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hand in both goals, Templeton was withdrawn after 62 minutes and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.