Heart of Midlothian 0-2 St Johnstone
Hearts suffered a miserable afternoon in Gorgie when St Johsntone inflicted a 2-0 defeat upon them on Saturday.
Goals in either half from Nigel Hasselbaink and Stevie may consigned Gary Locke's side to defeat in a rain lashed Tynecastle.
Hearts entered the game with the same team that started the brilliant midweek League Cup victory over Hibs, with Ryan Stevenson leading the line and flanked either side by Jamie Walker and Callum Paterson.
The Jambos began the match like a team possessed, venturing forward at every available opportunity. In the third minute Walker produced his now trademark cut inside from the left touchline before unleashing a stinging drive that flew only inches past Alan Mannus' left hand post, with some suggestion that it clipped the woodwork on its way out.
Ten minutes later Walker was provider as Hearts again almost broke the deadlock. He floated a great ball over the top of the Saints' defence which Jason Holt latched onto, but his left foot strike from inside the box flew over the crossbar.
St Johnstone proved how dangerous they were on 14 minutes when Stevie May accelerated around the back of Jordan McGhee and drove a low cross in from the byline, however Nigel Hasselbaink's first time shot from six yards was superbly stopped by the left foot of Jamie MacDonald.
That move signalled Saints' intention to get a foothold into the game, and they broke the deadlock in the 28th minute. Chris Millar's cross from the byline took a huge deflection off Kevin McHattie and with the Hearts defence caught flatfooted, Hasselbaink was the quickest to react and he leapt to head past MacDonald and into the net.
Hearts tried to make amends immediately, and Stevenson almost equalised straightaway with a snapshot from the edge of the box, unfortunately the ball whizzed past the wrong side of the 'keeper's left hand post.
The Gorgie boys edged closer to an equaliser when Walker sprung the offside trap 38 minutes to drill a cross in, Jordan McGhee slid to make contact but he could only steer the ball wide.
Hasselbaink passed up a golden chance to double his side's lead with three minutes to go until half time. Millar launched a delightful cross into the Hearts box and the Saints striker rose unmarked to connect, but his bullet header ballooned over the bar.
Five minutes after the restart St Johmstone found themselves in an extremely fortuitous position after a ricochet in the box meant that the ball fell to Garry MacDonald at the edge of the six yard box, but he took too long to shoot and Jamie MacDonald managed to scramble across his line to make the save.
No such luck a minute later though when Gary MacDonald's curling shot was beaten away by Jamie MacDonald and then picked up by May inside the box, he was afforded time to turn and place a spectacular shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
By this point the away side looked dangerous every time they ventured up the park. Just after the hour mark Dave Mackay's cutback in the box found Hasselbaink, but his lifted effort fell onto the roof of the netting.
Not to be disheartened, the men in maroon went in search of a goal to pull themselves back into the match. Substitute Dale Carrick went closest in the 77th minute when he lashed a shot at goal from 30 yards, but the ball couldn't stop rising and ended up in the stand.
The game then petered out, St Johnstone content with their two goal cushion and Hearts unable to penetrate the visitors' defence. No points for the Jam Tarts in Gorgie, up next is a tricky away tie at Aberdeen on November 9.
Hearts: MacDonald; McGhee, McGowan, Wilson, McHattie; Hamill, Holt, Robinson (Smith, 69'); Paterson (Carrick, 57'), Stevenson, Walker (Nicholson, 54'). Subs not used: Ridgers, McKay, Tapping, Oliver.
St Johnstone: Mannus, Miller, Mackay, Scobbie, Easton, Davidson, Millar, MacDonald (Jahic, 86'), Wotherspoon (Caddis, 89'), May, Hasselbaink (Edwards, 75'). Subs not used: Banks, Cregg, Fallon, Brown.
Referee: Bobby Madden
Top man: Jamie MacDonald