Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren1HeartsHeart of Midlothian1
By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland at St Mirren Park

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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St Mirren 1, Hearts 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St Mirren 1, Hearts 1.

  3. Substitution

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

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Foul by Paul McGowan (St Mirren).

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

    Foul by Darren McGregor (St Mirren).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Gary Oliver (Hearts).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Hearts. Gary Oliver replaces Dale Carrick.

  18. Post update

    Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Danny Wilson.

  19. Booking

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

  20. Post update

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