Hearts 2-1 Dundee Utd

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland

Ryan Stevenson's double helped Hearts overtake opponents Dundee United in the Scottish Premier League.

The midfielder slotted home the opener from eight yards before converting a penalty awarded for a foul by Willo Flood on Dylan McGowan.

United improved after the break and Keith Watson pulled one back with a stylish turn and finish.

But any chance the visitors had of taking a point ended when Johnny Russell fired over in injury time.

The win moves Hearts up to sixth in the table while United slip to eighth.

Wind and rain prohibited the prospect of free-flowing football in the early stages, but when the chances did come it was Hearts who capitalised.

John Sutton pressurised Brian McLean as the United defender tried to usher the ball back to his goalkeeper and the ball ran loose for Stevenson to tuck home on 15 minutes.

Rudi Skacel
Skacel received a warm welcome at Tynecastle but left empty-handed as United suffered defeat

McLean had an excellent chance to atone for his hesitancy in the run-up to the Hearts opener but somehow contrived to miss.

Barry Douglas' dangerous whipped free-kick was palmed out to McLean almost on the line but his stabbed shot rebounded off the post and flew back across the area.

Hearts re-asserted themselves and Flood's pull on McGowan gave the hosts the chance to double their tally.

Radoslaw Cierzniak guessed the wrong way as Stevenson confidently drilled the spot-kick into the net just after the half-hour mark.

The visitors knew they needed the next goal and bombarded the Hearts defence with crosses from wide areas.

And the pressure eventually told on 57 minutes when Rudi Skacel's deflected shot rolled into the feet of Watson and the defender swivelled before lifting a shot beyond Jamie MacDonald.

Gordon Smith's tame shot from a suspiciously offside position was gathered by Cierzniak shortly after the Watson goal.

Former Hearts favourite Skacel, making his first United appearance at Tynecastle, blasted an ambitious volley over and claimed unsuccessfully for a penalty following a trip by Marius Zaliukas on the edge of the area.

A free-kick was awarded instead and Barry Douglas' shot, though powerful, did not have the beating of the wall.

Skacel was applauded by both sets of fans as he made way for Milos Lacny and within moments former United player Andy Webster tested Cierzniak with a rising volley.

Substitute Paterson then stung the palms of the Polish keeper with a ferocious shot from long range.

United pressed hard for a late leveller and Lacny and Watson were unable to convert chances before Russell hammered over after deftly controlling a long ball.

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