Three key points from Hearts 1-1 Motherwell

Hearts’ Conor Washington scores the equaliser against MotherwellHearts’ Conor Washington scores the equaliser against Motherwell
Hearts’ Conor Washington scores the equaliser against Motherwell | Other 3rd Party
Washington gets the equaliser before chance for three points

Final chance

Who knows how pivotal a clear stoppage-time scoring chance for Steven Naismith might prove in Hearts’ end-of-season fate. With six minutes of stoppage-time being keenly contested and the game poised at 1-1, Jamie Walker’s ball found Conor Washington on the right inside Motherwell’s penalty area. He cut his delivery back for Naismith, who seemed set to score and decide the game. Unfortunately the ball seemed to hit his standing foot, the left, and bounced clear. Had it hit the net, the entire complexion of the match would have been changed in an instant.

Washington’s net gain

The equaliser was the first time Washington had struck in consecutive games since last September. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect for the Northern Ireland internationalist was that the finish was worthy of your stereotypical predatory striker. Steven Naismith latched on to Jamie Walker’s flick through a gap in the Motherwell defence and cut the ball back at pace as he neared the byline on the left. Washington was poised expecting the delivery and slid in to divert the ball past Mark Gillespie and into the net from a few yards out.

Motherwell’s incisive breaks

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The visitors’ gameplan was to sit in and hit Hearts on the break with their speed in attack. They are one of the most adepts teams in the country at doing so, with striker Chris Long flanked by winger Rolando Aarons and Jermaine Hylton. The 4-5-1 system quickly became a 4-3-3 when the visitors sprung forward and those in maroon struggled to deal with the pace. Hearts pushed players into the opposition half to try and smother their guests but one ball over the top saw them caught out frequently in the first half thanks to the movement of the three Motherwell forwards.

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