First team

Match Report: St. Mirren 2-2 Hearts

15 May 2024

Lawrence Shankland became the first Hearts player to score 30 in a season since 1988, as his sublime second-half goal netted the Jambos a share of the spoils against St. Mirren.


Two St. Mirren goals had Hearts on the canvas, but two equalisers from Kyosuke Tagawa and Lawrence Shankland, a sublime overhead kick, saw a point claimed in our final away outing of the 2023/24 season.


A tweaked Hearts side took to the field in Paisley, with Steven Naismith ringing the changes. Craig Gordon maintained his guard between the posts whilst Scott Fraser, Toby Sibbick, and Kyosuke Tagawa were all handed chances to impress.


Amidst a buoyant atmosphere at the SMiSa Stadium, both sides toasting their qualification for Europe, it was the Saints who fashioned the first chance when Mandron’s go at goal shot over Gordon’s crossbar with inches to spare.


St. Mirren’s early intensity paid dividends as they claimed the lead after seven minutes. Hearts didn’t deal with the Buddies’ teasing cross well enough, allowing James Scott to sneak by his man and pounce on the knockdown which he drove past Gordon.


The hosts kept at it, with the Jambos’ rearguard standing firm. A low drive from Brown was saved by Gordon before Scott Tanser pounced on a knockdown that resulted in a stinging volley skim the bar.


Hearts got themselves back on level terms right before the 20 minute mark: with Japanese forward Kyosuke Tagawa coming up with the goods. A searching ball across goal from Devlin found Tagawa in space, allowing him to stride forward and slam the ball beyond Zach Hemming.


Despite the frenetic beginning to proceedings, goalmouth action subsided somewhat as the first half progresses, with neither side making real inroads into the other with the Maroons enjoying the lion’s share of possession.


Tagawa almost got his second of the evening in first-half stoppage time, latching onto the end of an Alex Cochrane cross from deep – but could only send it high and wide as the Jambos went into the break with all to play for.


HT: St. Mirren 1-1 Heart of Midlothian


Some delightful football came from Hearts as the teams emerged for the second half. Lovely one-touch passing between Tagawa and Devlin saw the latter go for goal with a vicious strike, only the last gasp block by a black and white shirt preventing his second of the evening.


The introduction of Lawrence Shankland to the game on 58 minutes saw another chance soon crafted. A driving run from Toby Sibbick cut short of the box, feeding to the PFA Player of the Year, who saw his effort from range drag wide.


St. Mirren were not without their threats however, and it was an unlikely source who delivered their second. A looping cross was met by James Bolton, who leapt high to greet it with a thumping header from close range to hand the Buddies the lead.



Hearts didn’t have to wait long for the second equaliser of the evening, and it was something special that sealed it. With St. Mirren failing to deal with Cochrane’s corner, the ball fell favourably to Shankland, who turned his body expertly and looped a sensational overhead kick beyond Hemming to make it 30 goals in all competitions.


With time getting on, Craig Gordon had the last say as he produced a sublime reaction stop to turn a diverted effort away from goal at the last gasp.



St. Mirren: Hemming, Bolton (Dunne 83’), Gogic, Taylor (Fraser 69’), Brown (Olusanya 58’), O’Hara, Baccus, Tanser (Bwomono 69’), Scott (Boyd-Munce 58’), Mandron, McMenamin


Subs: Urmisky, Strain, Fraser, Boyd-Munce, Dunne, Bwomono, Dunne, Mooney, Jamieson, Olusanya


Hearts: Gordon, Kent, Devlin (Tait 58’), Rowles, Forrest (Shankland 58’), Cochrane, Sibbick, Denholm (Wilson 70’), Fraser, Tagawa (Boyce 70’), Lembikisa (Oda 77’)


Subs: Clark, Shankland, Boyce, Oda, Atkinson, McKay, Tait, Wilson, Vargas