Match ends, Hearts 2, St Mirren 1.
Hearts came from behind to defeat St Mirren and record consecutive wins for the first time this season.
The Scottish Premiership's bottom side were behind within a minute from a Steven Thompson header.
But Hearts were level four minutes later as Callum Paterson rose unmarked to head in from close range.
And, when Marc McAusland was ruled to have felled Dale Carrick shortly after the break, the defender was sent off and Jamie Hamill scored the penalty.
Hearts thereafter survived a couple of nervous moments against the 10 men from Paisley to boost their faint hopes of avoiding relegation.
The Edinburgh side, docked 15 points at the start of the season, had moved into positive points for the first time at the weekend.
But St Mirren, who drew on Saturday, started the more confident of two unchanged line-ups.
The visitors were ahead within a minute when Thompson rose above two Hearts defenders 10 yards out to head home from a Conor Newton cross.
Hearts' young defence looked full of nerves as the Buddies looked to stretch their lead, but some poor defending allowed the Edinburgh side back into the game.
David Smith's cross from the right took a deflection into the St Mirren penalty box, where Paterson rose unmarked to head the equaliser.
The visitors failed to learn their lesson and, when Sam Nicholson cleverly made room for himself wide on the Hearts left minutes later, the cross found Paterson in acres of space in front of the St Mirren goal.
However, this time the forward's header was close enough to Marian Kello for the former Hearts goalkeeper to produce a superb save that sent the ball onto the roof of the net.
St Mirren steadied themselves and ended the first half the more dangerous side once more.
Jamie MacDonald was beaten after McAusland stooped to meet a corner kick, but the defender's header from 12 yards came off the face of the crossbar and the goalkeeper also made a good near-post block to deny Adam Campbell.
Hearts came out after the break with renewed vigour and a Danny Wilson header was deflected off the face of the crossbar and Paterson's attempt to score on the rebound was blocked in front of goal.
However, the home side did go ahead through a hotly disputed penalty that led to McAusland's dismissal after Carrick crashed to the ground as he sped into the box with minimal contact from the defender.
Despite Hamill's confident spot kick giving them the lead, Hearts remained vulnerable and a fine Jim Goodwin free-kick was turned wide by MacDonald at full stretch, while Thompson flicked a great chance over the crossbar from three yards.
Carrick ought to have done better than fire off the face of the post at the other end after pouncing on a ball over the Buddies defence, but the visitors had even more chances.
St Mirren substitute Gregg Wylde was causing Hearts all sorts of problems, forcing a near-post save from MacDonald before finding Thompson in space at the back post only for the striker to loft his volley high over the bar.
- 5McGowanSubstituted forMcGheeat 83'minutes
- 28NicholsonSubstituted forKingat 76'minutes
- 8RobinsonBooked at 67mins
- 18CarrickSubstituted forOliverat 82'minutes
- 6GoodwinBooked at 48mins
- 14McAuslandBooked at 51mins
- 12CampbellBooked at 34minsSubstituted forWyldeat 65'minutes
- 10McGowanBooked at 22minsSubstituted forvan Zantenat 90'minutes
- 2van Zanten
- Steven McLean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hearts 2, St Mirren 1.
Attempt saved. Scott Robinson (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).
Substitution, St Mirren. David van Zanten replaces Paul McGowan.
James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Gary Oliver (Hearts).
Attempt missed. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) right footed shot from very close range is just a bit too high.
Substitution, Hearts. Jordan McGhee replaces Dylan McGowan.
Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Billy King.
Substitution, Hearts. Gary Oliver replaces Dale Carrick.
Attempt saved. Gregg Wylde (St Mirren) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.
Foul by Dale Carrick (Hearts).
James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Dale Carrick (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Paul McGowan (St Mirren).
Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Scott Robinson.
Substitution, Hearts. Billy King replaces Sam Nicholson.
Dale Carrick (Hearts) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.