Match Reports

St Johnstone 0-4 Hearts

3rd August 2014

Jambos run riot at McDiarmid Park.

Hearts ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over St Johnstone in Sunday's Steven Anderson testimonial match at McDiarmid Park.

First-half strikes from Osman Sow and Jason Holt, along with a second-half brace from Gary Oliver, saw the Jambos comprehensively outclass their Premiership opponents.

Robbie Neilson sent out a strong starting line-up, with only four changes from the side that kicked-off the competitive season a week previous. Liam Smith replaced the injured Callum Paterson at right back, while Jason Holt, David Smith and Jamie Walker completed the changes.

The home side were first to attack when Liam Caddis sprung the offside trap, but Neil Alexander was quick off his line to pluck the ball to safety.

Immediately after, David Smith's ball in from the left found Sow inside the box, but he couldn't control and Steve Banks smothered the danger.

The big Hearts striker then ghosted between two Saints defenders to get on the end of Walker's deflected cross, but he could only head over the bar.

The Jambos looked keen to try their luck from distance, with Banks making good saves from long range Sow and David Smith efforts, sandwiched between a 25-yard Sow drive that was deflected round the left-hand post.

Hearts made the breakthrough just after the half hour mark, courtesy of some real Sow magic. Morgaro Gomis displayed lovely skill in the middle of the park before playing in Sow, and the big Swede beat one man to the ball before leaving Anderson for dead and slamming the ball high into the roof of the net.

Barely two minutes later, the Jam Tarts doubled their lead. King and Walker gave the Saints defence the run-around before teeing up Holt, who curled in a brilliant shot from 20-yards beyond Banks.

St Johnstone did threaten and in the 40th minute Alexander was at his best to make a super block from a trialist's thunderbolt inside the box. Moments later, the Hearts no.1 pulled off a carbon copy save, this time from Caddis.

With wholesale changes at half-time - ten in total - it took the men in maroon only nine minutes to make it three-nil. Jordan McGhee thundered down the right before whipping a cross in and Gary Oliver spectacularly volleyed home from 18-yards.

Oliver grabbed his second and Hearts' fourth on 68 minutes. A poor kick-out was met by Prince Buaben, and his header sent Oliver clean through, with the striker taking a touch into the box before slotting beyond Mark Hurst.

Hearts continued to press forward and David Smith beat three men before stinging the hands of Hurst with a rasper of a shot from the edge of the box.

A final scoreline of 4-0 sets the Jambos up nicely for the first Championship game of the season in a week's time against Rangers at Ibrox. 

St Johnstone: Banks (Hurst, 46'), Miller (Kitchen, 57'), Scobbie, Trialist, Gilchrist, Anderson, O'Halloran (Easton, 16'), McDonald (S. Wilson, 68'), May (Kane, 46'), Trialist (Lander, 80'), Caddis. Subs:Browns, Buchanan.

Hearts: First half - Alexander, L. Smith, McHattie, Wilson, Ozturk, Gomis, King, Holt, Sow, D. Smith, Walker. Second half -  Gallacher, McKay, Buaben, Robinson, Nicholson, Oliver, Carrick, McGhee, Gordon, Henderson, D. Smith.

Referee: Don Robertson

Top Man: Gary Oliver