HEARTS opened their second century with a flourish. The Royal Scots were there; the Centenary flag was unfurled; Alan Anderson received a silver salver from the Motherwell captain; Tommy Walker was back in the fold; the Scottish Cup third round draw was made in the Board Room – and Hearts won.
Hearts 2 Motherwell 0
The Scotsman, 7 January 1974
The Hearts fans responded to the occasion which attracted almost 8,000 spectators. Some of their attack play was the best seen at Tynecastle for some time and Ian St John praised them afterwards for the way they challenged for every ball. “They could have scored five,” he said.
The success of the afternoon was young Donald Park on the right wing. He scored and could perhaps have had two more, but best of all was his aggressive play and his ability to find the open space.
Park confirmed his potential but afterwards Bobby Seith was saying that Kenny Aird has a good chance of being fit for Saturday, which means that Park’s place is at risk. But, Seith will probably come up with something that keeps young Park’s enthusiasm alive.
With wide sweeping attacks, Donald Ford was given room to move and he, too, was impressive, netting his seventh penalty of the season to make the points secure. Now Hearts can believe in themselves at home.
Ian St John, of course, must be congratultated for keeping the game open. He suggested, jokingly, that perhaps his players had not quite recovered from their New Year celebrations but repeated his promise to concentrate on attacking football at home and away.
“I do not want to create players who imagine that they will be electrocuted should they cross the halfway line. That will not be Motherwell’s way though, of course, I expect them to show some discretion when moving forward.”
Seith agreed. “Hearts,” he said, “would play it their way regardless of the opposition. To plan defensively is to concede the initiative and make your own men feel like second-class citizens.”
Hearts: Cruickshank, Kay, Clunie, Cant, Anderson, Brown, Park, Ford, Busby, Stevenson, Prentice.
Motherwell: Rennie, Watson, Goodwin, Muir, McCabe, Gray, Graham, Goldthorpe, Martin, McClymont.
Referee: T. Kyle.