Well impress in Jambos victory

Winger Chris Humphrey, whose partner gave birth to a girl on

Thursday, brilliantly created second-half goals for Nick Blackman

and John Sutton. Hearts never troubled Motherwell goalkeeper Darren

Randolph and the visitors comfortably secured their fifth away

clean sheet and win of the season. Rudi Skacel made his return to

Hearts action after rejoining the club this month but he was

totally overshadowed by a convincing second-half display by the

visitors, who took the lead in the 58th minute, seconds after the

Czech midfielder came off the bench. Darren Barr was left out of

the Hearts squad after manager Jim Jefferies criticised the

defending during his side’s 4-3 defeat by Falkirk in the midweek

Co-operative Insurance Cup clash. Adrian Mrowiec came in at

centre-back while Jason Thomson replaced namesake Craig, who was

sent off at Falkirk, at right-back but it was skipper and left-back

Eggert Jonsson who failed to deal with Humphrey’s ever-increasing

threat. Motherwell named the same team that drew with Aberdeen last

weekend with Steve Jennings, Keith Lasley and Jamie Murphy back

after being rested for the cup win at Brechin. Hearts wide men

David Templeton and Suso Santana made a lively start and twice

combined to fashion shots at goal, although both players were off

target. Motherwell took some time to settle into their passing game

but improved after the first 20 minutes. However, Templeton created

a good chance in the 30th minute when he manoeuvred himself out of

a tight spot near the corner flag and crossed for Kevin Kyle, who

headed on to the roof of the net from 12 yards. Motherwell created

the best chance of the half five minutes later on the

counter-attack. Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson looked a clear

favourite to reach Darren Randolph’s kick-out following a Hearts

corner but Humphrey outsprinted him and showed good composure to

lay the ball back for Blackman. Keith Lasley flicked on the

striker’s pass to the unmarked Jamie Murphy, who elected to shoot

first time from 16 yards but saw his effort curl off the post.

Murphy soon came close again with a powerful 25-yard strike with

the outside of the boot, which was acrobatically touched past the

post by Marian Kello. Motherwell finished the half well, although

Hearts had a hopeful penalty appeal rejected when Stephen Craigan

tackled Calum Elliot. Murphy forced another good save after the

break after being allowed to run at the heart of the home defence

and unleash a well-hit strike from 25 yards. Steven Saunders was

booked for a trip on Templeton 25 yards out but Elliot curled the

resulting free-kick over the bar. The home fans were lifted when

Skacel came on and Stephen Elliott made his first appearance since

the opening day of the season after recovering from a hamstring

injury. But they were silenced within 60 seconds. Hateley broke and

found Humphrey, who beat Jonsson and crossed for the unmarked

Blackman to guide a cushioned volley into the corner of the net

from six yards. Thomson was booked for a wild challenge on Murphy

but soon made a more positive contribution when he crossed for

Kyle, who looked certain to score from four yards until Mark

Reynolds ghosted past him to make a superb clearance. Motherwell

came close again when Kello spilled Lasley’s 20-yard drive but

recovered to divert Sutton’s follow-up over the bar, although

referee Mike Tumilty gave a goal kick. But Sutton was soon

celebrating in the 70th minute. Humphrey again skinned Jonsson and

ran along the byline before driving the ball into the goalmouth for

Sutton to tap in. Hearts never looked like getting back in the game

and Kello remained busy, denying Blackman from close range before

saving long-range efforts from the on-loan Blackburn striker,

Hateley and substitute Ross Forbes.