Single Lafferty goal for Hearts sinks Motherwell at Tynecastle

Motherwell stars Griffiths, Bigirimana and Dunne look crestfallen in the wake of Lafferty's winner for Hearts (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Motherwell stars Griffiths, Bigirimana and Dunne look crestfallen in the wake of Lafferty's winner for Hearts (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Motherwell crashed to a 1-0 Scottish Premiership defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday, as the Jambos won thanks to a first half Kyle Lafferty strike.

The Steelmen were without the injured quartet of goalkeeper Trevor Carson, defender Peter Hartley, striker Louis Moult and dropped midfielder Craig Tanner.
They were replaced by Russell Griffiths, Carl McHugh, Alex Fisher and Elliott Frear.
Motherwell - for whom McHugh slotted into a three-man central defence with Cedric Kipre and Charles Dunne - started slowly in a scrappy opening to the match.
Chris Cadden shot weakly at Hearts keeper Jon McLaughlin before the hosts' Jamie Walker went off injured on 22 minutes and was replaced by David Milinkovic.
An aerial collision between McLaughlin and Fisher held up play for a few minutes before Frear sprinted away from three defenders in a fine run but his final shot was weakly at the keeper.
Lafferty sclaffed an effort wide for the Jambos before Kipre was harshly booked for colliding with Arnaud Djoum after slipping.
Hearts missed a great chance when Lewis Moore volleyed over Connor Randall's long ball forward.
The Steelmen suffered a blow when Cadden - a summer transfer target for Hearts - went off injured and was replaced by Gael Bigirimana.
Hearts took the lead on 39 minutes and it was a nightmare for the Motherwell defence as Lafferty skinned Kipre and McHugh before shooting home low with his left foot.
'Well remained 1-0 down at the end of a largely disappointing first half.
The Steelmen had a great chance to equalise on 54 minutes but Ryan Bowman headed well over the bar after Frear's corner.
Half-time substitute Tanner - on for Fisher - got involved regularly after coming on and his 62nd minute free-kick was on target but comfortably stopped by McLaughlin.
Another Tanner delivery - from out wide this time - was met by McHugh near the Hearts goal but he was penalised for a foul.
Michael Smith shot over the bar for Hearts before play raged to the other end where Kipre pounced on a misplaced Hearts pass and sent a right footed effort just too high.
Motherwell couldn't create any other clear scoring chances and went down to a single goal defeat.

Motherwell: Griffiths, Tait, Cadden (Bigirimana 37), McHugh, Frear, Bowman, Rose (Petravicius 62), Fisher (Tanner 45), Dunne, Kipre, Campbell.
Referee: Andrew Dallas
Crowd: 15,984