First Team

St Mirren 0-0 Heart of Midlothian

Saturday 28th September 2019, KO 15:00 | Ladbrokes Premiership | The Simple Digital Arena

Match Report

Hearts were held to a goalless draw by St Mirren in today’s Ladbrokes Premiership encounter in Paisley.

Despite having the better of proceedings the Jambos were unable to fashion enough clear chances to score and, as a result, the game finished in a stalemate.

Craig Levein made one change to the side that defeated Aberdeen on penalties in the dramatic mid-week encounter at Tynecastle with skipper Christophe Berra dropping to the bench and Callumn Morrison coming into the side, while Wednesday night’s late goal hero Craig Halkett took the armband on a temporary basis.

Hearts had their first chance of the match in the opening five minutes. After Morrison won a corner down the right wing, Jake Mulraney took a short corner and fired the ball across goal to Halkett, whose shot was diverted goalwards by Steven MacLean but the ball slipped just past the post.

St Mirren came close to opening the scoring midway through the opening period after a swift counter. MacLean played a short back pass that was latched onto by Morais, but Michael Smith stood up brilliantly to him. However, the ball broke out wide to Kyle Magennis who played a deep cross that was headed just past the post by Paul McGinn as the Jambos escaped.

The Saints did have the ball in the net a few minutes later. After Halkett had to be replaced by Berra, the still-settling Hearts backline could only partially clear the ball before it fell to Tony Andreu who swivelled and finished before a delayed flag from the assistant referee ruled out the strike, to the relief of the travelling supporters.

Hearts were dealt another blow when Loic Damour had to leave the proceedings with an injury, and his replacement Andy Irving was in the thick of it immediately when he drilled a corner into the area that was met by a stinging volley from Berra which keeper Vaclav Hladky pushed away impressively.

Irving and Berra almost combined to ideal effect again moments later after Mulraney was wiped out down the left by Paul McGinn. Irving curled the ball in and Berra rose to met the ball but again Hladky was equal to the skipper’s efforts.

Into the second half and the opening 15 minutes weren’t much to write home about, despite some increased Hearts pressure, as the only efforts of note were two speculative efforts from Aaron Hickey that Hladky held.

However, St Mirren came close again just after the hour mark when a well-worked move found Ilkay Durmus in space on the left but he fired high and wide.

Hearts had an absolutely glorious chance to take the lead on 73 minutes when, after sustained pressure, Uche Ikpeazu turned on the edge of the box and chipped a precision ball into the box that MacLean lunged to meet, but only succeeded in knocking the ball over the bar from close range as he collided with keeper Hladky.

St Mirren had the final chance of the game when subs Danny Mullen and Jon Obika combined to send Obika in on goal but he curled his effort wide of the post.

St Mirren: Hladky, P. McGinn, Waters, McLoughlin, Magennis, Flynn, Andreu (Mullen, 60'), Durmus (McAllister, 70'), Foley, Morias (Obika, 60'), Broadfoot. Subs: Lyness, S. McGinn, MacKenzie, Djorkaeff, Lyness.

Hearts: Pereira, Smith, Mulraney, Whelan, MacLean, Ikpeazu, Damour (Irving, 38'), Halkett (Berra, 24'), Morrison, Hickey, Meshino (White, 77'). Subs: Doyle, Bozanic, Clare, Keena.

Referee: Andrew Dallas