Heart of Midlothian 2 St Johnstone 1
Ladbrokes Premiership – Saturday 29th September 2018 – Tynecastle Park
Hearts maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a narrow victory over St Johnstone in the Ladbrokes Premiership at Tynecastle Park on Saturday afternoon.
Goals in each half from Peter Haring – his second in two games – and on-loan defender Jimmy Dunne put the Maroons two goals ahead before former Jambo Ross Callachan pulled one back for the Perth Saints.
Unusually, Hearts manager Craig Levein kept with an unchanged team from the one which knocked Motherwell out of the Betfred Cup in thrilling fashion on Wednesday evening.
Hearts went ahead in the 23rd minute when Haring headed home following a corner from Olly Lee.
The home side doubled their advantage in the 65th minute when another fine cross from Lee was powerfully headed home by Jimmy Dunne, his first goal for his adopted team.
Former Hearts midfielder Ross Callachan pulled a goal back for the visitors after some slack defending from the home team but Craig Levein’s men held on for another win which maintains their five-point lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Levein was a relieved man after the game. He told the official Hearts website:
“This was the game I was worried about at the end of a tough week,” he said. “We went with the same team and there’s always the worry they won’t have the same energy.
“It was tough, but we made it tough for ourselves by missing so many chances. We could have made it easier for ourselves if we’d been a bit more accurate in our finishing.
“They made us work for it. They’ve got more pace than they have done for a while, and they did make it tough for us. I’d much rather be standing in the dugout taking all our chances, making it an enjoyable afternoon but their goal made it more tense than it needed to be, but it’s a passing of a test of character, and a different way to win at the end of a tricky week.
“When we move the ball quickly, and we involve the two Stevens, Peter Haring and Olly Lee, we can move the ball really slickly around the final third. My biggest bugbear today is that we created loads of chances, but never finished them off. If that’s the most I have to complain about, though, then it’s not so bad.”
Hearts: Zlamal, Smith (Dikamona, 84′), Dunne, Souttar, Haring, Lee, Djoum, Mitchell, Naismith, MacLean (Amankwaa, 87′), Morrison (Bozanic, 79′).
St Johnstone: Clark, Tanser, Alston (Craig, 84′), Shaughnessy, Wright, Kane, Kerr, McMillan (Watt, 66′), Foster, Callachan, Kennedy (Swanson, 57′).
Referee: Nick Walsh