliott to tap in at the back post. An attempted Omar
Daley cross struck the post as Well attempted to find a route back
into the game before half-time. But Hateley’s troubles continued
after the restart. He fell attempting to intercept a cross-field
pass to Templeton, who went on to shoot from a narrow angle which
did not trouble Randolph. It was his final action as Driver came on
to applause and some muted booing. Hearts were forced into another
change when Hamill went to ground and was seen clutching his left
ankle before being carried off on a stretcher. Darren Barr came on
after a lengthy delay and was soon penalised for fouling Keith
Lasley on the edge of the Hearts area. Hateley fired the subsequent
free-kick over. Driver, playing on the right, drilled in a cross
which Well diverted for a corner and Mehdi Taouil shot over as
Hearts went in search of a third. But the hosts instead settled for
three points in their final home game of an eventful 2011.