Joel Sked gives his take on Hearts first win in eight outings.
Not a game to watch
This is a public health warning. If given an opportunity to watch this encounter say no. This was not a good game of football. A 3-6-1 against a 3-4-1-2 saw the midfield congested on an already narrow pitch. There was little space for either team to operate which brought about a raft of fouls, misplaced passes and plenty of aerial battles and tussles. At one point the ball seemed to scream out for mercy, similar to Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart. Neither sides' wing-backs were brought into play as much as they should, simply because neither midfield could funnel the ball wide quick enough.
A big result
A scrappy home 1-0 win over Motherwell is never something to usually write home about. But this was a big result. Winless in seven Hearts simply needed to stop the rot, and they did that. Just. It wasn't pretty as previously stated but it was what was needed. There were poor individual performances and the team are guilty of dropping deep too early but it is a step forward and good preparation for Livingston on Friday night. Craig Levein's men will have to put in another battling performance as they look to go on a run between now and the winter break.
Smith the libero
Craig Levein made two changes from the side which drew with St Johnstone during the week and within that he switched to a back three as Michael Smith was moved into the centre of the defence rather than as the right-sided centre-back. It was a role he excelled in. Christophe Berra and Clevid Dikamona went up against the two Motherwell forwards while the Northern Irishman acted as a sweeper. His reading of the game was excellent, he supported his fellow defenders and passed confidently and accurately out of defence, barring one moment where he dallied on the ball. A good afternoon's work.