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Lawrence Shankland’s scored his 25th Hearts goal of the season in a 2-0 win over Motherwell at Tynecastle this afternoon as the Jambos made it nine wins in a row.

Steven Naismith’s talisman opened the scoring in the 67th minute when he headed in from Alan Forrest’s wide free kick. The Scotland international has now scored in five consecutive matches.

Kenneth Vargas then powered home a second goal to kill the game in injury time with a sweet left-footed strike.

Hearts are unbeaten in 12 matches and have won 11 of those in the process. They remain in third position in the league but are now closer to league leaders Celtic than fourth place Kilmarnock are to them.

However, Hearts manager Steven Naismith is not thinking about catching the league’s top two just yet. He said:

“No. They’re still a bit ahead aren’t they?

“I think as I said before we’ll get to April/May time and if you’re fortunate enough to be close enough then you can dream.

“For us, it’s just about winning games and then the gap will be bigger.

“We know where we want to go as a squad but as I’ve consistently said, it’s week to week.

“The way we managed the game today, the way our speed of attack was, was really good. These are markers, for me, of progression which should lead to success.”

Motherwell boss Stuart Kettlewell did not think that the Jambos’ second goal should have stood. He said:

“Again, I’m going to be really categoric with this. I don’t know that it’s a foul. I’ve watched it back from a couple of different angles from that point of view.

“But when the referee has officiated the game where every type of contact like that has been a foul, and he has, every single time there’s been a brush of players or someone leaning in (it was a foul).

“I look at Adam Devine’s in the second half with (Yutaro) Oda at the back post. Have a look at that one. Wait to you see the foul that’s given there.

“So I’m fully expecting that he’s going to blow for a foul because it’s in keeping with everything that’s been done in the game.

“The way the game was officiated today, I felt that was a foul, 100%.”