First Team

Heart of Midlothian 0-1 St Johnstone

Saturday 14th December 2019, KO 15:00 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tynecastle Park

Match Report

Hearts fell to defeat against St Johnstone in today’s Ladbrokes Premiership match at Tynecastle.

A second half goal from Callum Hendry won the match for the visitors in Gorgie.

Daniel Stendel, in his first game in charge of the Jambos,  made four changes from the side that lost last weekend at Fir Park, with returns to the side for Ollie Bozanic, Bobby Zlamal and Aaron Hickey, as well as a first start of the season for Aidan Keena, partnering former Saintees player Steven MacLean up front.

The Jambos started the match brightly and forced a succession of corners after playing with a high tempo, but the visitors almost caught them cold when a long ball found Michael O’Halloran who rounded Zlamal in goal, but Hickey produced a stunning goal line clearance, before Zlamal made amends with a top save to stop Matty Kennedy from scoring as the danger was cleared.

The game descended into scrappiness but the game was almost lit up by some individual magic.

The ball was played up the line by Hickey for Keena, who flicked the ball round the corner for Jamie Walker and the forward drove towards goal, tried to give keeper Zander Clark the eyes and shot for the near post, by Clark tipped his effort round the post.

Just before half-time, Walker almost turned provider as he found space in the final third and slipped the ball through for MacLean, but he let the ball run too far wide and shot his effort high and wide.

Into the second half, Ryo Meshino was introduced for Keena, and he tried to make an immediate impact when he turned and ran towards goal but he fired the ball wildly over the bar. At the other end, Matty Kennedy went on a mazy run and shot just past the post after beating the Hearts defence too easily.

The visitors almost took the lead after a rapid counter attack when Michael O’Halloran broke the offside trap and squared the ball for sub Callum Hendry, but Zlamal produced a stunning save to deny the striker, but a minute later, he made no mistake when from the resulting corner, Hendry met the ball at the near post to give St Johnstone the lead.

Hearts tried to up the tempo again to get back into the match, but failed to create any clear cut chances as time ran out.

Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, Berra, Bozanic, Clare (Ikpeazu, 66'), Walker (Damour, 80'), Whelan, MacLean, Halkett, Keena (Meshino, 46'), Hickey. Subs: Pereira, Wighton, Brandon, Dikamona.

St Johnstone: Clark, Davidson, May (Hendry, 60'), Kerr, O'Halloran, McCann, Holt (Craig, 80'), Ralston, Gordon, Booth, Kennedy (Wotherspoon, 86'). Subs: Parish, Duffy, Tanser, Wright.

Referee: Alan Newlands

Attendance: 16,347