Match Reports

Match Report: Hearts 2-0 St Johnstone

18th January 2022

Hearts began 2022 as they ended 2021, with three points at Tynecastle Park after being St Johnstone 2-0

The returning Hearts supporters, all 16,000 of them, were treated to a fine team display, including two sensational Barrie McKay assists for goal hero Josh Ginnelly.

Hearts began in their usual 3-4-3 formation with Ginnelly deployed through the middle, flanked by McKay and Gary Mackay-Steven, while there was a place on the bench for new signing Nathaniel Atkinson.

The Jambos started strongly and McKay was at the heart of things, with his deep back post cross headed back across goal by Alex Cochrane but Michael Smith blazed over.

Hearts had a claim for a penalty soon after when the wind carried a long ball through to Ginnelly who was hauled down by Liam Gordon, although he may have gotten a toe to the ball.

New Saints signing Nadir Ciftci was causing issues at the other end, and drew two fine saves from an otherwise unoccupied Craig Gordon. First, he ran onto a long ball but Gordon got down well to his left, before a long range effort smashed off Gordon’s chest and away.

At the other end, McKay jinked his way past the Saints defence but his shot was tipped past the post by Zander Clark, as the half ended goalless.

Twenty seconds passed before Hearts took the lead in the second half. McKay collected the ball in midfield and slid a pass through for Ginnelly who made no mistake from just inside the area.

And those two linked up once more for the second with fifteen minutes to play, following a stuffy second half. McKay picked up the ball on the left flank and left his markers for dead with Ciftci and Cammy Macpherson tripping each other up in the process, before sliding the ball across the area for Ginnelly to smash it into the top corner.

Clark pulled off a good stop to deny Mackay-Steven's curling effort and although Devlin appeared to be scythed down at the follow up, no penalty was given.

Gordon would get his gloves dirty on another couple of occasions, though he comfortably stopped efforts from Stevie May and Ciftci.

McKay could have had the hat-trick of assists inside the last ten minutes when he played Cammy Devlin through on goal from halfway, but Clark got down well to save as Hearts ended strongly to go eight-points clear in third place.