Heart of Midlothian 3-0 St Mirren
Hearts turned on the style in front of a packed Tynecastle on Saturday afternoon as they ran out 3-0 winners against St Mirren in the penultimate home game of the season.
Jamie Walker's sizzling strike opened the scoring inside fifteen minutes, before Kevin McHattie fired in a long range free kick shortly before the interval. A Jamie Hamill penalty, which reduced the Saints to ten men, put the game to bed soon after the restart.
Gary Locke made two changes to the side that lost to Dundee, with Dale Carrick replacing the injured Michael Ngoo. Mehdi Taouil returned to central midfield, replacing the suspended Andy Webster who saw his central defensive position covered by Darren Barr.
The Jambos showed their intent right from the start as John Sutton fired wide inside the first minute. It set the tone for the half as the home side pressed high up the park and controlled proceedings, with Jason Holt putting Craig Samson to the test on 7 minutes.
The opening goal duly arrived five minutes later as Walker's turn of pace enabled him to cut in from the left before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top right corner via the crossbar.
The visitors rarely threatened the Maroon goal as Locke's men continued to run the show, with Holt, Walker and Mehdi Taouil particularly impressive in midfield.
Both Walker and Carrick threatened to double the lead, but it was left back McHattie who registered his side's second as he buried a 35 yard free kick into the bottom left corner, much to the delight of the Tynecastle faithful.
Substitute Sam Parkin then looked odds on to pull one back shortly after the break, only for Jamie Macdonald to produce a superb diving save to prevent his bullet header from finding the bottom right corner.
Minutes later, however, it was game, set and match as Kenny McLean saw red after he hauled down McHattie in the box. Referee Brian Colvin duly pointed to the spot and Hamill made no mistake as he slammed his penalty into the roof of the net.
The Saints nearly grabbed a lifeline on the hour mark when Macdonald found himself exposed, but Darren Barr was on hand to clear Conor Newton's chipped effort off the line.
Hamill was then on hand to make a similar intervention ten minutes from time as he produced a diving header to prevent a loose ball from rolling in at the right post.The full back then nearly grabbed his second of the afternoon as he curled a free kick inches wide of the top right corner.
16 year old Jordan McGhee then made his Hearts debut on 86 minutes as Locke's men comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to seal all three points. The solid display will be a major confidence boost ahead of next weekend's Edinburgh derby.
Hearts: Macdonald; Hamill, Barr, McGowan, McHattie; Holt, Stevenson, Taouil (McGhee 86), Walker (B.King 81); Carrick (D.Smith 64), Sutton. Subs not used: Ridgers, G.Smith, McKay, Prychynenko.
St Mirren: Samson; Van Zanten (Parkin 37), Mair, McAusland, Dummett; Teale, Newton, McGowan, Goncalves (Robertson 59); McLean, Thompson (Guy 73). Subs not used: Adam, Imrie, Carey, McGinn.
Referee: Brian Colvin
Top man: Kevin McHattie