Photo by Motherwell Women
Motherwell made it three games unbeaten after two second-half goals saw them defeat Heart of Midlothian at a rainy Alliance Park.
Leanne Crichton and Kaela McDonald-Nguah were on target to secure a 2-0 win, their third clean sheet in a row and climb up to sixth in SWPL 1.
It was Hearts who began the brighter of the two sides with three efforts on goal in the first ten minutes with Jenny Smith and Maria McAneny looking dangerous. Smith volleyed over the bar after three minutes before McAneny dragged her shot wide and had a second effort deflected into the arms of Khym Ramsay.
The hosts did threaten soon after with a fantastic save from Charlotte Parker-Smith denying Crichton the opener before Claire Crosbie headed over from the resultant corner.
After that fast start though, the rest of the first half was a lot tighter with both sides battling hard to get a foothold in the game. The only other real chance fell the way of Motherwell again, but Amy Anderson was denied by the keeper after Crosbie’s header across goal.
McAneny was one of the bright spots for Hearts and was denied by Ramsay again at the start of the second half.
Just before the hour mark the game burst into life as the Well were awarded a penalty. Anderson played a clever ball in behind for Jemma Hughes’ whose deflected cross caused havoc in the six-yard box and looked certain to be nodded into the net by Crichton before she was caught in the head by Mariel Kaney’s high boot, leaving the referee no option but to point to the spot.
After a few minutes receiving treatment, it was Crichton who stepped up to send Parker-Smith the wrong way and put the hosts in front. The former Glasgow City midfielder was involved a lot and was caught high by McAneny minutes later who was perhaps fortunate to only be shown a yellow card.
Crichton then fired a powerful shot towards goal which was well tipped over but the crucial second goal would come from the corner, with substitute McDonald-Nguah rising highest to head home to double the advantage.
That goal killed the game off as a contest, but Motherwell continued to press for more goals with Hughes hitting the side netting before McDonald-Nguah volleyed wide and had another effort held by the keeper.
In the end though, two goals were enough as the Women of Steel sent the Jam Tarts to the bottom of SWPL 1 ahead of the international break.
Motherwell: Ramsay; Addie, Crosbie, Watson, Whyte; Inglis, Crichton (Napier, 90), Anderson; Hay (McDonald-Nguah, 56), Hughes (Cunningham, 78), Gardner (Adams, 89)
Hearts: Parker-Smith; Delworth, Hunter, Browning, Cowan; Kaney (Tweedie, 85); Forsyth, Smith, Handley (Anderson, 64), McAneny; Birse
Motherwell Head Coach, Paul Brownlie: