Scottish Premiership
Partick Thistle2Hearts4

Partick Thistle 2-4 Heart of Midlothian

Hearts' relegation from the Scottish Premiership was confirmed despite victory against Partick Thistle.

The Tynecastle side, who needed to win and hope St Mirren lost to Motherwell, fell behind to Kris Doolan's strike.

Dale Carrick levelled from close range and Billy King fired the visitors ahead after the break.

Ryan Stevenson's brace preceded Jordan McMillan's consolation for the Jags and though the visitors ran out winners, St Mirren's win sent Hearts down.

The gap between the bottom side, who started the season with a 15-point deduction due to insolvency, and Thistle stands at 17 points with five matches to play. The Buddies are now a point ahead of the Jags as the top flight splits in two for the season run-in.

Ryan Stevenson scores for Hearts against Partick Thistle
Stevenson (far right) netted twice in the second half

And a meeting of Hearts' creditors on Monday will have a major bearing on whether the club can avoid liquidation.

The match at Firhill burst into action when the home side took the lead. A Lyle Taylor pass split the Hearts centre-half pairing and Doolan ran through to hammer past Jamie MacDonald.

And Alan Archibald's side should have doubled their advantage shortly after. This time Doolan was the provider for Taylor, who had time but blasted high over the crossbar.

Thistle continued to dominate as Hearts looked weary after two hard fought matches against Hibernian and Aberdeen in the previous seven days.

Doolan again found space on the edge of the 18-yard box but on this occasion MacDonald was able to make the save.

Hearts slowly made their way into the game and Paul Gallacher was at full stretch to deny a net-bound header by Scott Robinson.

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Interview - Hearts manager Gary Locke

King was sent clean through on goal but rushed his effort, the ball ending wide of target, before Kevin McHattie tested Gallacher.

Hearts' pressure paid off before the break when King cut back for Carrick to nod home from close range.

And the match was turned on its head in the early minutes of the second half when King latched on to a through ball 22 yards out and, with very little back swing, struck a shot that was still rising as it hit the back of the net.

The visitors were now running all over Thistle and Stevenson scored Hearts' third. King sent in a corner from the left and Stevenson sent a glancing header beyond Gallacher.

And Stevenson scored his second when he collected a Robinson pass to clip the ball into the corner.

McMillan pulled one back for the home side, converting from inside the box following Stuart Bannigan's pass to round off a high-scoring match.

And, after news of St Mirren's 3-2 victory against 'Well had been established, the Hearts players were applauded off the pitch by the travelling fans.

As It Stood

4Dundee Utd33159957401754
5Inverness CT33157114035552
6St Johnstone33146134134748
9Ross County3387183856-1831
10St Mirren3387183455-2131
11Partick Thistle33612153657-2130
View full Scottish Premiership table

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