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12 of 025 John Sutton pen 30 ;David Templeton 82L SPL H

Heart of Midlothian 2-0 St Johnstone

From Hearts Media at Tynecastle.

Goals from John Sutton and David Templeton ensured Hearts got their new campaign off to a perfect start as they beat St Johnstone 2-0 at a sun drenched Tynecastle on Saturday afternoon.

Hearts were unchanged from the side that beat Rotherham in the final pre-season game last Saturday. Sutton lead the attacking line alongside Andy Driver and Templeton as the Jam Tarts lined up in a 4-3-3 formation which also featured first team debutants Kevin McHattie and Calum Paterson in defence.

McGlynn's side enjoyed a bright start to the tie as only an acrobatic goal line clearance from Callum Davidson denied Ryan McGowan a goal on ten minutes as he leapt to steer a header across goal from a Templeton corner.

Nigel Hasselbaink nearly punished the home side shortly after as he flashed a header inches wide of Jamie MacDonald's left post.

Paterson, who enjoyed a fine game throughout, then rattled the bar on 25 minutes as he let fly from distance.

The Jambos continued to make inroads into the Saints box and were rewarded with a penalty on 30 minutes. Templeton produced a spectacular run from the left, jinking his way past several Saints jerseys before being hauled down. Referee Stevie O'Reilly had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Sutton stepped up to confidently slot the penalty into the bottom right corner.

The visitors' afternoon then went from bad to worse as striker Gregory Tade was given a straight red card for an off the ball incident with Andy Webster inside the Hearts box.

Despite their numerical advantage, Hearts struggled to find their fluidity after the restart and were put under heavy spells of pressure by the Perth side. Hasselbaink looked odds on to level the scores as the ball fell to him on five yards, but his effort was cleared off the line by goal scorer Sutton.

Hasselbaink was on hand again on 70 minutes as he turned Paterson in the left channel before dispatching a low shot which forced MacDonald into making a fine save.

Hearts eventually settled down, aided by the introduction of Mehdi Taouil, and began to stretch a tiring Saints side. Templeton tried his luck with a 25 yard free kick, but keeper Alan Mannus got his left hand on it.

Templeton was determined to have the last laugh, however, and put the game to bed with an exquisite finish ten minutes from time. Taouil lifted a delightful ball over the top of the Saints back four, allowing Templeton to cut inside the full back before expertly curling a shot into the far corner.

The goal killed off any chance of a St Johnstone comeback and enabled Hearts to seal the three points and, temporarily at least, take top spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Hearts: Macdonald; McHattie, Zaliukas, Webster, Paterson; R. McGowan, Barr (Carrick 89), Robinson (Taouil 64); Driver (Novikovas 73), Templeton, Sutton. Subs not used: Ridgers, D. McGowan, Holt, G. Smith.

St Johnstone: Mannus; MacKay, McCracken, Wright, Davidson; Millar (Adams 65), M. Davidson, Cregg (Vine 44), Craig; Hasselbaink (May 86), Tade. Subs not used: Tuffey, Miller, Caddis, Moffat.

Referee: Stevie O'Reilly

Top man: David Templeton

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