John Sutton’s Hearts regret five years after scoring Motherwell’s last winner at Tynecastle

John Sutton is the last Motherwell player to score a winning goal at Tynecastle Park.

Thursday, 12th September 2019, 7:00 am
John Sutton scores against Hearts back in 2014. Picture: SNS

In January 2014, seven months after leaving Hearts upon their descent into administration, he rounded Jamie MacDonald in the 40th minute of a Premiership meeting and converted from an acute angle.

“I thought I took it quite well. I got pushed out wide, Jamma came running out, I knocked it past him and it was a tight angle. I managed to squeeze it in,” recalled Sutton. “That was the season Hearts had been docked [15] points. I remember our goalie had a few good saves and we got away with three points that day.”

It brought the striker a lot of satisfaction after two seasons of frustration and lack of game time with the Edinburgh club.

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“It was a crazy time when I was there in terms of behind the scenes, although we still had a good team on the pitch and did pretty well,” he said.

“I do have regrets. I moved to Hearts after they had finished third. Then the manager, Jim Jefferies, got the sack one or two games into the season, which was absolutely crazy. The new guy [Paulo Sergio] comes in and, for whatever reason, he isn’t so keen on you. So you just get your head down and work away.

“Whatever the manager’s decisions were, the fans were absolutely unbelievable with me. They seemed to want to help me out as much as they could. It’s a big regret that things didn’t go better. We got to the [2013] League Cup final and probably should have won given how the game went. It’s easy to say that after the event.

“We lost that and then ending up in administration wasn’t great for anyone. I look back on it and really enjoyed my time there. It was brilliant experiences playing against Liverpool and Tottenham. I wish it had gone better but the time I was there was fantastic.”

He expects Motherwell to test Hearts at Tynecastle this Saturday. “Stephen Robinson will have them very well organised. They will certainly be very disciplined and hard to break down. That will be their base and I actually think they will do very well this year.”

Sutton is enjoying playing again after coming out of retirement at Morton. The player-coach role at Cappielow suits. “The manager and chief executive kept badgering me about getting my boots back on. I’ll help out when I can but I enjoy taking the reserves,” he said.

“It’s a long time since Morton were in the top league. The fans haven’t had a chance to experience that atmosphere at Tynecastle, Parkhead and Ibrox. These are the places you want to go.”