Elliot gets chance, while Hughes tells Falkirk to wise up

CALUM Elliot was a wanted man in Falkirk last week. He still is, but now, it's for a very different reason.

Having opted for Motherwell rather than their team after being involved in a tug-of-war between the pair for his signature, the on-loan Hearts striker would have expected plenty of stick from the home support - and he wasn't disappointed.

What really irked the Bairns fans, however, was that he then compounded their feeling of rejection by taking a dive and getting Steven Thomson sent off. That, anyway, was how most of them saw it at the time but they were wrong because he didn't.

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As even John Hughes agreed, Thomson raised his hand and had to go, although the blow inflicted on Elliot hardly seemed severe enough to cause the suspected concussion that saw Maurice Malpas immediately wheech the striker off.

While agreeing the red card was the right decision, Hughes claimed the incident was just one of the occasions during the 90 minutes that referee Craig Mackay had been "conned" by the visiting players, albeit Yogi then went out of his way to try and explain he meant that in the nicest possible way.

If this observer got the gist of what he said right, the Falkirk manager was actually quite taken by, not to mention envious of, the way Elliot, Scott McDonald and co went about their business, constantly harrying anyone in a blue jersey and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Indeed, claimed Hughes, that was "playing properly" and he wants his own players, whose performance he summed up as dire, to wise up and start doing it themselves.

Maybe a sprinkling of devilment would indeed be no bad thing as Falkirk could certainly do with an injection of something. As is their wont nowadays, they once again passed the ball around neatly enough at times but as laudable as that is, there was no end product, as a statistic of no shots on target in the entire match bears witness to.

Motherwell had three so draw your own conclusions as to whether or not this was a thriller, not that the quality of proceedings was uppermost in the mind of Malpas.

"The footballing side wasn't great but while playing well is fine, you really have to win. It's all about results and we needed three points so that's the monkey of our backs," said the Fir Park manager.

The victory moved Motherwell off the foot of the SPL, thanks to the predatory instincts of McDonald, who was first to react when goalkeeper Scott Higgins did well to beat away a Richie Foran cross only to be then left helpless as his fellow Aussie tucked the ball into the net with a clinical finish.

Since they hadn't looked like scoring with a full complement of personnel, you could have quite safely laid Falkirk not to do so with their numbers reduced and it's easy to see why Hughes was so desperate to land Elliot.

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The teenager had a quietish start to his Motherwell career but is at least playing again, which is more than he was doing at Tynecastle. Or in Athens.

"Wednesday was the final straw and I knew I just had to get away," he admitted. "The past two weeks have been really unsettling and frustrating so it's a relief to have things sorted out. I know Maurice Malpas from Scotland's Under-21 side and it's good to be here.

"When I got up this morning, I just wanted to play," added Elliot who declined the opportunity to bad-mouth Valdas Ivanauskas or anyone else he'd left behind in Gorgie.

"I haven't spoken to Valdas but Hearts have been brilliant to me. They gave me my chance and I've got a lot of good memories from my time with them."