This was a lively encounter that started with an effort at goal in the fifth minute with Hearts keeper Craig Gordon barely tested by Jim Hamilton's long-range effort. The first real talking point came three minutes later when Steve Pressley tugged at Hamilton as he headed for goal, but referee Brines upset the home fans by seeing nothing.
The game was littered with free-kicks which barely allowed the game to flow. The first serous effort on goal arrived after 25 minutes when Gordon fumbled a Scott McDonald shot, but the keeper recovered well to turn Shaun Fagan's effort over from the rebound.
The game erupted aftter 36 minutes. Motherwell's Martyn Corrigan was shown a yellow card for the slightest touch on Rudi Skacel, and Hamilton was also shown a yellow for his involvement after the foul.
Three minutes later the home side took the lead when Bran Kerr slipped the ball to the left of Hearts 'defensive wall as they expected a shot. Hamilton was on hand to fire in a cross which found its way to the back post where Brian McLean was on hand to turn the ball into the net from close range.
Hearts made a change at the start of the second half with Stephen Simmons on to provide support to Calum Elliot. The first incident of the half again involved the referee as he booked Skacel for a dive.
After 57 minutes Hearts did muster their first effort on goal when Robbie Neilson blasted wide from 12 yards.
Hearts bombarded Well for much of the remainder of the half without testing Graeme Smith in the home goal. Their pressure paid off with a goal in the dying stages, when McLean bundled Anrew Webster in the box and Paul Hartley despatched the penalty low past Smith.
Hearts boss Graeme Rix was bemused about the poor start his side made. He said "It's a worry as you need to compete for 90 minutes to compete. In the first half we weren't very happy, but that was forced on us with the personnel available.
"At half time we realised that we needed support for Elliot and we were much better. This could be a really big point for us here at Motherwell and it could be crucial."
Motherwell Boss Terry Butcher was disappointed that his side hadn't held on to all three points. He said: "This is another two points thrown away and another goal in the last few minutes. A point against Hearts can be seen as a good result, but I am disappointed we didn't get all three.
"I thought the penalty was a stonewall decision and have no complaints with it. We thought we had survived the onslaught, but we shot ourselves in the foot again."