His first team selection mirrored Saints’ last, a 1-1 draw with Livingston with the Paisley side going well but the if changes to Robbie Neilson’s side eanred their own first win in six with two econd half goals against the ten men hosts.
Here’s how the players rated in Paisley.
Man of the match on the losing side. He denied Boyce several times and brave but unfortunate at the second goal. Did him no harm as he recovered to tip a Simms drive onto the bar with 15 to go.
Calm as aerial bombardment aimed at Boyce continued and dealt with passes back to Alnwick well. Ideal temperment fr the 52nd minute stramash mentioned above and ran the ball clear.
Marshalled Boyce as best he could and fulfilled his duties with the striker unable to find the net.
Experience told protecting the defense with the man disadvantage but sacrificed with 20 minutes to play s Saints went for broke.
Corners caused panic in Hearts’ box but no-one able to convert. Outlet of pace to ease pressure on the ten men.
Threatening pace always a concern for Kingsley especially when Hearts man joined in attack – always a sprint race back. Replaced by Flynn on the hour.
Added size in the middle but unable to affect the game too much.
Grew into the game and enjoyed the tussle with substitute Simms in the second half.
Toppled after 33 minutes by Woodburn for a strong penalty claim. Replaced by Main on hour as Saints went n the attack.
Steadily kept Gary Mackay-Steven fairly quiet in the first half and then Barrie McKay in the second.
Sent off for a raised studs challenge on Baningime after 22 minutes right in front of Greg Aitken, with Mackay-Steven also down.
On for Kiltie and tightened up the defense without threatening his one-time Falkirk team-mate Kingsley as Kiltie had.
On for Grieve and gave the ten men a long-range target and reated work for the otherwise at ease Souttar.
Back from injury but quietly found his way into the game without influencing it much.
Rarely troubled and was as much a spectator as his Scotland manager in the stand.
May have caught Steve Clarke’s eye has Scotland not been so well served in his position, linked well with Boyce early in the game via both aerial delivery and through balls but always aware of Kiltie threat.
Strolled it, stepping out to use the ball and playing passes at will, until the introduction of Curtis Main gave the Scotland international some defending to do, and he did.
Targetted by home fans after red card but took control of much of the midfield battle and created two openings for Boyce.
Blazed early effort over and fortunate to escape granting a penalty just after the half hour. Replaced by Ellis Sims 55.
Several chances passed up in the first half despite good deliveries, and found Jak Alnwick on inspired form to deny him each time.
Quiet afternoon, was down seeking treatment when red-card flashpoint occurred. Replaced by Josh Ginnelly 55.
Caution in the first half took the wind out of his sails a little, then subbed for Cochrane in the second half.
Up and down afternoon for the little midfielder. First half passed him by but took up better positions in second but booked for coming together with Tait over penalty claim. Scored shortly before being subbed.
Another hoping to catch Steve Clarke’s eye, he had bright spells including the second goal but often found running channels blocked off.
Kit will barely need washed after comfortable afternoon, not without work to do but all carried out tidily and efficiently.
Scored the breakthrough goal and brought out the best in Charles Dunne for the second half.
Constantly being directed by Neilson, threatened at times and an excellent option off the bench in the circumstances. Capable of more though.
Replaced Atkinson but never really in the game by that stage
Comfortable last 20 after replacing Kingsley in defence.
Replaced Devlin just after he’d scored and doubled Hearts’ power and presence in the middle beside Baningime. Tidi.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.