Heart of Midlothian 2-1 St Mirren
Hearts ran out 2-1 winners over St Mirren at Tynecastle on Wednesday night.
Callum Paterson and Jamie Hamill cancelled out Steven Thompson's early opener as the Jambos won two Premiership games for the first time this season.
The manager stuck with the same line up that disposed of Ross County in the highlands four days previously as the starting XI looked to impress with the Scottish League Cup semi-final only days away.
Hearts made a less than impressive start, however, by conceding a goal in the opening minute. Jason Naismith flew down the right touchline before floating a ball into the box, where Thompson out-jumped two defenders to steer his header into the bottom corner.
That lead didn't last long though, as the Jambos went up the park and equalised three minutes later. Sam Nicholson spread the play out to David Smith on the right and his deflected cross was met by Paterson, who just nicked in front of Marian Kello to nod the ball home.
Buoyed by getting back on level terms, Hearts continued to press. In the 12th minute, Nicholson displayed fancy footwork on the left to beat his man and whip in a cross and Paterson's resultant header was on target but Marian Kello pulled off a stunning flying save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Playing with their tails up, the Hearts attackers continue to impress. A lovely cross-field pass from Hamill was sublimely chested down by Paterson on the Wheatfield touchline and cut back for Smith on the edge of the box, but his curling shot took a big deflection and ended up behind when it looked destined to make Kello work.
The visitors gave the Gorgie faithful a timely reminder that they too could trouble when prompted. John McGinn's bullet header rattled the crossbar in the 34th minute after he connected with a corner.
The Gorgie boys started the second half like a juggernaut, determined to grab the lead. They came close after 48 minutes when Danny Wilson's looping header beat Kello, but not the crossbar. Paterson tried to stab in the rebound, but the Buddies cleared following a goalmouth scramble.
That lead came only a minute later, via the penalty spot. St Mirren's Marc McAusland bundled over Dale Carrick as he ran clean through into the box, the defender saw red and Hamill sent Kello the wrong way from the spot.
Despite looking lively, the Jambos had to be on their toes. Jim Goodwin tested Jamie MacDonald with a curling free-kick in the 66th minute, but the Hearts no. 1 sprung to his left to palm the ball around his post.
The woodwork again came to St Mirren's rescue, this time after 73 minutes. Carrick got on the end of Brad McKay's flick on, but the Hearts striker could only move the ball into the path of Kello's left hand post from deep inside the box.
The Buddies should've equalised with six minutes to go. Gregg Wylde hammered a ball high across the face of goal from byline and Thompson got there quickest but he ballooned his first-time volley from the edge of the yard box clean over the bar.
Scott Robinson almost capped off a night to remember with a brilliant, swerving shot from 30 yards but Kello, who was completely wrong-footed, managed to get a strong hand to it to keep the ball out of the net.
Soon after, referee Steven MacLean blew for full time and 12,000 Jambos went home happy, as Gary Locke got the best preparation he could look for heading into Sunday's League Cup semi-final against Innverness CT.
Hearts: MacDonald; McGowan (McGhee, 83'), McKay, Wilson, McHattie; Smith, Robinson, Hamill, Nicholson (King, 74'); Carrick (Oliver, 80'), Paterson. Subs: Ridgers, Beith, Tapping.
St Mirren: Kello; Naismith, McAusland, McGregor, Kelly; Newton, McGinn, Goodwin, McGowan (Van Zanten, 89'); Campbell (Wylde, 64'), Thomson. Subs: Dilo, Reilly, Hughes, Brady, Grainger.
Referee: Steven McLean
Top man: Callum Paterson