By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland's senior football reporter at St Mirren Park
Hearts earned their first point in five matches as they fought back to earn a draw against St Mirren.
Steven Thompson looked to have put the home side on the way to another win, following the Boxing Day defeat of Dundee United, when he netted early on.
But an equally early strike - a belter at that - from Jamie Hamill at the start of the second half heralded a much improved Hearts performance.
And a fine save from Marian Kello denied Hearts' Callum Paterson late on.
Thompson (far right) netted St Mirren's opener
The point takes bottom side Hearts a point closer to Ross County and that elusive mark of zero points, but the writing appeared to be on the wall for Gary Locke's men again after just a couple of minutes.
Their already difficult task was made all the tougher with the loss of such an early goal.
Try as they might, the visiting defence could not get Danny Grainger's corner out of their penalty area and the long leg of Thompson made them pay as he stretched to knock the loose ball past Jamie MacDonald.
The Hearts keeper had to look lively to keep out a powerful Jason Naismith drive shortly afterwards as the confidence from Thursday's thrashing of Dundee United continued to course through St Mirren's play.
But despite continuing to enjoy the better of the play, they could not add to their first-half tally and in fact Jamie Walker came close to an equaliser when he sent a rasping shot narrowly wide of Kello's left-hand post from the angle of the penalty area.
St Mirren were forced into a defensive reshuffle at half-time, with Marc McAusland unable to continue and David van Zanten introduced.
It meant Grainger was moved to an unfamiliar centre-back role and within two minutes of the restart Hearts were level as the reorganised St Mirren back-line got themselves into trouble, with Hamill the beneficiary, rattling a rising shot past Kello from 20 yards.
Unlike the first half, there was plenty intrigue to follow the early goal, with both sides creating opportunities to win.
Jim Goodwin had a strong penalty claim turned down when his volley clearly struck the raised arm of Kevin McHattie, but referee Kevin Clancy appeared to decide the defender was too close to get out of the way.
Even at that, St Mirren could have quickly been back in front if Thompson had been able to divert Naismith's shot on target, rather than slide it wide of the far post with MacDonald beaten.
And with St Mirren more disjointed and Hearts much brighter, the visitors' Walker fired another drive just past the post.
As the game entered injury time, Paterson looked poised to grab the winner, but the former Hearts man Kello dived bravely to block and keep the score at 1-1.
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