Stevie May's second goal of the season gave St Johnstone an opening Scottish Premiership victory over Hearts at McDiarmid Park.

Almost 4,000 Hearts fans watched May curl past visiting goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald from the corner of the box.

Brad McKay's header gave the Jambos a rare glimpse of goal as Saints spurned several second-half chances.

The result means Hearts failed to eat into their 15-point deduction sanction due to the club's administration.

Those off-field issues did not deter their fans from making the journey to Perth, however, as they made up almost two thirds of this game's attendance.

Their sense of humour remains strong, too, highlighted by the presence of a Swedish national flag in the away end to niggle their Edinburgh neighbours Hibs, who lost 9-0 on aggregate to Malmo in the Europa League qualifiers.

Hearts support in McDiarmid Park's north stand

Around 4,000 Hearts fans packed into McDiarmid Park

Hearts' financial plight means they are also restricted from registering new players, but on paper there was not much between the starting sides.

Rather, the visitors' bench was more telling, full of youngsters compared to the experience Saints could turn to in the form of Murray Davidson, Nigel Hasselbaink and Rory Fallon.

Tommy Wright's men are loving life at the moment; carrying the advantage midway through their two-legged Europa League qualifying tie with Minsk, having already dumped out Rosenborg.

The hero of St Johnstone's second leg against the Norwegians was striker May and it was the 20-year-old who was the chief tormentor of Hearts.

In close succession early on, the pony-tailed forward earned a free-kick from a mistimed Kevin McHattie challenge and then glanced a header wide from Steven MacLean's fine cross.

An excellent looking McDiarmid Park surface was put to good use by Hearts, too, as Callum Paterson, who missed the end of last season through injury, shot two yards wide.

Steven Anderson's defending against European opposition has been top notch but his tangling of legs on the edge of the box with Ryan Stevenson perhaps should have resulted in a Hearts free-kick.

Analysis

Hearts players protest

"There was no momentum towards the St Johnstone goal, everything was in the opposite direction against Hearts." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Michael Stewart

St Johnstone's goal caught Hearts off-guard but the scorer was no surprise.

MacLean found May wide on the left and in a seemingly unthreatening position, but the former Hamilton and Alloa loanee dribbled inside Brad McKay and curled a speculative shot past Hearts goalkeeper MacDonald at his far post.

Gary Locke's men managed to survive any further breach of their goal before half-time but that should not have been the case given Anderson's two headed chances for Saints - one well saved and the other badly missed.

Full-back McKay's back-post header gave the visitors a sniff of goal before normal service was resumed with David Wotherspoon's free-kick troubling MacDonald in the Hearts goal.

The industry on show from Saints starlet May was on-going and his blocked shot should have been finished off by MacLean's diving header to make the points safe.

But Hearts failed to muster anything to seriously test home goalkeeper Alan Mannus and St Johnstone recorded a narrow yet convincing win, making it four competitive games unbeaten in the new season.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Scottish Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
St Johnstone 1-0 Hearts FT
(HT 1-0)
  • May 25

    St Johnstone

    • 01 Mannus
    • 02 MacKay
    • 03 Scobie
    • 06 Anderson
    • 19 Miller
    • 04 Cregg (Davidson 64 yellow card)
    • 07 Millar
    • 08 McDonald
    • 10 Wotherspoon
    • 09 MacLean (Fallon 82)
    • 17 May (Hasselbaink 73)

    Substitutes

    • 15 Banks,
    • 24 Easton,
    • 14 Edwards,
    • 16 Caddis,
    • 18 Davidson,
    • 11 Hasselbaink,
    • 27 Fallon

    Hearts

    • 01 MacDonald
    • 02 Hamill yellow card
    • 03 McHattie
    • 04 Wilson
    • 16 McKay
    • 05 McGowan
    • 07 Stevenson
    • 14 Walker (Smith 76)
    • 20 Tapping (B King 69)
    • 08 Robinson (Holt 59)
    • 12 Paterson

    Substitutes

    • 13 Ridgers,
    • 30 McGhee,
    • 15 Holt,
    • 17 Smith,
    • 19 B King,
    • 26 A King,
    • 29 Oliver
    Ref: McleanAtt: 6,174
    ST JOHNSTONE
    HEARTS

    Possession

    • St Johnstone 50%
    • Hearts 50%

    Attempts on target

    • St Johnstone 3
    • Hearts 0

    Attempts off target

    • St Johnstone 8
    • Hearts 2

    Corners

    • St Johnstone 7
    • Hearts 5

    Fouls

    • St Johnstone 16
    • Hearts 15
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:11 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
    • 90:00+2:38 Jamie Hamill concedes a free kick for a foul on Nigel Hasselbaink.
    • 90:00+1:25 David Smith sends in a cross.
    • 90:00 Free kick taken by Murray Davidson.
    • 89:47 Nigel Hasselbaink fouled by Jamie Hamill, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 89:31 Corner from the left by-line taken by Murray Davidson.
    • 89:07 Thomas Scobie takes the free kick.
    • 88:50 Murray Davidson fouled by Brad McKay, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 86:40 Corner taken by David Smith from the left by-line.
    • 86:23 Steven Anderson makes a clearance.
    • 86:20 Ryan Stevenson crosses the ball.
    • 85:48 Free kick taken by David MacKay.
    • 85:28 Foul by Billy King on David Wotherspoon, free kick awarded.
    • 85:13 Danny Wilson takes the free kick.
    • 85:06 Rory Fallon challenges Ryan Stevenson unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 84:37 Jamie Hamill restarts play with the free kick.
    • 84:28 Kevin McHattie fouled by Nigel Hasselbaink, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 84:13 Clearance by Steven Anderson.
    • 84:08 Jamie Hamill restarts play with the free kick.
    • 83:39 Booking for Murray Davidson for persistent infringement.
    • 83:39 Booking
    • 83:34 Foul by Murray Davidson on Billy King, free kick awarded.
    • 81:37 Substitution Rory Fallon joins the action as a substitute, replacing Steven MacLean.
    • 80:05 David Wotherspoon produces a cross.
    • 79:32 Billy King sends in a cross.
    • 79:06 Jamie Hamill takes the free kick.
    • 78:48 Caution for Jamie Hamill.
    • 78:48 Booking
    • 78:35 Murray Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jamie Hamill.
    • 77:47 Nigel Hasselbaink crosses the ball.
    • 76:59 Chris Millar has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the target.
    • 75:47 Substitution David Smith joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jamie Walker.
    • 75:10 Dylan McGowan restarts play with the free kick.
    • 75:00 The referee penalises Chris Millar for handball.
    • 73:56 Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.
    • 73:45 Nigel Hasselbaink is flagged offside by the assistant referee.
    • 72:55 Substitution Stevie May goes off and Nigel Hasselbaink comes on.
    • 72:19 Free kick crossed by Kevin McHattie.
    • 72:01 David Wotherspoon challenges Jamie Hamill unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 70:01 Clearance by David Wotherspoon.
    • 69:54 A cross is delivered by Billy King.
    • 68:34 Substitution Billy King replaces Callum Tapping.
    • 68:12 Chris Millar makes a clearance.
    • 68:04 The ball is sent over by Callum Paterson.
    • 66:04 Thomas Scobie makes a clearance.
    • 65:57 Kevin McHattie sends in a cross.
    • 65:07 Shot by David MacKay went wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 65:01 Thomas Scobie produces a cross.
    • 64:13 Chris Millar manages to make a clearance.
    • 63:24 Jamie MacDonald restarts play with the free kick.
    • 63:03 Substitution Murray Davidson replaces Patrick Cregg.
    • 62:44 The assistant referee flags for offside against Steven MacLean.
    • 62:10 Shot by Patrick Cregg cleared the crossbar.
    • 62:05 Gary McDonald crosses the ball.
    • 60:30 Steven Anderson manages to make a clearance.
    • 60:26 Ryan Stevenson delivers the ball.
    • 59:42 Clearance by Danny Wilson.
    • 59:35 Corner taken by David Wotherspoon.
    • 59:12 Steven MacLean has a headed effort at goal. A parry by Jamie MacDonald prevents the goal.
    • 58:48 Stevie May takes a shot. A parry by Jamie MacDonald prevents the goal.
    • 58:19 Jamie MacDonald restarts play with the free kick.
    • 58:07 Substitution Jason Holt replaces Scott Robinson.
    • 57:46 David MacKay gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Brad McKay.
    • 57:39 Corner taken by David Wotherspoon.
    • 57:20 Clearance by Ryan Stevenson.
    • 57:10 Corner taken by David Wotherspoon from the left by-line.
    • 56:56 Clearance by Jamie MacDonald.
    • 56:41 David Wotherspoon crosses the ball in from the free kick.
    • 56:28 Dylan McGowan challenges David Wotherspoon unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 56:17 Clearance made by Kevin McHattie.
    • 55:58 A cross is delivered by Chris Millar.
    • 52:09 Jamie Hamill crosses the ball in from the free kick.
    • 51:51 Patrick Cregg challenges Scott Robinson unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 51:18 Centre by Steven MacLean.
    • 50:40 Danny Wilson makes a clearance.
    • 50:32 Stevie May produces a cross.
    • 48:00 Thomas Scobie makes a clearance.
    • 47:29 Corner from the right by-line taken by Jamie Walker.
    • 47:18 Patrick Cregg makes a clearance.
    • 47:10 The ball is delivered by Callum Tapping.
    • 46:49 Danny Wilson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 46:40 Foul by Stevie May on Danny Wilson, free kick awarded.
    • 46:10 Clearance made by Danny Wilson.
    • 45:01 The second half begins.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+0:59 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
    • 45:00+0:40 Alan Mannus takes the free kick.
    • 45:00+0:25 Ryan Stevenson concedes a free kick for a foul on Patrick Cregg.
    • 44:38 Header at goal by Steven Anderson goes over the bar.
    • 44:32 Free kick crossed by Thomas Scobie.
    • 43:57 Unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon by Kevin McHattie results in a free kick.
    • 43:00 Jamie MacDonald restarts play with the free kick.
    • 42:47 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dylan McGowan by Steven Anderson.
    • 42:37 Corner taken by David Wotherspoon.
    • 42:06 Steven Anderson gets a header at goal. Fine finger tip save by Jamie MacDonald.
    • 41:53 Corner taken by David Wotherspoon from the left by-line.
    • 41:00 Alan Mannus restarts play with the free kick.
    • 40:47 Scott Robinson challenges Steven Anderson unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 40:07 The ball is delivered by Stevie May.
    • 39:41 Alan Mannus restarts play with the free kick.
    • 39:30 Scott Robinson concedes a free kick for a foul on Thomas Scobie.
    • 39:09 Jamie MacDonald manages to make a clearance.
    • 38:53 Centre by David MacKay.
    • 38:03 Brad McKay manages to make a clearance.
    • 37:37 Corner from the left by-line taken by Jamie Walker.
    • 37:26 Gary Miller makes a clearance.
    • 37:19 A cross is delivered by Jamie Hamill.
    • 37:08 Free kick taken by Jamie Hamill.
    • 36:57 Gary McDonald challenges Scott Robinson unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 36:15 The ball is delivered by Stevie May.
    • 35:06 Corner taken by Jamie Walker from the left by-line.
    • 34:19 Kevin McHattie restarts play with the free kick.
    • 33:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Millar on Jamie Hamill.
    • 33:13 Brad McKay makes a clearance.
    • 33:07 Alan Mannus takes the free kick.
    • 32:49 Callum Paterson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Patrick Cregg.
    • 31:10 Free kick taken by Danny Wilson.
    • 30:44 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Callum Tapping by Patrick Cregg.
    • 30:07 Brad McKay restarts play with the free kick.
    • 29:51 Stevie May gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dylan McGowan.
    • 27:49 Steven Anderson manages to make a clearance.
    • 27:36 Corner taken by Jamie Walker.
    • 27:22 Clearance by David MacKay.
    • 27:12 Kevin McHattie delivers the ball.
    • 27:03 Dylan McGowan restarts play with the free kick.
    • 26:19 The official flags Stevie May offside.
    • 24:46 Assist by Steven MacLean.
    • 24:46 GOAL - Stevie MaySt Johnstone 1 - 0 Hearts Stevie May scores with a right foot finish. St Johnstone 1-0 Hearts.
    • 23:54 Jamie Hamill takes a weak shot and cleared the bar.
    • 22:54 Chris Millar produces a cross.
    • 21:43 Clearance made by .
    • 20:23 Callum Paterson has an effort at goal and missed to the left of the target.
    • 18:15 Header by Stevie May goes to the left of the goal.
    • 18:08 Centre by Steven MacLean.
    • 17:02 Brad McKay takes the free kick.
    • 16:47 Jamie Hamill fouled by Gary McDonald, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 16:16 Clearance by Danny Wilson.
    • 16:06 Ryan Stevenson manages to make a clearance.
    • 16:01 Free kick crossed by David Wotherspoon.
    • 15:16 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin McHattie on Stevie May.
    • 13:53 Chris Millar takes a weak shot and missed to the left of the target.
    • 13:27 makes a clearance.
    • 11:28 Clearance made by Brad McKay.
    • 11:19 Thomas Scobie takes the free kick.
    • 11:10 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Millar by Jamie Hamill.
    • 10:09 Thomas Scobie restarts play with the free kick.
    • 9:57 Brad McKay concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven MacLean.
    • 8:55 Header at goal by Steven Anderson misses left of the target.
    • 8:41 Free kick crossed by Thomas Scobie.
    • 8:22 Danny Wilson concedes a free kick for a foul on Stevie May.
    • 5:59 Jamie MacDonald restarts play with the free kick.
    • 5:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Wilson by Steven MacLean.
    • 5:38 Free kick taken by Alan Mannus.
    • 5:28 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary McDonald by Callum Tapping.
    • 3:20 Clearance made by Callum Paterson.
    • 3:15 Corner from the left by-line taken by David Wotherspoon.
    • 3:03 Clearance made by .
    • 2:54 The ball is crossed by Chris Millar.
    • 0:43 Brad McKay restarts play with the free kick.
    • 0:32 Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Millar on Jamie Hamill.
    • 0:00 The referee starts the match.

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