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Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth Iain Collin auth-> Mike Tumilty
4 of 007 Kevin Kyle pen 63 ;Ryan Stevenson 94 L SPL A

St Johnstone 0 - 2 Hearts: Fates favour form side as Hearts relish winning run
Published Date: 15 November 2010
The Danish brewers don't do perfect weeks in football, but if they did it wouldn't be too far away from the one Hearts brought to a close with a third straight win at the weekend.
Last Sunday's triumph over Hibs would have been enough for those fans whose season stands or falls by the derby results, but the subsequent victories over Celtic in midweek and St Johnstone on Saturday, made it a near faultless six days for all concerned with the Tynecastle club.

While weekend reports which cast doubt on owner Vladimir Romanov's long-term commitment to the club may have taken a little of the gloss off things, on-field results were not the only reasons for satisfaction. Factor in the £10 million debt-for-equity deal that was rubber-stamped on Thursday, the inclusion of the rejuvenated Kevin Kyle in the Scotland squad for tomorrow's Faroe Islands workout and the team's elevation to third spot in the SPL and manager Jim Jefferies will most likely have enjoyed his weekend.

Saturday's game was proof that the breaks tend to go in a team's favour when they have a building momentum. This was a grim game heading nowhere fast, other than a likely 0-0 stalemate on a horrible pitch which passed a morning inspection, when the referee Mike Tumilty interjected in the 64th minute and changed its course by awarding a penalty to Hearts when a David Templeton free kick struck the hand of Jamie Adams' in the box.

It was a decision which infuriated St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes, who said: ""A key decision has cost us and it was the wrong decision that was made, without question.

"We're not going to lambast him but it has cost us because I there was nothing in the game until that decision. It was never a penalty. It was a mistake and I think if Mike Tumilty sees it again he'll see it was a mistake, but unfortunately we have to take it on the chin."

He found an ally in Jefferies, who accepted that the award was soft. "It took a break and I could see that Derek might feel aggrieved. The shot just hit somebody's hand and that's the way it's been going for St Johnstone," he said.

Nevertheless, it was fitting that it was Templeton, who had followed up his solo derby goal against Hibs with the clinching second against Celtic on Wednesday, who was central to the game's turning point.

His mazy run was brought to an end by former Hearts defender Alan Maybury 20 yards from goal. His free kick was poorly struck but Tumilty amazed most observers by penalising Adams, making his debut after being allowed to return from a loan spell at Dundee.

Kyle, whose girlfriend Lynn, ironically Adams' sister, agreed to marry him last week, scored from the spot, sparking chants of 'cheat' from the home support.

What made the penalty awared all the more galling for the home side was Tumilty's failure to act when Adrian Mrowiec, as the last defender, appeared to bundle over Collin Samuel after only 12 minutes and when he refused to award McInnes' side penalties when they claimed for a foul on Peter MacDonald 15 minutes from time and for handball in the 90th minute when St Johnstone were very much in the hunt for an equaliser.

There was no argument, however, about the quality of Hearts' second goal deep into injury-time, however. Substitute Calum Elliot judged his cross-field pass to perfection for fellow replacement Ryan Stevenson to drill his shot past the exposed Peter Enckelman.

"It's finished off a great week. It would have been easy to switch off and show complacency, but I think we showed that never entered our thoughts, because we battled away and did what it took to win the football match," said Jefferies, who challenged his team to hang on to third place in the table - a position they assumed thanks not only to this victory but to Hibs' win over Motherwell.

There was little else in terms of action to report, although St Johnstone substitute Sam Parkin should have restored parity in the second period when he placed his 12-yard shot too close to Marian Kello.

In the end, though, it was to be Hearts' day again and another unimpressive one for an SPL referee.

"My hands were at my side and if you're standing at the end of the wall where are you meant to put your hands?" asked a frustrated Adams. after the match. "The ball struck my arm but there was nothing I could have done about it.

Taken from the Scotsman

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