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Hearts broken as Motherwell boost hopes

Motherwell's sensational turnaround in form continued on Saturday as they comfortably saw off the challenge of Hearts, winning 3-1 at Fir Park.

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Scottish Cup round-up

Craig Brown's arrival as manager has inspired a magnificent change in fortunes for 'Well, who have not lost in their last 12 league encounters. Victory lifts them level with Dundee United in third position, giving them a previously unlikely chance of securing European football.

Mark Reynolds' header provided the breakthrough for Motherwell, who then doubled their lead through John Sutton, brother of former Blackburn and Celtic man Chris. Jim O'Brien tapped home a third for the home side, who conceded a late consolation as Hearts hit back through David Templeton.

Falkirk are now four points adrift at the bottom of the table after they lost 2-1 to St Johnstone on home turf. Mark Twaddle's 27th-minute opener raised expectations of a rare victory at Falkirk Stadium, but Brian McLean's handball inside the area allowed Liam Craig to equalise on the stroke of half-time.

A host of chances came and went in the second half but it was Kenny Deuchar who crucially found the net for St Johnstone, punishing a Tam Scobbie error to secure the points.

Hamilton are now six points clear of Falkirk after they beat St Mirren 1-0 thanks to the latest of winners from Flavio Paixao.

Mickael Antoine-Curier and Dougie Imrie both hit the woodwork for the Accies, while Graham Carey did likewise for the visitors, but Paixao nodded home in injury time to leave St Mirren hovering four points above the drop zone.

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