First Team

Sam's super start

3rd August 2015

Flying winger wins penalty, clears one off the line and scores winning goal as Jambos beat St Johnstone 4-3.

Sam Nicholson got his season off to a flyer as he won a penalty and scored the winning goal in Sunday’s thrilling 4-3 win over St Johnstone in the Ladbrokes Premiership opener.

With the scores level at 3-3, Sam snuck in behind the Saintees defence to knock the ball past Alan Mannus and seal a superb victory with ten minutes remaining.

After a frantic 90 minutes, the BT Sport man-of-the-match revealed how chaotic the match had proven to be.

“It was a very hectic game,” said Nicholson. “First game of the season, everything’s 100mph but we’re all buzzing that we got the win and we’re looking forward to Dundee now.”

Despite scoring, Sam could have put the result beyond doubt earlier in the match when, at 3-1, he cut inside his marker but fired wildly over with the goal gaping. Eventually though, he did hit the net and put all the credit at the feet of Callum Paterson, whose superb cross took the defence out of the game.

“I was hoping nobody would mention that,” Sam stated, with a smile. “I’m happy I got a goal in the end but I think I miss a sitter every game, so I’m used to it now.

“Callum’s delivery is top class, all I had to do was get a touch on it. He works on it every day after training and he’s very good at it. He works so hard and he’s a vital part of the team because of it.”

Lastly, although the team conceded three goals as a new defence start to get to know each other, Nicholson believes Hearts are already looking in good shape for the new season ahead, with the attacking verve from last season still evidently in place.

“The first game is always a bit mad and all over the place,” he continued. “I don’t think it’s anything to do with the new boys not gelling yet because they’re all settling well and I thought they did well today.

“For a lot of pre-season we’ve had a skeleton squad so a lot of the boys aren’t fit yet. I thought Prince was different class considering he hasn’t played for ages, so we’re looking good.”