If Santa Claus fancies a wee break this Christmas at his North Pole time share, he should look towards Motherwell for his stand-in cover.

When it comes to festive spirit, there’s more if it about around Fir Park than a Clyde Valley garden centre given the recent couple of results for the Steelmen.

As many Motherwell fans will tell you, if a team is in dire need of a win, it’s generally their team who are Scottish football’s good Samaritans.

Prior to Saturday’s trip to Tynecastle, hosts Hearts hadn’t won a match since mid-October. Result? One-nil Hearts.

Here at the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill, their giving side was once again on show, this time against a Partick Thistle team not only anchored to the foot of the Premiership table, but one that had just been spanked 5-1 by Kilmarnock.

Three first-half goals came gift wrapped for the Jags during a bitter cold first half in Maryhill, Blair Spittal, Conor Sammon and Ryan Edwards gleefully accepting them.

In the end it was far closer than anyone could have expected. A quick reply from Ryan Bowman was followed up by a Craig Tanner strike 11 minutes from time, but Thistle did just enough to hang on for a 3-2 win.

While it may be a bit early for Christmas presents, this was just the gift Alan Archibald would have been dreaming of on his own special day. The Partick Thistle manager turned 40 yesterday.

A lot of the attention pre-match focused on the fact that Motherwell were without first-choice striker Louis Moult for this one. What seemed to pass many tipsters by was the fact they were also without first-choice keeper Trevor Carson, first-choice centre-half Peter Hartley and first-choice winger Chris Cadden.

It took just 16 minutes for that point to be hammered home. A soft free-kick conceded on the edge of the box allowed Spittal to find his range and, as much as his strike arched towards the far corner of the net, the imposing figure of stand-in shot stopper Russell Griffiths looked less than convincing as it flew in beyond his grasp.

Just six minutes later and Motherwell’s defence was feeling generous again. Defender Charles Dunne missed a through ball to Storey down the right. Well captain Carl McHugh didn’t track the run of Edwards through the middle, and the Aussie latched on to Storey’s through ball to smash high by Griffiths.

By the time the clock hit 28 minutes on referee Don Robertson’s watch Thistle were pretty much out of sight. This time Allan Campbell dithered intercepting a Storey ball on the edge of his own box, allowing Sammon to leap in and pass the ball into the far corner.

Motherwell barely had a shot on target in the first half but in the second they came out flying. The introduction of Craig Tanner and Gael Bigirimana for Liam Grimshaw and Andy Rose helped, and within 10 minutes the ball would be in the Thistle net.

Tanner was the man with the free-kick that Cedric Kipre headed into the bottom corner. However, with the ball back on the spot moments later referee Robertson and far side assistant Gary Hilland ruled Charles Dunne's slide for the ball on the line had interfered with play and an offside was called.

However, it took just two minutes for Well to get their goal. Bowman made amends for his earlier contribution, this time heading an Elliot Frear corner into the net.

The pair combined on the hour with Bowman’s shot being turned away by Tomas Cerny as Thistle desperately tried to hold on and kill the game.

They held out until 79 minutes before they would be breached once more. With the Jags packed in deep, only Tanner will know how he managed to pick up the ball and worm his way through a ruck of red and yellow jerseys before firing a stinging low drive in at Cerny’s near post.

With just seconds to go, Motherwell nearly nicked it. A Richard Tait cross from the right evaded everyone to then find its way to Frear, but the winger had little time to react as the ball popped off his head from six yards to go straight at Cerny.