Saturday 14th December
Saints recorded their first away win of the season this afternoon thanks to a second half goal from Callum Hendry.
The hosts started brightly but it was Saints who came closest to opening the scoring after 12 minutes. Michael O’Halloran saw his effort cleared off the line by Aaron Hickey and the follow-up from Matty Kennedy was saved by Zdeněk Zlámal.
Whilst up the other end the best Hearts could offer was when Jamie Walker was played in on goal but Zander Clark was alert to the danger and tipped his effort around the post.
It was a scrappy game at times and Saints came close again to opening the scoring on 73 minutes but Zlámal produced a brilliant save to deny substitute Callum Hendry. However, from the resultant corner Hendry met the ball at the near post to power home a header which sparked celebrations amongst the Saints support in the Roseburn Stand behind the goal.
Then deep into stoppage time Saints almost got a second but substitute David Wotherspoon saw his effort go inches wide.
Today’s result moves Saints off the bottom of the table and up to tenth position. Next up for Saints is a home game against St Mirren next Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Saints were on the road today for their penultimate away fixture of 2019 as they made the trip to the capital to take on Hearts. There were three changes to the side that secured a point in the goalless draw at Rugby Park ten days ago. Murray Davidson, Matty Kennedy and Stevie May came in for Liam Craig, Drey Wright and Chris Kane. Daniel Stendel was taking charge of Hearts for the first time this afternoon following his appointment as the Jambos new manager last weekend. For his first game Stendel made four changes to the side that lost 1-0 at Motherwell last Saturday. Out went Joel Pereira, Jamie Brandon, Ryotaro Meshino and the suspended Jake Mulraney. They were replaced by Zdeněk Zlámal, Ollie Bozanic, Aidan Keena and Aaron Hickey.
It was a cold afternoon at Tynecastle Park as Saints got the match underway. But it was the hosts who were out the traps early as in the first minute Sean Clare was set loose down the right but his cross was turned behind for a corner by Jason Kerr. The corner was taken by Ollie Bozanic and his delivery eventually found Glenn Whelan whose effort from 25 yards was easily gathered by Zander Clark.
On 12 minutes Saints were presented with a fantastic chance to take the lead. A long ball forward caught out the Hearts defence and Zdeněk Zlámal raced out his goal but Michael O’Halloran beat him to the ball. The Saints attacker then ran into the box with the goal at his mercy but Aaron Hickey got back to block O’Halloran’s effort on the line. The loose ball then fell to Matty Kennedy but Zlámal got back to turn his effort behind for a corner.
Then 4 minutes later up the other end Hickey setup Whelan who had a go from 25 yards but Clark was equal to his effort.
Both sides were cancelling each other out for large spells of the half and on 34 minutes Clark had to look lively as he had to backpedal towards his goal line to gather a header.
Then a minute later a neat flick from Keena sent Jamie Walker free and the midfielder had a strike at goal which was touched behind for a corner by Clark.
Hearts made a change before the second half could get underway as Ryotaro Meshino replaced Aidan Kenna.
On 52 minutes Kennedy went a great run through the middle before seeing his low effort go narrowly wide of Zlámal’s right-hand post.
On the hour mark Saints made their first change of the match as Callum Hendry came on for Stevie May.
Saints were looking good going forward and a good cross by Ralston on 64 minutes picked out Kennedy however, he couldn’t get his header on target. Then a couple of minutes later more good play by Saints saw the ball break to Davidson on the edge of the area but he dragged his effort wide.
On 73 minutes Saints got a great chance to take the lead as Davidson sent O’Halloran free down the right. Mikey then delivered a great ball into the box picking out Hendry but Zlámal made a stunning save to deny the young striker. However, from the resultant corner a great ball was delivered into the box and Hendry rose highest to plant a fantastic header past Zlámal and into the net.
The hosts then tried to find a way back into the game but they never really troubled Zander Clark. Saints though almost got a second goal deep into the 3 minutes of stoppage time as substitute David Wotherspoon broke free down the left and before cutting inside and curled a shot that went inches wide of the left post.
Hearts: Zlámal, Smith, Berra, Bozanic, Clare (Ikpeazu 66), Walker (Damour 81), Whelan, MacLean, Halkett, Keena (Meshino 45), Hickey
Unused Substitutes: Pereira (GK), Wighton, Brandon, Dikamona
Booked: Smith, Hickey
Saints: Clark, Davidson, May (Hendry 60), Kerr, O’Halloran, McCann, Holt (Craig 80), Ralston, Gordon, Booth, Kennedy (Wotherspoon 86)
Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), Duffy, Tanser, Wright
Booked: Ralston, Davidson
Scorer: Hendry (74)
Referee: Alan Newlands
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Callum Hendry heads home the only goal of the game
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