St Johnstone 1-0 Heart of Midlothian
Wednesday 30th October 2019, KO 19:45 | Ladbrokes Premiership | McDiarmid Park
Hearts were defeated by St Johnstone in tonight’s Scottish Premiership encounter at McDiarmid Park after an own goal from Christophe Berra.
Hearts began the game with attacking purpose and controlled territory, if nothing else, in the opening stages, with Uche Ikpeazu looking his usual handful up front.
The hosts would have the first chance of the game, however, when David Wotherspoon found room down the left wing and crossed for the onrushing Murray Davidson whose shot was deflected over by Christophe Berra.
Stevie May then had a chance when he broke into the final third but, driven wide by Berra, the on-loan Aberdeen forward blasted his effort wildly over the bar.
Neither side were doing much wrong at the half-way point, but beyond an Aidy White half-chance from an Ollie Bozanic free kick, nothing much of note was happening. St Johnstone did get an opening when Ali McCann robbed Bozanic and ran through on goal but his touch was heavy and Joel Pereira gathered.
Just prior to the interval, Hearts had a good chance on the breakaway when Sean Clare cut in from the left and was crudely taken out by Jason Kerr - promptly booked - but not before playing in Callumn Morrison, whose shot was straight at Zander Clark in goals.
St Johnstone began the second half on the front foot, and should have taken the lead when Anthony Ralston squared the ball for Wotherspoon, but the former Hibs player took a fresh air swipe at the ball and the chance was lost.
They came even closer minutes later when the ball fell to Davidson inside the area, with Pereira having to look sharp to push his volley wide. Hearts didn’t heed the danger, however, and from the resulting corner, the ball deflected off Berra’s shoulder into the back of the net.
At this point, Craig Levein introduced Jamie Walker and Glenn Whelan, but the two subs were unable to make an immediate difference and St Johnstone continued to look the likelier side to score as time wore down.
In the last ten minutes, McCann had a chance that Berra did brilliantly to block, and from the corner, Wallace Duffy’s goal bound header was superbly cleared off the line by Aaron Hickey. Pereira was then called into action once more to save a header from May.
The game entered four minutes of injury time, and although Pereira went up for a corner towards the end of the match, Hearts failed to find a breakthrough.
St Johnstone: Clark, Ralston, Tanser, Duffy, Kerr, Wright, Wotherspoon (Craig, 72'), Davidson, McCann, Kennedy (Kane, 67'), May (Hendry, 87').
Subs: Parish, Vihmann, Swanson, O'Halloran.
Hearts: Pereira, Smith, White, Berra, Bozanic, Clare (Meshino, 79'), MacLean, Ikpeazu, Damour (Whelan, 59'), Morrison (Walker, 59'), Hickey.
Subs: Doyle, Brandon, Dikamona, Irving.
Referee: David Munro