Hearts ran out 2-1 winners over St Mirren in this afternoon’s pre-season friendly in Paisley.
Jordan Roberts and Jamie Walker gave the Jambos a two-goal cushion at half time, with Kyle McAllister pulling one back in the second 45.
Robbie Neilson handed an immediate debut to new loan signing Josh Ginnelly, while Craig Gordon made his first outing of this pre-season campaign.
Ginnelly wasted no time in getting into the thick of it. He met Roberts’ cross into the box but couldn’t get enough on it to steer the ball on target.
Roberts then headed a Walker corner on target only for Dean Lyness to make a smart block on his line.
Walker dragged a long-range effort wide of the target before Ginnelly turned his man at the edge of the box and lifted a shot narrowly over the target.
At the other end, Gordon got down well to smother a Jamie McGrath shot, then Ilkay Durmus fired clean over from 20-yards out.
The men in maroon took the lead before the half hour mark. Nathan Sheron’s back pass was short and bounced awkwardly for Lyness, who took a fresh air swipe which allowed Roberts to volley into an empty net from just inside the box.
Hearts continued to threaten before the half was out. Walker’s corner was met by Halkett at the back post but he could only head wide.
With two minutes remaining, it was 2-0. Ginnelly showed great skill to dance away from his man on the right before powering a ball across the face of goal for Walker to touch home.
The Jambos made five changes at the break and immediately went close to grabbing another goal. Andy Irving found Elliott Frear at the edge of the box but his powerful drive flew over the bar.
The hosts halved the deficit on 57 minutes. McAllister cut inside before curling a low effort from 20-yards that nestled into Gordon’s bottom right-hand corner.
The Jambos No.1 was called into action ten minutes later. Cammy MacPherson drilled on target from distance but Gordon was quickly down to push the ball around his left-hand post.
Moments later Lyness was forced into a brace of saves. Ben Garuccio’s free kick from 18-yards beat the ball but not the keeper, then Jamie Brandon weaved his way to the edge of the box before seeing his shot tipped around the post.
It was nearly all-square with 15 minutes remaining. Jamie McGrath got away from Harry Cochrane to advance into the box but with only Gordon to beat he floated his effort well wide.
There were still chances for Hearts to get another, with Euan Henderson bursting beyond the last man to get into the box but with Frear free on the left he elected to shoot and Lyness pushed his effort away.
St Mirren: Lyness, Tait, Shuaghnessy, Sheron, McAllister, Durmus, MacPherson, McGrath, Dennis, Connolly, Erhahon. Subs: Alnwick, Henderson, Jamieson, Offord, Jack, Breadner.
Hearts: Gordon, Brandon (Denholm, 77’), White (Garuccio, 46’), Halkett (Cochrane, 62’), Hamilton (McGill, 84’), Damour (Trialist, 46’), Walker (C. Smith, 62’), Lee (Irving, 46’), Wighton (Henderson, 62’), Ginnelly (Moore, 46’), Roberts (Frear, 46’). Subs not used: Stewart,