It was a must win match for both Motherwell and Hearts this afternoon with both squads desperate to secure a vital three points ahead of the international break and ultimately it was the Jambos who came away with the an important win for both manager, players and fans.
The Jambos once again played a game of possession with Zander Clark untroubled for much of the 90 minutes. After a poor defensive opening 15 minutes, the moment of joy for the travelling side finally came.
Hearts opened up the second 45 with another nervous few moments before finding their groove in front of the away fans with Stephen Kingsley going for goal in the 49th minute.
VAR once again played its part - as it so often has in recent fixtures - with the second VAR check met by a chorus of boos from fans all around the ground. An aggrieved captain was twice denied the opportunity to score from the spot but as the check halted the game for several minutes, few were disappointed.
The 28-year-old’s frustrations were not long-lasting, however, as in the 71st minute Shankland once again found the back of the net, beating Kelly with delicate footwork to send the away fans wild with joy.
Disaster struck after 77 minutes as Alex Cochrane conceded a penalty for handball in the penalty box. Motherwell’s Blair Spittal dutifully took his opportunity and after what had been a very tame match for the Scotland international, Zander Clark was forced to pick out the ball from his net.
While Motherwell were quick to pounce on their goal momentum in the final ten minutes of play, it came to little effect and Hearts now head into the international break with an exceptionally necessary three points and the fourth spot in the table.
Here are Edinburgh News' player ratings from Hearts' 2-1 win over Motherwell...