Dundee Utd 0-3 Hearts

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland at Tannadice

Hearts ended their barren run in front of goal with a resounding win over Dundee United at Tannadice.

Callum Paterson put the Tynecastle side ahead with his first league goal for the club before Arvydus Novikovas hammered in a long-range strike.

Gavin Gunning went close as the hosts strived for a route back.

But it was the visitors who struck next after a slack piece of defending by Sean Dillon allowed 17-year-old Paterson to add his second of the day.

Hearts came into the match without a goal in their last three league matches - and without a win in five - and started like a side short on confidence.

The home side dominated the early play, but despite having the vast majority of the ball, they did not threaten the visitors goal.

Hearts stunned their hosts by taking the lead after 28 minutes.

Paterson latched on to a loose ball on the edge of the 18-yard-box and fired a low left-foot drive into the bottom right-hand corner of the net with United goalkeeper Radoslaw Czierniak unsighted.

And, two minutes later, Hearts doubled their advantage when Novikovas was allowed to run at the home defence and fire in a swerving effort from 30 yards.

The hosts upped the tempo as the half drew to a close and Hearts custodian Jamie MacDonald made two terrific saves from Stuart Armstrong and Craig McLean to keep the Hearts lead intact.

United looked sharper after the break and Gunning watched as his header rebounded off the crossbar before Michael Gardyne knocked the rebound wide.

Home manager Peter Houston shuffled the pack in an effort to gain a foothold in the match, bringing on club captain Jon Daly and teenage winger Ryan Gauld with a little more than half an hour to play.

The effect was minimal and the Tynecastle side secured victory on the hour mark when Paterson notched his second and Hearts' third.

Sean Dillon was slack with a back-pass, allowing Ryan Stevenson to intercept and, although his shot was saved, Paterson knocked home the rebound.

The result moves Hearts into fifth place in the league, above United who are now seventh.

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