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<-Page <-Team Sat 02 Dec 2006 St Mirren 2 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Valdas Ivanauskas <-auth Gavin Mccafferty auth-> Charlie Richmond
Hartley Paul [S Kean 19] ;[S Kean 22]
1 of 015 Saulius Mikoliunas 1 ;Marius Zaliukas 51 L SPL A

St Mirren 2 Hearts 2

Gavin McCafferty, PA Sport

A Hearts side missing Steven Pressley fought back for a 2-2 draw in a pulsating match at St Mirren which stretched their run without a win to nine games.

Saulius Mikoliunas gave Hearts head coach Valdas Ivanauskas the perfect welcome back to the dug-out with a first-minute goal.

But recalled Saints striker Stewart Kean turned the game inside the first quarter with two goals in three minutes.

Marius Zaliukas headed Hearts level just after the break and the game was perfectly poised until Hearts skipper Paul Hartley was sent off after receiving two of the game's eight yellow cards.

Ivanauskas made three changes following a six-game absence for health reasons with Ibrahim Tall, Neil McCann and Edgaras Jankauskas coming back and Julien Brellier and Nerijus Barasa dropping to the bench.

Saints brought back Garry Brady, Kevin McGowne and Kean for his first start for two months.

Ivanauskas could not have asked for a better re-introduction as Mikoliunas notched after 14 seconds.

Jankauskas flighted it in from the left and his fellow Lithuanian raced past a static Saints defence and beat Tony Bullock to the ball to stab it home.

Hugh Murray and Andrius Velicka forced saves at either end before the unmarked Simon Lappin blazed over from 12 yards after Bruno Aguiar had been dispossessed.

Craig Gordon pulled off two fantastic one-handed saves from Kean's shot and Kirk Broadfoot's header, although the defender was penalised for a push.

The hosts continued to press but Jankauskas raced on to Velicka's pass after winning a high ball, only to shoot straight at Bullock.

McGowne's glancing header fell inches wide after Lappin's corner but Kean deservedly levelled in the 19th minute.

The former Ayr striker fired high into the net after Sutton had held the ball up following Andy Millen's free-kick.

Two minutes later, Kean shot into the far corner after Brady burst forward and played him in.

The Buddies hero - whose previous goal had come in the win at Tynecastle in September - pulled up moments later and was replaced by Mehmet while Zaliukas came on for Jambos defender Christophe Berra.

A minute later, Hartley received his first caution for a foul on Murray.

The game tightened up but the visitors had a goal disallowed in the 34th minute.

Bullock beat away Mikoliunas' thunderous 25-yard strike and the offside flag was raised as Velicka finished off the rebound.

That sprung the Jambos back into life and Bullock saved after Tall had met Hartley's corner.

David van Zanten clashed with McCann and both joined Hartley in the book following his late tackle on Murray earlier in the game.

An unmarked Jankauskas should have levelled before the break but shot weakly at Bullock from 12 yards.

Zaliukas headed Hearts level in the 51st minute when he beat Bullock to Hartley's inswinging free-kick.

At the other end Gordon dived to hold on to Lappin's half-volley after the wing-back had been set up by Sutton.

The game returned to the end-to-end play seen before Kean's second and Jankauskas hit the bar from close range after Velicka's powerful low cross.

Zaliukas appeared to control the ball with an arm just inside his own box but referee Charlie Richmond dismissed the penalty claims.

Hartley received a harsh second yellow card after Murray side-stepped his tackle and was caught on the ankle.

The Scotland midfielder passed the captain's armband to Robbie Neilson as he trudged off with 15 minutes left.

Velicka tumbled under Murray's challenge from behind as he raced into the box but Richmond waved play on.

Moments later Lappin was felled by Aguiar on the edge of the other box but Broadfoot's free-kick was high and wide.

The sending off had changed the nature of the game and neither side created a chance to win it in the closing stages.


St Mirren Bullock, van Zanten, Millen, McGowne, Broadfoot,Potter, Murray, Brady (Molloy 70), Lappin, Kean (Mehmet 26),Sutton, Mehmet (Burke 79).

Subs Not Used: Smith, Reid, Mackay, Gemmill.

Booked: van Zanten, Potter, Molloy.

Goals: Kean 19, 21.

Hearts Gordon, Neilson, Tall, Berra (Zaliukas 24), Fyssas,Mikoliunas, Aguiar (Brellier 82), Hartley, McCann,Jankauskas (Pospisil 78), Velicka.

Subs Not Used: Banks, Mole, Barasa, Goncalves.

Sent Off: Hartley (75).

Booked: Hartley, McCann, Aguiar, Mikoliunas.

Goals: Mikoliunas 1, Zaliukas 51.

Att: 5,728

Ref: C Richmond (Scotland).

Taken from

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