Motherwell slumped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday, writes Craig Goldthorp.
A sickening early clash of heads between Callum Paterson and Ben Heneghan saw the Hearts man substituted and Heneghan go off for a few minutes before returning wearing a large white bandage.
Bjorn Johnsen missed with three separate chances before finally opening the scoring after 31 minutes for Hearts when he rounded Samson before slotting home.
Brilliant wing play by Jamie Walker then preceded a cross being flicked wide by Arnaud Djoum.
And Hearts thought they had gone two up when Johnsen netted a looping header on 38 minutes. But the goal was disallowed for offside.
Motherwell had shown little as an attacking force, but a decent spell saw Heneghan head well over after a long Richard Tait free-kick, before Hearts defender John Souttar gave the ball away and Louis Moult had a shot blocked after a one-two with Scott McDonald.
Djoum shot wide and Johnsen had a left footed effort blocked by Stephen McManus before Hearts came close to doubling their lead when Robbie Muirhead’s corner saw an Igor Rossi shot cleared off the line. The rebound was blasted over by Djoum.
Motherwell ditched their three man defence for the second half with Lionel Ainsworth and Stevie Hammell coming on for Jack McMillan and David Ferguson.
But Hearts went 2-0 up when Muirhead’s corner was headed in by Johnsen.
The Steelmen then came agonisingly close to scoring on three separate occasions.
Ainsworth’s corner saw McDonald’s header cleared off the line, before Craig Clay had a shot deflected wide from an Ainsworth cross.
Another Ainsworth flag kick then saw Heneghan’s looping header blocked on the line.
A stunning low 30-yard Ainsworth shot went just wide before Hearts killed off the game when Walker shot home after a swift breakaway.
Hearts sub Conor Sammon shot wide after a Djoum knockdown, before the Irish striker had a shot saved by Samson in the next attack.
Rossi shot off target from a Walker pass, with ‘Well going incredibly close at the other end when Ainsworth’s lob was acrobatically kept out on the goal line by Souttar.
Incredibly, Motherwell had yet another effort cleared off the Hearts line after Ainsworth’s corner was met by Moult.