Scottish Premiership
St Mirren1Hearts1

St Mirren 1-1 Heart of Midlothian

St Mirren and Hearts already knew their fate but the season did not end without incident in Paisley.

A lively draw was delivered through goals from the hosts' Conor Newton and Dale Carrick for the visitors.

With plenty of noise coming from an impressive travelling Hearts support, the mood never dipped into wistfulness.

A draw seemed fair, although the occasion was more about events off the field, with both managers out of contract in the coming weeks.

Eras were coming to an end, but nobody felt like indulging a sense of sorrow.

Hearts have long since come to terms with their demotion to the Championship, so their fans revelled in their fate. They sang about winning the Ramsdens Cup next season, about playing Cowdenbeath and, in particular, "bring on the Rangers".

Uncertainties still had to be be endured, though. Gary Locke, amongst other staff, will find out on Monday if Hearts' new owner Ann Budge wants him to continue working at the club. The supporters made their feelings clear, chanting Locke's name, but sentiment will not be the prevailing influence for Budge.

There are other reasons to persist with Locke, since the team has performed ably in recent weeks and would not have finished bottom of the league had it not been for the 15-point sanction imposed for Heart of Midlothian Football Club plc being in administration at the start of the season.

Displays were not persuasive throughout the campaign, though, even if Locke would reason that a squad full of young players will inevitably suffer inconsistencies. The same flaw undermined St Mirren's season, but Danny Lennon's team contains a core of experienced and influential players, so the focus has been more prominently on the manager's abilities.

Gary Locke and Danny Lennon
Locke and Lennon face an uncertain future at their respective clubs

There has been speculation about his future since January, when it seemed for a spell that his departure was imminent. Lennon has continued to work diligently, and he has kept his dignity as the rumours grew more persistent again once St Mirren secured their top-flight status for another season.

He remains likely to depart following a board meeting on Monday, but he would do so with his team having finished in eighth place, the second time he has guided them to that position, and their highest in 25 years.

St Mirren were strong and forceful, relying on Jim Goodwin and Newton to anchor the midfield and Kenny McLean, Gregg Wylde and Gary Teale to provide some creativity.

Hearts could not always contain them, but the visitors ought to have been less slapdash.

Callum Paterson conceded possession from a throw-in, leading to McLean shooting from distance, Jamie Macdonald parrying the shot in Hearts' goal, then Newton turning in the rebound.

There was greater satisfaction elsewhere for the visiting fans. They were ecstatic when news came through about Kris Boyd scoring for Kilmarnock at Easter Road, and so leaving Hibernian in the relegation play-off position. The songs were cruelly pointed, but sympathy is seldom the reaction to a rival's misfortune.

The team provided more commonplace reasons to cheer after the interval, when Carrick converted the rebound from Jamie Walker's shot. The game was even, then, and there seemed little chance of altering that.

St Mirren's Josh Magennis and Paul McGowan both tried with headers from close range, but their attempts were in vain.

Paterson then drew a brilliant diving save from the Buddies goalkeeper Chris Dilo, but neither side could deliver a decisive final touch.

Line-ups

St Mirren

  • 30Dilo
  • 22NaismithSubstituted forvan Zantenat 90+2'minutes
  • 18Kelly
  • 6Goodwin
  • 4McGregor
  • 14McAusland
  • 21TealeSubstituted forMcGowanat 62'minutes
  • 24NewtonBooked at 69minsSubstituted forMcGinnat 73'minutes
  • 16Magennis
  • 11McLeanBooked at 81mins
  • 39Wylde

Substitutes

  • 2van Zanten
  • 7McGinn
  • 10McGowan
  • 12Campbell
  • 17Reilly
  • 28Kello
  • 99Djemba-Djemba

Hearts

  • 1MacDonald
  • 12PatersonBooked at 74mins
  • 3McHattie
  • 8Robinson
  • 5McGowan
  • 4Wilson
  • 15Holt
  • 28Nicholson
  • 18CarrickSubstituted forOliverat 83'minutes
  • 14WalkerBooked at 55minsSubstituted forKingat 73'minutes
  • 17SmithSubstituted forMcGheeat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13Ridgers
  • 16McKay
  • 19King
  • 29Oliver
  • 30McGhee
  • 31Beith
  • 33Smith
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
6,311

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home11
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home8
Away5
Fouls
Home16
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, St Mirren 1, Hearts 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St Mirren 1, Hearts 1.

Substitution

Substitution, St Mirren. David van Zanten replaces Jason Naismith.

Attempt missed. Gary Oliver (Hearts) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Callum Paterson (Hearts) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

Attempt saved. John McGinn (St Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Paul McGowan (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul McGowan (St Mirren).

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Darren McGregor (St Mirren).

Foul by Gary Oliver (Hearts).

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hearts. Gary Oliver replaces Dale Carrick.

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Danny Wilson.

Booking

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kenny McLean (St Mirren).

Attempt missed. John McGinn (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Josh Magennis (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Dylan McGowan.

Booking

Callum Paterson (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, St Mirren. John McGinn replaces Conor Newton.

Substitution

Substitution, Hearts. Billy King replaces Jamie Walker.

Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

Darren McGregor (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

Dylan McGowan (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul McGowan (St Mirren).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic3730617596
2Aberdeen3720891668
3Motherwell3721412367
4Dundee Utd371610111758
5Inverness CT3715913-254
6St Johnstone3715814853
7Ross County3811720-1840
8St Mirren3810919-1939
9Kilmarnock3811621-2139
10Partick Thistle3881416-1938
11Hibernian3881119-2035
12Hearts3810820-2023
View full Scottish Premiership table

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