Hearts thrill under MacPhee to ease pressure off Tynecastle side
Hearts landed their first win at Tynecastle Park of the season, hitting five past St Mirren to ease pressure at the bottom of the league. Suzanne Oliphant reports.
With both teams sitting at the bottom of the table level in points with only goal difference setting them apart, gaining three points would have be crucial for either team as a win would’ve seen them shoot up the table.
The Edinburgh side were searching for their first home win of the season while St Mirren were yet to secure a win on the road.
Hearts welcomed back Steven Naismith to the starting lineup after his appearance off the bench against Rangers last week. Michael Smith made the starting line-up while Glenn Whelan was on the subs bench.
Naismith made an impact within 5 minutes of the match when Irving’s corner found the Scotland striker, who ran to the near past and diverted past Hladky with a touch from his right foot.
St Mirren were soon picking up chances and their equaliser was delivered by Obika from inside the box, thumping home after the Jam Tarts defence went to sleep. The Buddies kept up the pressure until the home side regained their lead in fortunate circumstances.
The host’s second goal turned in his own net by St Mirren’s Sean McLoughlin, after Uche Ikpeazu cut the ball back to strike the defender’s face and trickle in.
But the Saints answered with another goal. Danny Mullen equalised after a long ball from Hladky found him unmarked, he exposed Pereria and slotted in to the far corner.
Ollie Bozanic’s rose highest inside the box, beating Hladky in the air and scrambling the ball in to the net. Both sides can’t buy a goal this season, yet they shared five by half-time.
It didn’t take long after the restart for the lead to be extended, as it was Walker’s turn to get his head first on a good delivery, and notch his first goal since the opening game of the season.
This time however Hearts were more solid at the back, although they could consider themselves lucky with countless chances from the visitors being spurned.
Interim Hearts boss Austin MacPhee demanded entertainment and his side’s final goal of the evening guaranteed it. With fifteen minutes left, Jake Mulraney sent the ball soaring into the top right corner with his right foot, Hladky jumped for it but there was nothing the St Mirren keeper could do.
The Tynecastle Park crowd finally had that home win which they had craved all season, and a degree of pressure lifts collectively off the hierarchy of Hearts as they continue to look for a new manager.