Hearts have extended their unbeaten league record this season to eleven games after a 1-1 draw with St. Johnstone at McDiarmid Park as Robbie Neilson’s side missed the chance to climb above Rangers and go top of the Scottish Premiership.
While the Jambos will be happy enough at having continued their unbeaten start to the campaign, Robbie Neilson and his players will be disappointed not to be heading down the road with all three points after a dominant second-half performance.
Saints took a surprise lead on 11 minutes when Liam Gordon tapped home a Cammy MacPherson corner to silence the sizeable travelling Hearts support and, just as Callum Davidson’s men looked to be getting to the break with their lead in-tact, Josh Ginnelly popped up to level things up five minutes before half time.
Shortly after the restart, there was a double injury blow for the hosts, Reece Devine and Efe Ambrose coming on to replace the injured James Brown and Lars Dendoncker.
Hearts continued to press for a second goal with Ginnelly particularly impressive for the Jambos as they laid siege to Zander Clark’s goalmouth.
The Saints keeper was forced into a number of saves to deny Hearts a second goal and Callum Davidson’s side will be happy to have come away with the point after frustrating the Jambos.
The hosts had some chances of their own in the second 45, Cammy Devine forcing a good save from Gordon but it was Hearts who will feel they should have gone on and won the game.
While the Gorgie side won’t read too much into it, the draw in Perth also extends Hearts long run without a win at McDiarmid Park, stretching all the way back to November 2010.
Here are three things we learned as Hearts made it eleven without defeat this season:
Hearts look like they have plenty steam left
While the Jambos have been tipped to fall away and start to lose ground to the leaders, Neilson’s side still look as though they have plenty left in the tank for an unlikely title tilt this season. Neilson’s side went into last night’s game without prolific striker Liam Boyce and, on another night, they would likely have found the second goal their performance merited. A trip to Pittodrie this weekend will be another test of their credentials but there was enough on show last night to suggest Hearts could really make a go of it this season.
St Johnstone are almost there
Last season’s historic cup double secured Callum Davidson’s place as St Johnstone’s greatest ever manager and the Saints gaffer is getting close to hitting that bit of form they’ve been looking for. Despite Hearts’ dominance in the second 45, the Perth side were solid defensively and looked a threat when they managed to get forward. If someone could regularly get goals for Davidson’s side, they’ll quickly find themselves climbing up the table.
Both sets of fans deserve massive credit
With horrific rain lashing Scotland last night, both sets of fans deserve huge credit for adding to an already enjoyable game in woeful conditions. 3200 Hearts fans made the journey up to Perth while a vocal section of the home support also added to the atmosphere. A pre-match pitch inspection didn’t dampen the spirits either with the St Johnstone and Hearts fans a credit to their clubs.
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