Hearts 2 - 0 St Mirren
Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Saturday, 17 September 2011 17:02 UK
By Martin Conaghan
Hearts extended their unbeaten run to six games with a comfortable win over St Mirren at Tynecastle.
Jamie Hamill converted from the spot two minutes before the break after Illias Haddad fouled Marius Zaliukas in the penalty area.
The hosts doubled their lead in the second half when Lee Mair dived to head the ball into his own net.
St Mirren struggled to find a way back into the match despite earlier efforts by Kenny McLean.
The defeat ends St Mirren's four-match unbeaten run on the road and edges Hearts two points above Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premier League table into fourth place.
Hearts boss Paulo Sergio made just one planned change to the team that drew 1-1 at Inverness last weekend, with midfielder Medhi Taouil fully fit after a groin injury and Arvydas Novikovas dropped to the bench.
However, Andy Webster injured himself in the warm-up and was replaced at the last minute with Eggert Jonsson in the starting line-up, while St Mirren were unchanged from the side held to a goalless draw by St Johnstone in Paisley last weekend.
St Mirren's Steven Thomson produced a decent save from Jamie MacDonald in the 11th minute with a shot from 25 yards out in the first real chance of the match then Lee Mair blocked a shot from Ryan Stevenson at the other end.
With 20 minutes played, Stephen Elliott made an attempt on the St Mirren goal from close range, but his shot cleared the bar, then Taouil tested keeper Craig Samson with a 20-yard shot that was tipped over the bar.
Haddad almost opened the scoring for the visitors in the 33rd minute with a narrow-angle header from the right-hand side of the Hearts six-yard box that inched across the face of goal.
He turned villain two minutes before the break when he felled Zaliukas inside the St Mirren penalty area and referee Charlie Richmond had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Hamill scored his second goal of the season when he stepped up and converted with cool confidence to give the hosts a valuable break at the interval - but not before David Obua was denied by Samson seconds before the whistle.
After the restart, Hearts piled on the pressure to extend their slender lead with St Mirren pressing equally hard for a leveller.
Shortly before the hour mark, substitute McLean squandered a free-kick opportunity for St Mirren from 20 yards out, sending the ball sailing wide and high into the stand.
Five minutes later, he tried to find the net with a spectacular overhead scissor-kick, but the attempt was risible.
Hearts' second arrived in the 69th minute from a St Mirren own-goal after Lee Mair threw himself at the ball in the six-yard area and headed the ball into his own net, with Ryan Stevenson and Steven Elliot keen to claim the credit.
Stevenson almost made it three for the hosts, with a shot from the edge of the St Mirren penalty area that took a deflection and bounced out for a corner.
The remainder of the second half fizzled out as a contest, with St Mirren unable to find a way back into the match and Hearts comfortably hanging on to take all three points.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Home Team Score Away Team Time
Hearts 2-0 St Mirren FT
Hamill (pen) 43
Mair (og) 70
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08 Black yellow card (Robinson 88)
21 Taouil (Templeton 81)
10 Elliott (Sutton 84)
02 van Zanten (McShane 74)
24 Haddad yellow card
06 Goodwin yellow card
09 Thompson yellow card
10 McGowan (Mclean 58)
11 Hasselbaink (Mckee 58)
Ref: RichmondAtt: 12,572
St Mirren 56%
Attempts on target
St Mirren 1
Attempts off target
St Mirren 0
St Mirren 3
St Mirren 10
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90:00+2:16 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
88:34 Booking Jim Goodwin is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
88:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jim Goodwin on Eggert Jonsson. Free kick taken by Jamie Hamill.
86:33 Substitution Scott Robinson comes on in place of Ian Black.
86:33 Corner taken by Jamie Hamill.
85:48 John Sutton challenges Lee Mair unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Lee Mair.
84:43 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger played to the near post.
83:28 Substitution Stephen Elliott goes off and John Sutton comes on.
82:23 Ian Black gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jim Goodwin. Jim Goodwin takes the free kick.
80:13 Substitution David Templeton is brought on as a substitute for Mehdi Taouil.
80:13 Booking The referee shows Steven Thompson a yellow card for dissent.
79:51 Marius Zaliukas fouled by Steven Thompson, the ref awards a free kick. Jamie MacDonald takes the direct free kick.
76:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Eggert Jonsson on Kenny McLean. Steven Thomson takes the direct free kick.
74:33 Corner taken right-footed by Gary Teale from the left by-line to the near post, Adrian Mrowiec makes a clearance.
Correction - 73:18 Substitution Jon McShane is brought on as a substitute for David van Zanten.
73:18 Substitution Jon McShane replaces David van Zanten.
72:36 Ian Black fouled by Lee Mair, the ref awards a free kick. Daniel Grainger takes the free kick.
71:16 Inswinging corner taken by Mehdi Taouil from the left by-line.
Correction - 69:51 GOAL - Lee Mair:Hearts 2 - 0 St Mirren Lee Mair heads into his own net. Hearts 2-0 St Mirren.
69:51 GOAL - Lee Mair:Hearts 2 - 0 St Mirren Lee Mair puts the ball into his own goal. Hearts 2-0 St Mirren.
68:02 Jeroen Tesselaar gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Stevenson. Ian Black restarts play with the free kick.
66:25 Corner taken right-footed by Jamie Hamill to the near post, Gary Teale manages to make a clearance.
64:30 Booking Booking for Ian Black for unsporting behaviour.
64:19 Unfair challenge on Jeroen Tesselaar by Ian Black results in a free kick.
62:45 Unfair challenge on Lee Mair by Ian Black results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Craig Samson.
60:28 Jim Goodwin challenges David Obua unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ian Black.
57:28 Substitution Nigel Hasselbaink leaves the field to be replaced by Joe McKee.
57:28 Substitution Paul McGowan leaves the field to be replaced by Kenny McLean.
55:39 Inswinging corner taken by Daniel Grainger,
54:37 Ryan Stevenson is ruled offside. Craig Samson takes the direct free kick.
51:28 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ryan Stevenson.
50:28 Corner taken by Jamie Hamill from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Jim Goodwin.
49:13 Stephen Elliott is adjudged to have handled the ball. Craig Samson takes the free kick.
48:07 Adrian Mrowiec fouled by David van Zanten, the ref awards a free kick. Jamie MacDonald takes the direct free kick.
46:56 Jamie Hamill challenges Nigel Hasselbaink unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gary Teale takes the free kick.
45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
45:00+2:05 The match has reached half-time.
Correction - 45:00+0:52 Jamie Hamill takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post.
45:00+0:52 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David van Zanten played to the near post.
45:00+0:17 David Obua takes a shot. Craig Samson makes a save.
43:56 Corner from right by-line taken by Jeroen Tesselaar.
42:53 GOAL - Jamie Hamill:Hearts 1 - 0 St Mirren Penalty taken right-footed by Jamie Hamill and scored. Hearts 1-0 St Mirren.
42:04 Marius Zaliukas fouled by Illias Haddad, the ref awards a Penalty.
41:04 Corner taken right-footed by Jamie Hamill to the near post, save by Craig Samson.
40:17 Jamie Hamill is penalised for a handball. Gary Teale restarts play with the free kick.
31:38 Foul by Jamie Hamill on Nigel Hasselbaink, free kick awarded. Gary Teale takes the free kick.
30:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul McGowan by Eggert Jonsson. Jim Goodwin restarts play with the free kick.
29:36 Steven Thompson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marius Zaliukas. Marius Zaliukas takes the free kick.
27:54 Mehdi Taouil has a shot on goal from long range that goes wide left.
26:51 Free kick awarded for a foul by Illias Haddad on Ryan Stevenson. Daniel Grainger takes the direct free kick.
24:43 Effort from outside the penalty box by Ian Black goes wide right of the target.
23:16 Inswinging corner taken by Daniel Grainger.
23:03 Mehdi Taouil takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.
19:58 Daniel Grainger takes the direct free kick.
19:58 Booking Illias Haddad receives a yellow card.
19:52 Illias Haddad is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick.
18:03 Strike from close range by Stephen Elliott clears the bar.
14:40 Corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger from the right by-line to the near post, Steven Thompson makes a clearance.
14:03 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ian Black on Jim Goodwin. Craig Samson restarts play with the free kick.
13:09 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger, clearance made by David van Zanten.
11:42 The official flags Nigel Hasselbaink offside. Direct free kick taken by Jamie MacDonald.
10:18 Steven Thomson takes a shot. Save by Jamie MacDonald.
8:49 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Daniel Grainger.
7:37 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mehdi Taouil on Jim Goodwin. Illias Haddad takes the direct free kick.
5:48 Foul by Jim Goodwin on Eggert Jonsson, free kick awarded. Eggert Jonsson restarts play with the free kick.
0:20 Foul by David Obua on David van Zanten, free kick awarded. David van Zanten takes the free kick.
0:00 The match begins.
Taken from the BBC