London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth None auth-> Alan Freeland
[T Lovenkrands 21] ;[T Lovenkrands 31] ;[J McBride pen 39]
1 of 001 Gary Wales 49 L SPL H

Hearts 1 St Johnstone 3

St Johnstone stunned Hearts with an incredible first-half performance which - mathematically at least - keeps their Scottish Premier League surival hopes alive.

The Perth side played their most relaxed football of the season during the first half and although Hearts fought back in the second period, it was always unlikely they would come back from three goals down.

A double from Tommy Lovenkrands and a dubious penalty converted by Graeme Jones left Hearts shell-shocked.

Gary Wales got Hearts back into it five minutes after the half-time break but Ricardo Fuller sent a woeful penalty wide just seconds later and from then on the points were always going to Perth.

Billy Stark's side are 15 points behind Hibernian with five games left, so they cannot afford to lose any other points, however at least this 90 minutes is one their supporters can be proud of.

Both sides had their chances in the early stages, however the first moment of note came when Hearts skipper Steven Presley hobbled off with what looked like a hamstring injury to be replaced by Kevin McKenna.

Presley would have been hoping to take his place in the Scotland side to face world champions France in next week's Paris friendly.

Despite the early setback Hearts should have gone in front on 17 minutes after Fuller brilliantly carved out a chance for teenager Robert Sloan.

However, the youngster mishit his shot from eight yards.

Saints went in front though in 21 minutes after Lovenkrands' 22-yard shot in a central position took a wicked deflection off Thomas Flogel which deceived Niemi and hit the back of the net.

Hearts were stunned and on the half-hour Lovenkrands notched his second.

John Paul McBride sent over a great cross from the right and then sent a blistering volley from 15 yards on the left of the box in off the crossbar.

Hearts quickly reacted by substituting youngster Sloan for Kenny Milne.

This game was fast becoming a nightmare for the home side and in the 38th minute referee Alan Freeland gave the visitors a penalty after Scott Severin was adjudged to have fouled Lovenkrands.

McBridge coolly slotted the penalty home, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and it could easily have been four before the break with both Darren Dods and Jones missing good chances.

Hearts threw themselves an early second-half lifeline in the 50th minute after Gary Wales stabbed home at the back post with a left-foot shot after a scramble following Fulton's excellent corner.

Within 60 seconds Fuller was adjudged to have been fouled in the box by former Hearts man Grant Murray. But Fuller wasted the penalty sent the kick wide.

Hearts were looking more dangerous and they forced a number of corners.

Saints always looked dangerous on the break and Emmanuel Panther crossed for Connolly, although his well-hit effort brought a fine save from the goalkeeper.

Fuller was denied by a good Cuthbert save and then Fulton sent a curling effort from an acute angle just over.


Hearts: Niemi, Maybury, Pressley (McKenna 14), Severin (Simmons 50), Mahe, Flogel, Gronlund, Fulton, Sloan (Milne 32), Fuller, Wales.

Subs Not Used: McKenzie, Adam.

Booked: Severin, Gronlund, Fuller.

Goals: Wales 50.

St Johnstone: Cuthbert, Dods, McCluskey, Weir, Lynch, Panther (Ferry 79), Murray, McBride, Lovenkrands, Jones (Maher 90), Connolly (Macdonald 82).

Subs Not Used: Devlin, Forsyth.

Booked: Lovenkrands, Jones.

Goals: Lovenkrands 21, 31, McBride 39 pen.

Att: 10,672

Ref: A Freeland (Scotland).

Taken from

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