Why Hearts were 'ratted for fun' at Motherwell with Taylor Moore disappointed by red card
Robbie Neilson admitted Hearts didn’t cope with Motherwell’s tenacity at Fir Park as the manager lamented a red card for defender Taylor Moore.
The 2-0 defeat was characterised by the home side’s aggression, which unsettled Hearts and denied them any chance of a foothold in the game. Connor Shields’ first-half strike and Rickie Lamie’s header after the interval secured Motherwell’s second successive win.
“It’s direct, it’s second balls and it’s 500 miles an hour,” said Neilson. “The game was touch, tackle, free-kick, touch, tackle, throw-in, touch, tackle, corner. We just didn’t get the ball down because Motherwell ratted us for fun.
“We have to be able to handle that better. We didn’t do it and we are disappointed. I’ll be surprised if the ball was in play for more than 35 minutes in total. There was no flow in the game – corners, free-kicks, time-wasting, referee stopping play.
“It just becomes about who takes their chances. Motherwell took theirs. If you don’t take your chances you aren’t going to get anywhere.”
Moore was sent off for a second caution on 64 minutes. Referee Willie Collum booked him for a foul on Nathan McGinley on 48 minutes. Then came a second yellow card followed by a red when Shields fell under pressure from Moore.
“I thought it was harsh,” said Neilson. “The first one, there is no contact. The boy goes down, he makes a meal of it and he [Moore] gets booked. The second one, they go shoulder-to-shoulder. The boy [Shields] knows if he goes down then the ref has a decision to make.
“It wasn’t a tackle, the leg doesn’t go across. It’s shoulder-to-shoulder, the boy goes down. To be honest, that was the story of the game. I thought they did the dark arts very well. They made it very scrappy and made it difficult for us. It wasn’t a great game, put it that way.
“Taylor is just disappointed. We are 1-0 down, then go a man down and lose a goal from the free-kick. It kills us a bit. We still had chances. Liam Boyce had that opportunity in the second half. That would have given us a wee lift but it wasn’t to be.”