MOTHERWELL boss Stuart McCall today praised his defence for keeping their first clean sheet since the opening day of the season.

The Steelmen held Hearts to a 0-0 draw in their SPL clash at Fir Park and, as the final score suggests, the game was not exactly a thriller.

Nevertheless, McCall was delighted with his rearguard for keeping out their opposition for only the second time in the 2012/13 campaign.

He said: "When you have a tight game like we had with Hearts on Saturday you have to try and take positives. The positives we can take here is that we kept a clean sheet for the first time since the opening game of the season.

"I said before the game with Hearts at the weekend that they probably have one of the strongest defences in the league and so it proved.

"Hearts perhaps started the game better than us. Their one man up front gave them an extra man in midfield and they used that well. Having said that, they didn't really create any great danger. We had a good chance with Michael Higdon's header but truth be told, we weren't good enough in the first half.

"In the second half though we started better and were the dominant side. We had some good chances and we also had some half-chances.

"But I think a draw was probably fair."

Hearts manager John McGlynn felt Motherwell goalkeeper Darren Randolph was lucky not to see red for a foul on Callum Paterson.

He said: "We thought his foot was in a place where it probably shouldn't have been. I think he was fortunate.

"I don't think the boy was being malicious about it but it could have ended up worse."