Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Kilmarnock 0.
Hearts missed two attempts from the penalty spot but held on for a scruffy victory over Kilmarnock at Tynecastle.
Jamie Walker saw his early spot-kick pushed on to a post by Jamie MacDonald but the ball fell back to the winger to chip home.
Sam Nicholson hit an upright with a header as Hearts were pushed back and relied on counter-attacks.
A second penalty for the hosts brought another MacDonald save, with Abiola Duada's weak effort kept out.
The defeat leaves Kilmarnock in second bottom spot, eight points ahead of Dundee United, who won at Ross County.
For Hearts, it was a welcome victory following back-to-back defeats.
The game's only goal arrived after seven minutes along with an element of controversy.
Prince Buaben latched on to a long through ball inside the Killie box and was poised to shoot before he was bundled to the ground by Stuart Findlay.
It looked a certain red card for the defender but referee Don Robertson opted for a yellow after awarding the penalty.
MacDonald did well to get a hand to Walker's effort but was helpless to prevent the rebound going in as the ricochet off the woodwork favoured the hosts.
Kilmarnock ought to have scored before then when Josh Magennis played in Craig Slater but, from just 10 yards, the visiting midfielder pulled his effort wide.
There was a debut for Julien Faubert, the former West Ham and Real Madrid midfielder who joined Killie in midweek, when he replaced the injured Mark O'Hara.
And the Frenchman was given a quick introduction to the frantic nature of the Scottish game, with play roaring from end to end.
Hearts defender Callum Paterson was well placed to clear a Conrad Balatoni header off the line and on the breakaway Dauda set up Gavin Reilly, but MacDonald again denied his former club.
As half time approached MacDonald was again called into action, palming away an Alim Ozturk free-kick then diving low to deny Nicholson as the winger cut in from the left to fire in a shot.
Nicholson came within inches of doubling Hearts advantage three minutes into the second half.
Walker delivered a teasing cross from the right with Nicholson leaping above Lee Hodson but, although his header beat MacDonald, it crashed off the inside of a post and rolled along the line before being cleared.
Hearts then were handed the opportunity to wrap up the points with 10 minutes left with their second penalty of the day - their 15th of the season.
From a corner, Igor Rossi's goal-bound header came off the arm of Magennis.
Dauda took this one and MacDonald again saved low to his left, with his team-mates able to scramble the ball away to safety.
New Killie boss Lee Clark brought on veteran striker Kris Boyd as they attempted to find an equaliser but despite pushing hard late on they could not find a way through a stubborn Hearts defence.
Juanma should have snuffed out any chance of a Killie comeback when he raced clean through in stoppage time but the substitute striker delayed his effort and allowed the chasing defenders to recover.
- 2PatersonSubstituted forAugustynat 76'minutes
- 7WalkerBooked at 77mins
- 8BuabenBooked at 58minsSubstituted forCowieat 62'minutes
- 20ReillySubstituted forDelgado Lloriaat 68'minutes
- 14Pallardo Gonzalez
- 19Delgado Lloria
- 14O'HaraSubstituted forFaubertat 29'minutes
- 5FindlayBooked at 7mins
- 19SlaterSubstituted forBoydat 65'minutes
- 28MagennisBooked at 80mins
- Don Robertson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Kilmarnock 0.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Igor Rossi.
Tope Obadeyi (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian).
Foul by Julien Faubert (Kilmarnock).
Juanma (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Alim Ozturk.
Foul by Juanma (Heart of Midlothian).
Julien Faubert (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt saved. Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Penalty saved! Abiola Dauda (Heart of Midlothian) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.
Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.
Penalty conceded by Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) with a hand ball in the penalty area.
Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.
Attempt missed. Conrad Balatoni (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by John Souttar.
Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock).