Heart of Midlothian 1-1 St Mirren
Saturday 23rd February 2019, KO 15:00 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tynecastle Park
Hearts endured a frustrating afternoon at Tynecastle after being held to a 1-1 draw by St Mirren.
The Jambos dominated possession and thought they had made the breakthrough through Clevid Dikamona’s second-half header, only to be pegged back ten minutes later when Sean Clare turned the ball into his own net.
Craig Levein made four changes from the side that lost at Motherwell last week.
Peter Haring was included in the starting line up for the first time in 2019 after undergoing double hernia surgery during the winter break, replacing Ollie Bozanic.
Zdenek Zlamal came in for Colin Doyle, Dikamona slotted in for Conor Shaughnessy while Olly Lee was handed a start ahead of Marcus Godinho.
It was the visitors who threatened first with Greg Tansey picking up a loose ball 20-yards out and drilling towards goal but he flashed his effort wide of Zlamal’s left-hand post.
Hearts retaliated through Steven Naismith, who received the ball after Jake Mulraney danced down the left and crossed into the box, but his shot was turned around the post by the outstretched leg of Vaclav Hladky.
Hearts then saw four chances go begging in one incredible piece of play. Lee’s corner eventually propped up for Dikamona to hit an overhead kick that Hladky did really well to push away, before he immediately beat away Berra’s follow up. The Saints keeper then pounced off his line to push out Lee’s ball across the six-yard box before another cross to the back door missed the head of Haring by inches, and the Austrian collided with Hladky, conceding a free kick in the process.
St Mirren then passed up one of the half’s best chances when Kyle McAllister robbed Berra of the ball and tore down the left before cutting inside and into the box but his curling left-foot shot flew past Zlamal’s right-hand post.
The deadlock was broken ten minutes into the restart. Lee floated a corner into the middle of the box and Dikamona rose unmarked to head high into Hladky’s top right corner.
The Jambos continued pressing forward. Haring touched a 60th minute free kick to Lee, who advanced forward before unleashing an effort from distance that was deflected narrowly wide.
Zlamal had to be alert moments later when Tansey broke into the Hearts box and unleashed a rocket shot which the Czech did well to beat away.
Disaster struck in the 66th minute when the visitors equalised. McAllister swung a corner into the six-yard box and Clare could only head into his own net.
Hearts had Zlamal to thank for keeping the scores level moments later. Paul McGinn got down the right to cross into the middle and Dikamona slid in to clear and but sent the ball flying towards his own goal, only for Zlamal to brilliantly scoop it away from the top corner.
The Jambos enjoyed most of the ball and kept searching for the winner. Uche Ikpeazu nodded substitute Steven MacLean’s cross into the six-yard box but it was just a touch too far in front of the advancing Naismith.
That searched proved fruitless as the men in maroon couldn’t find a way past a resolute St Mirren defence, though the point gained takes them to within two of fourth-placed Kilmarnock.
Hearts: Zlamal, Souttar, Haring (Bozanic, 66'), Berra, Lee (MacLean, 66'), Clare, Djoum, Naismith, Ikpeazu, Mulraney, Dikamona (Morrison, 75') Subs: Doyle, Shaughnessy, Keena, Hickey.
St Mirren: Hladky, McGinn, Muzek, Flynn, Nazon (Jackson, 61'), Baird, Popescu, Tansey, McAllister (Dreyer, 77'), MacPherson, Erhahon. Subs: Holmes, MacKenzie, Mullen, Cooke, Corbu.
Referee: Don Robertson