Hearts 1 - 0 Motherwell: Lafferty earns Hearts long-awaited win

Kyle Lafferty netted the only goal against Motherwell as Hearts sealed their first victory at the revamped Tynecastle at the fourth attempt.

Hearts' Kyle Lafferty fires towards goal. Picture: SNS

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The striker capitalised on a slip by Cedric Kipre in the 39th minute to notch in front of watching Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill as Hearts finally marked their new main stand with a win after three consecutive draws.

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Motherwell failed to score for only the third time in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season after losing the league’s top goalscorer, Louis Moult, to a hamstring injury before the match.

Kyle Lafferty celebrates with his Hearts team-mates after opening the scoring. Picture: SNS

Manager Stephen Robinson tried three alternatives alongside Ryan Bowman, but Hearts withstood some second-half pressure, with John Souttar and Christophe Berra impressing in central defence.

As well as Moult, Motherwell were without goalkeeper Trevor Carson and defender Peter Hartrley through injury, with Carl McHugh dropping into the back three.

Hearts midfielders Arnaud Djoum and Jamie Walker passed fitness tests, but both limped off during the game, the latter inside 21 minutes.

There had been plenty of effort, but the first opening came after that stage when Motherwell wing-back Elliott Frear squeezed between two players, only to shoot weakly at John McLaughlin with his right foot.

Jamie Walker goes off with an injury. Picture: SNS

Lafferty could not make the most of two shooting chances in quick succession after the visitors defended a set-piece and Kipre had his first costly slip when he was penalised by referee Andrew Dallas for inadvertently colliding with Djoum.

There was a better piece of play when Lewis Moore volleyed just over the Motherwell goal after Connor Randall’s diagonal ball before Motherwell lost another player to injury when Chris Cadden went off for Gael Bigirimana.

The opener came after Allan Campbell appeared to be fouled by Djoum and Don Cowie threaded a ball through towards Lafferty. Kipre shepherded the striker away from goal, but he slipped again and the Hearts striker recovered first before turning inside and slotting the ball past Russell Griffiths.

Moult’s replacement, Alex Fisher, made way for Craig Tanner at half-time and Deimantas Petravicius was given almost half an hour to influence proceedings but could not make an impact.

Kyle Lafferty celebrates with his Hearts team-mates after opening the scoring. Picture: SNS

Motherwell had chances. Bowman got underneath a free header, Tanner had a deflected free-kick saved and Kipre shot inches over the top corner after Hearts gifted possession after clearing a corner.

But the hosts defended well and held out for their first victory in seven matches.

Jamie Walker goes off with an injury. Picture: SNS