Scottish Premiership
HeartsHeart of Midlothian0St JohnstoneSt Johnstone3

Heart of Midlothian 0-3 St Johnstone

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland at Tynecastle

Murray Davidson scored two first-half headers as a dynamic St Johnstone defeated Hearts to all but secure a top six Premiership finish.

Davidson twice stooped to nod corner-kicks beyond Neil Alexander, with Darnell Fisher capping a brilliant counterattack with a late third.

Saints climb to fourth in the table thanks to Ross County's Highland derby drubbing.

A poor Hearts side lost at Tynecastle for the first time since September.

Defeat brought to an end a run of four straight wins for the Jambos as Saints captain Steven Anderson created a new club record in making his 362nd appearance.

The visitors started the game brightly with Chris Kane, supported by former Tynecastle midfielder Danny Swanson causing all sorts of problems.

The opening goal game from a corner after just 11 minutes.

Teenage defender John Souttar allowed Davidson to escape and the midfielder had a simple task in converting Liam Craig's delivery.

It was no more than Tommy Wright's side deserved after a very positive opening to the game.

Indeed, only a last-gasp challenge by Blazej Augustyn denied the visitors a second after Alexander had blocked a David Wotherspoon strike from 16 yards out.

Set-pieces were in particular proving fruitful for Saints as the home rearguard's marking continued falter.

Hearts slowly eased their way into the game and came close to an equaliser after 19 minutes, when Juanma's cross was met by Jordan McGhee, but Alan Mannus saved well.

It was from another Craig corner that Saints doubled their advantage. In a carbon copy of his opener, Davidson had space to knock the ball into the empty net.

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson introduced Sam Nicholson at the break with the ineffective Abiola Dauda making way.

Still though the visitors piled forward, Chris Millar sending in a searching cross that was just wide and Alexander saving well at the feet of Kane.

It was proving a frustrating afternoon for the home fans as they watched their side struggle to find any rhythm to their game.

Neilson made a further switch as captain for the day Augustyn was replaced by striker Gavin Reilly, with Prince Buaben dropping back to centre-half.

Jamie Walker came close to reducing the deficit with a pile-driver of a volley that fizzed just over the crossbar, and Juanma had claims for a penalty turned away by referee Thomson after he clashed with Anderson.

At the other end Craig crashed a terrific 35-yarder off the crossbar as Hearts, who were pouring men, forward left gaps at the back.

The scoring was wrapped up with two minutes left when Fisher finished off excellent build-up from Wotherspoon and Stevie McLean to round off a terrific afternoon for Saints.

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Alexander
  • 28Smith
  • 24Souttar
  • 4AugustynBooked at 26minsSubstituted forReillyat 66'minutes
  • 22McGhee
  • 21CowieSubstituted forBuabenat 14'minutes
  • 23Kitchen
  • 16Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 7Walker
  • 19Delgado Lloria
  • 25DaudaSubstituted forNicholsonat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Buaben
  • 11Nicholson
  • 13Hamilton
  • 14Pallardo Gonzalez
  • 17Oshaniwa
  • 20Reilly
  • 44Zanatta

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 22FisherBooked at 52mins
  • 6Anderson
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 24Easton
  • 16SwansonSubstituted forMacLeanat 54'minutes
  • 7MillarSubstituted forLappinat 90'minutes
  • 8Davidson
  • 26Craig
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 25KaneSubstituted forCumminsat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Scobbie
  • 4Lappin
  • 9MacLean
  • 12Clark
  • 18Cummins
  • 27Thomson
  • 66Krachunov
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
16,295

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home6
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away5
Fouls
Home17
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 0, St. Johnstone 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 0, St. Johnstone 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Juanma (Heart of Midlothian).

  4. Post update

    Darnell Fisher (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Simon Lappin replaces Chris Millar.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Juanma (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Heart of Midlothian 0, St. Johnstone 3. Darnell Fisher (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Wotherspoon.

  9. Post update

    Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).

  11. Post update

    Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian).

  13. Post update

    Juanma (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  16. Post update

    Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  18. Post update

    Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Brian Easton.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Graham Cummins replaces Christopher Kane.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Juanma (Heart of Midlothian).