KENYA BROWN - Monday, February 18, 2019
Gboly Ariyibi and Motherwell kept their winning streak intact in dramatic fashion as they pipped Hearts to keeps themselves well in the hunt to claim a spot in the championship group.
Motherwell 2-1 Hearts
David Turnbull's goal deep into stoppage time helped Motherwell narrowly beat St. Johnstone at Fir Park to extend their winning streak to six games.
Gboly Ariyibi started his fifth consecutive league game for the Steelmen, playing 64 minutes.
Since returning from the winter break, Motherwell has been hot, with their confidence sky high entering this game against the capital team.
And that confidence was certainly on show 13 minutes into the game when Jake Hastie opened the scoring to give the host the lead. The forward made a darting run into the area from the right and fired his shot past Hearts goalkeeper Colin Doyle.
However, the visitors leveled the score in the 37h minute through Steven Naismith as he chipped the ball over the outstretched hand of Motherwell goalkeeper Mark Gillespie.
The host entered the second half looking to retake the lead and came very close when Turnbull's effort from the edge of the area was headed towards the goal, but Doyle did very well to tip the ball over the bar.
Gillespie also made several saves at Motherwell's goal to keep Hearts at bay.
But the game took a turn in stoppage time when the referee showed a red card to Hearts' Ben Garuccio for his reckless challenge on Liam Grimshaw.
With time winding down Motherwell was looking the game-winner, and they had to thank Doyle for his assist to make it happen. Turnbull decided to put his long-range free-kick on goal and it appeared that the Irish goalkeeper had made the save. But he bobbled the ball as it came off his shoulder and bounced into the goal to the surprise, and delight, of the Motherwell bench.
The win puts Motherwell in seventh place in the standings with 36 points.
In other Premier League action, Timothy Weah came off the bench as leaders Celtic scored a late goal to come away with a 1-0 win over Kilmarnock to move eight points ahead of rivals Rangers.
Matt Polster made his first appearance for Rangers on the bench as he watched all of the action in their 0-0 tie with St. Johnstone.
Down in the Championship, in the battle of the Ians, Ian Harkes and Dundee United squeezed past Ian McGrath and Queen of South with a 1-0 win to put pressure on Ayr United and Ross County for the sole automatic promotion spot.