Motherwell 2-1 Heart of Midlothian
Louis Moult proved why he is so in demand with a match-winning performance in Motherwell’s 2-1 victory over Hearts.
The striker has been courted throughout the summer by a number of clubs and looks set to leave at the end of his contract next year, but is still proving to be a vital player for Stephen Robinson’s side.
After Well went behind to Kyle Lafferty’s first league goal in Hearts colours, Moult provided an intelligent header for Ryan Bowman to level the scores before hitting a brilliant winner.
The striker produced a delicate chip that looped and curled over the head of the goalkeeper before nestling into the top corner from the edge of the area to back up last week’s win over Ross County.
The game started at a quick pace with the returning Elliott Frear threatening down the left-hand side for the hosts, who were caught on the break in the opening minutes.
After conceding a corner, Hearts broke upfield and found Cole Stockton, who cut inside before seeing a shot deflected narrowly wide from outside the box.
Frear then saw a penalty shout waved away after the ball appeared to strike a hand inside the visitors’ area from point-blank range.
The hosts were gaining in confidence, with Bowman shooting straight at Jack Hamilton after controlling a ball nicely inside the area, before Andy Rose fired across the face of the goal as the ball bobbled to him inside the six-yard box.
Out of nowhere, though, Hearts took the lead through Lafferty after half an hour.
Jamie Walker, still with the Edinburgh club despite interest from Rangers this summer, broke down the right and saw a low shot parried by Trevor Carson before Lafferty found space to fire in from 25 yards.
Richard Tait swung in a deep cross from the touchline seven minutes later, finding Moult who selflessly headed back across goal for Bowman to stoop low and find the back of the net.
Four minutes later, Moult was the beneficiary of some slack defending, with Hearts caught in possession on the edge of the area before the striker dug a fine curling effort out from beneath his feet.
He could have had a second after the break with a fine looping header at the back post that had the keeper beaten only for Christophe Berra to head off the line, despite protests from the Well players.
Bowman had a goal disallowed for offside from a free-kick halfway through the second period, but Well were able to keep Daly’s side quiet at the other end.
Arnaud Djoum wasted a good chance from 25 yards after Lafferty was brought down, while Don Cowie curled over as the Jambos were restricted to long-range efforts.
Esmael Goncalves proved a handful off the bench but Robinson’s side clung on to see them rise above Hearts in the table.