Heart of Midlothian 2 Motherwell 2

Last updated : 12 January 2008 By Footymad Previewer
As both teams had hoped, this proved to be a more than fitting tribute to Phil O'Donnell as Chris Porter's second-half double saw Motherwell cancel out earlier strikes from Deividas Cesnauskis and Andrius Velicka to earn the visitors a replay at Fir Park.

The resilience shown by the Steelmen was astonishing under the circumstances, while Hearts produced ample evidence of a genuine return to form without quite being able to nail down the win they so desperately wanted and needed.

The Jambos were out of the blocks quickly and Well keeper Graeme Smith flapped at an early corner, but the first real chance fell to the Lanarkshire club.

Ross McCormack cut the ball back from the left and only a hesitation by David Clarkson allowed skipper Christophe Berra and keeper Eduardas Kurskis to block his close-range effort.

Hearts were finding plenty of joy down the right flank from where Robbie Neilson and Cesnauskis set up shooting opportunities which neither Andy Driver nor Velicka could convert.

But with nine minutes gone, Cesnauskis linked with fellow Lithuanian Andrius Ksanavicius and squeezed the ball home with a precise side-footed volley.

Five weeks earlier, Hearts had taken an early lead against Motherwell but failed to press home the advantage, and with this in mind Driver tried his luck with a curling 20-yard shot.

Motherwell almost equalised in the 15th minute when McCormack nearly caught Kurskis napping with a swerving angled free-kick which bounced awkwardly before the keeper scooped it away for a corner.

Hearts turned up the heat again towards the end of the first half and only top-class defending from new captain Paul Quinn and full-back Jim Paterson denied them.

Velicka had other ideas though and coolly rammed in a second goal early in the second period after skipping round keeper Smith.

Motherwell urgently needed to pull one back quickly and moments after Ksanavicius had wasted a free header to put Hearts out of sight, a sublime one touch passing move ended with Porter side-footing the visitors back into the match.

Porter struck again 13 minutes from time after volleying home Keith Lasley's cut back from the right.

Both teams might have won it in a frantic closing ten minutes with Velicka clipping the bar and Jose Goncalves sliding in at the end to prevent Porter completing his hat trick.