13 Aug Hearts top of the table
Hearts 2-0 Motherwell
(Reilly – penalty, King)
A sell out crowd at Tynecastle tells you there’s nothing better than a winning team and one that can score a few goals into the bargain to get fans flocking to your stadium.
Hearts have notched up ten goals in three games and sit joint top of the table, so no surprise the bookies fancied a strong home win.
In a fairly uneventful first half, it took a rash challenge from Scott McDonald on Sam Nicholson inside the box to finally get the fans on their feet.
Referee Brian Colvin pointed to the spot and up stepped Gavin Reilly to score his debut goal for the Jam tarts just after the half hour.
Motherwell had a couple of half chances, but could have had so much more had Scott McDonald opted to pass to Lionel Ainsworth on a good counter attack, which would have put the winger one on one with the goalkeeper.
Gavin Reilly and Billy King both tested ‘Well keeper Connor Ripley from outside the box and Rossi had his header cleared off the line by Laing.
The continued pressure eventually resulted in Hearts’ second goal from Billy King. The winger showed some lovely skill inside the box before dispatching a lovely left-footed shot beyond the Motherwell keeper.
Motherwell rarely threatened and Marvin Johnson’s shot just before the 90 minute mark was the first occasion the opposition really tested Neil Alexander in the Hearts goal.
A comfortable win for Robbie Neilson’s side and with Celtic slipping up at Rugby park, last season’s Championship title winners go clear at the top of the Premiership with three wins out of three.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson wasn’t getting carried away with the league position, but he seemed happy enough with how they played over the ninety minutes. “First half we played really well, we had a lot of the ball. Second half, they came out and pressed us a lot harder, but I felt comfortable.”
“It’s been a great start so far, but we have Ross County on Saturday and probably they will be the hardest match we’ve had yet.”
In contrast, Motherwell boss Ian Baraclough was obviously disappointed at his side’s inability to compete. “I felt we could have stood up to what they were going to throw at us physically. We were second best in the battle.”
“In possession we didn’t use it as well as we can do, we had really good situations to break, we had numbers, but we didn’t use it well.”