Match Report: Hearts 5-2 St Mirren

It was a day to forget in the capital as Saints fell to a 5-2 defeat against Hearts at Tynecastle in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Buddies twice came from behind in the first-half to level but still went into the break 3-2 down. And a disappointing day was compounded by second half goals from Jamie Walker and Jake Mulraney gave the Edinburgh side an emphatic win. 

Jim Goodwin made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Celtic Park the previous midweek. Tony Andreu and Danny Mullen came in for Ryan Flynn and Ilkay Durmus who dropped to the bench.

Saints came into the match bottom of the table but level on points with Hearts and could have moved up to eighth place with a win depending on results elsewhere.

But it was the hosts who seized the initiative, taking the lead with just six minutes on the clock. The Jambos won a corner after a good break from Uche Ikpeazu. Andy Irving swung the low ball in to Steven Naismith who peeled away from the Saints defence and clipped into the back of the net at the front post. 

It was the exactly the sort of start the Buddies wanted to avoid, but despite a half-chance from Ikpeazu a few minutes later the Saints response was decent. Good pressure on the Hearts defence by Jon Obika won the away side a corner on 16 minutes. Danny Mullen went down inside the box after the ball was swung in but referee Euan Anderson was unmoved. 

Five minutes later Saints were level. Stephen McGinn forced Hearts goalkeeper Joel Pereira to push away a drive from the edge of the area. The Jambos couldn't clear their lines allowing the ball to come back into the box with Sam Foley swinging the ball into the box on to the head of Andreu who nodded down perfectly into the direction of an unmarked Obika. The striker finished with aplomb to make it 1-1 and get his second goal in St Mirren colours.

However, less than 10 minutes later Hearts were in-front for a second time. A throw-in from the left found Ikpeazu at a tight angle. Vaclav Hladky came out to close the angle but the striker still got a shot away that unfortunately came off the face of defender Sean McLoughlin and landing in the back of the net.

It was setback for Saints who had settled into the game, but they responded in perfect fashion - levelling just three minutes later. The Hearts defence switched off as Hladky launched the ball forward allowing Mullen the chance to race clear on goal. The striker made no mistake as he kept his composure to slot beyond Pereira to get the Buddies level for a second time. 

With just two minutes to go until half-time Hearts went 3-2 ahead. The Saints defence didn't deal with Michael Smith's cross allowing Ollie Bozanic to head home from close range. 

Sam Foley went close to getting Saints level for a third time a minute later when he rose highest to meet an Andreu free-kick from the left but nodded just wide.

Coming out after the break it was imperative that Saints got the next goal if they wanted to get anything from the match. But the second half got off to the worst possible start as Jamie Walker headed home within the first minute of the restart to put Hearts 4-2 ahead.

That goal looked to effectively seal the match for the hime side. Not long after the hour mark Andreu smashed a free-kick well over the bar from 30 yards, while a few minutes later the Frenchman also flashed a half-volley over from the edge of the area. 

There were 13 minutes remaining when Jake Mulraney put the seal on a good day for the home side with an excellent finish from 20 yards. The substitute played a neat one-two with Naismith on the left touchline, drifted inside and curled high into the right corner of the net to make it 5-2.

Sean McLoughlin almost grabbed a consolation with less than 10 minutes remaining after a powerful effort from 35 yards that Pereira did brilliantly to tip over the bar, while Hladky made a good stop to push Mulraney's attempt wide to deny Hearts a sixth a few minutes later. 

Up next is Ross County at home following the international break and with three of the next four matches at the Simple Digital Arena Jim Goodwin's men will be desperate to put today's result behind them and try to lift themselves from the foot of the table. 

Full-Time: Hearts 5-2 St Mirren

St Mirren: Hladky, P.McGinn, Broadfoot (MacKenzie 68), McLoughlin, Waters, S.McGinn (Durmus 58), Foley, Magennis, Andreu (Morias 78), Mullen, Obika
Subs Not Used: Lyness, MacPherson, Flynn, Djorkaeff

Hearts: Pereira, Smith, White (Mulraney 50), Berra, Dikamona, Hickey, Bozanic, Irving, Walker (Damour 62), Naismith, Ikpeazu (Meshino 80)
Subs Not Used: Zlamal, Whelan, Maclean, Brandon

Referee: Euan Anderson
Assistant Referee: David Roome
Assistant Referee: Alastair Mather
Fourth Official: Kevin Clancy

Attendance: 16,165 (766 St Mirren supporters)

Gallery pictures by Allan Picken © - Allan Picken Photography