First team

Match Report: St Mirren 1-0 Hearts

23 September 2023

Hearts were defeated 1-0 by St Mirren on Saturday as Ryan Strain’s first half strike was enough to see the Buddies collect all three points.


Steven Naismith made two changes to the side that defeated Aberdeen last weekend. Yutaro Oda hadn’t recovered from a knock he picked up in victory over the Dons, he was replaced by Calem Nieuwenhof, meanwhile Beni Baningime also returned to the starting line-up as Peter Haring dropped to the bench.


It was a sloppy start from the men in maroon and they found themselves behind after just seven minutes. Scott Tanser made good ground down the left and his cross caused confusion in the Hearts penalty box, leaving Ryan Strain unmarked at the back post to open the scoring.


Despite not being at their best, Hearts had a good chance to equalise after 15 minutes. Liam Boyce picked out Nathaniel Atkinson on the right and his pull back was perfect for the Northern Irishman, however his low shot was blocked by Alex Gogic.


Toyosi Olusanya has been having a good season for the Buddies and he squandered a big chance to double the home sides advantage on 21 minutes, but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Zander Clark.


The Jambos survived a further first half scare when St Mirren had the ball in the net on the half hour mark, however the goal was ruled out for an offside in the build-up.


Hearts were dealt a further blow before the interval as Nathaniel Atkinson left the field of play on a stretcher and he was replaced by Toby Sibbick.


Half-time: St Mirren 1-0 Hearts


Into the second half and the game continued in a similar fashion. The men in maroon dominating possession but struggling to break down a stubborn Buddies backline.


The equaliser almost arrived on the hour mark when Kye Rowles rose highest to meet a Stephen Kingsley corner and with Zach Hemming in the Saints goal beaten, Gregg Kiltie was on hand to clear the ball off the line.


After the home side had another goal ruled out, this time for a foul by substitute Mikael Mandron, Cammy Devlin almost levelled the scores. The Aussie midfielder latched on to a through ball and from the right-hand side of the box his low strike was magnificently saved by Hemming.


Alex Grieve thought he had sealed the points for the Buddies, five minutes from time, only for the long arm of the linesman to deny him.


Lawrence Shankland was the hero as Hearts rescued a point in Paisley last season and history almost repeated itself in stoppage time. Liam Boyce’s header sent the skipper in on goal, but Hemming spread himself well to thwart the Hearts number nine and ensure the three points stayed in Paisley.


St Mirren: Hemming, Tanser, Taylor (Dunne, 76), O’Hara ©, McMenamin (Mandron, 60), Kiltie, Gogic, Baccus (Boyd-Munce, 60), Olusanya (Grieve, 60), Fraser, Strain


Subs: Urminsky, Bolton, Flynn, Mandron, Boyd-Munce, Small, Dunne, Nahmani


Hearts: Clark, Kent, Kingsley, Baningime (Forrest, 64), Nieuwenhof, Shankland ©, Boyce, Atkinson (Sibbick, 44), Devlin (Grant, 76), Rowles (Offiah, 64), Vargas


Subs: McGovern, Haring, Grant, Forrest, Sibbick, Denholm, Tait, Offiah, Lowry