Motherwell 1-0 Hearts: Chris Long winner lifts Motherwell up to third place

Chris Long's fine first half strike separated the sides in a 1-0 Motherwell win over Hearts which lifted the Steelmen up to third place in the Scottish Premiership at Fir Park on Saturday.

Chris Long netted a fine first half goal for Motherwell against Hearts

It was a hard fought encounter in which Motherwell - whose squad was hit by a sickness virus this week - displayed plenty of grit to see off the struggling Edinburgh outfit.A frantic start to the match saw little goalmouth action in the first 15 minutes.Long - Motherwell's one change to the starting line-up from the midweek win at St Mirren - produced a fine burst of pace on 16 minutes to get clear of the Hearts rearguard but he ran the ball out of play.Motherwell went 1-0 up on 39 minutes when Long smashed the ball in with his left foot after brilliant wing play by Hylton on the left.The Steelmen went in one to the good at the interval, in a hard fought opening half which featured just three goal attempts, two of which came from the hosts.Motherwell started the second half better and a slick move preceded the impressive Hylton having a shot deflected wide for a corner.Hearts kept plugging away and Jamie Walker's 56th minute cross was knocked down by Craig Halkett to Ryotaro Meshino who shot over the bar. The Japanese forward then shot straight at home keeper Mark Gillespie from outside the box.The visitors had a great chance foiled by Gillespie on 67 minutes when the home custodian dived low to beat away a powerful Steven MacLean shot.Motherwell had a goal wrongly disallowed on 70 minutes when Long's cross found Liam Polworth who sent the ball across goal and Campbell tapped in. The youngster was adjudged to be offside but TV pictures later proved that he was clearly onside and the goal should have stood.Hearts soon had an opportunity at the other end but Jamie Brandon shot wildly over the bar with his left foot from outside the area.The Jambos then wasted another chance when MacLean headed wide after a long cross to the back post.Hearts sub Uche Ikpeazu turned menacingly on the edge of the Motherwell box and curled a left footed shot not too far wide.The Jambos' miserable day was completed in injury time when Mulraney was sent off after an incident in the far corner when he spoke out of turn to the officials.Motherwell: Gillespie, Carroll, Grimshaw, Campbell, Long (Hartley 75), Hylton, Scott (Cole 65), Polworth (O'Hara 80), Donnelly, Mugabi, Gallagher.Referee: Alan MuirCrowd: 4745

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