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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 December 2006, 16:53 GMT
St Mirren 2-2 Hearts
Stewart Kean scored a double for St Mirren
Stewart Kean scored a double for St Mirren
Hearts ended another week of turmoil by holding on to draw with St Mirren despite having Paul Hartley sent off.

Saulius Mikoliunas stabbed the opener home after just 17 seconds for a Hearts side minus captain Steven Pressley.

Kean blasted in the equaliser after 19 minutes and fired in the second two minutes later before going off injured.

Hearts equalised after 51 minutes when Marius Zaliukas headed home a Hartley free-kick before the stand-in captain received a second yellow card.

Pressley had been omitted from the squad after being suspended by the club following an internal row with owner Vladimir Romanov.

Ibrahim Tall came into central defence, with Neil McCann and Edgaras Jankauskas also returning at the expense of Julien Brellier and Nerijus Barasa.

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Garry Brady, Stewart Kean and Kevin McGowne started for St Mirren in place of Richard Brittain, Billy Mehmet and Alan Reid.

But it was the rejigged Hearts that made the better start, scoring after just 17 seconds.

Jankauskas flighted it in from the left and fellow Lithuanian Mikoliunas raced past a static Saints defence and beat Tony Bullock to the ball to stab it home.

Saints' Hugh Murray and Hearts Andrius Velicka had efforts saved before unmarked home defender Simon Lappin blazed over from 12 yards.

Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon brilliantly pushed away a low strike from Kean.

But St Mirren deservedly drew level in the 19th minute when Kean fired high into the net after Sutton had held the ball up following Andy Millen's free-kick into the danger zone.
Saulius Mikoliunas scored after 17 seconds for Hearts
Saulius Mikoliunas scored after 17 seconds for Hearts

Kean put the Buddies ahead two minutes later after Brady burst forward and played him in down the right channel.

The goal hero pulled up moments later and was replaced with Mehmet, while Zaliukas came on for Hearts in place of out-of-sorts defender Christophe Berra.

Mikoliunas blasted a thunderous shot from 25 yards that Bullock could only beat away, but the offside flag was raised as Velicka finished off the rebound.

Bullock saved well on his line after Tall had met Paul Hartley's corner.

And an unmarked Jankauskas should have levelled when the ball fell to him 12 yards out, Bullock saving his weak effort.

Zaliukas headed Hearts level in the 51st minute when he beat Bullock to Hartley's inswinging free-kick.

Gordon saved from Lappin, while Jankauskas hit the bar at the other end from close range after Velicka's powerful low cross.

Hartley received a harsh second yellow card with 15 minutes remaining after Hugh Murray side-stepped his tackle and was caught on the ankle.

But the sending off changed the nature of the game and neither side created a chance to win it in the closing stages.


St Mirren: Bullock, van Zanten, Millen, McGowne, Broadfoot, Potter, Murray, Brady (Molloy 70), Lappin, Kean (Mehmet 26), Sutton, Mehmet (Burke 79).
Subs Not Used: Smith, Reid, Mackay, Gemmill.

Booked: van Zanten, Potter, Molloy.

Goals: Kean 19, 21.

Hearts: Gordon, Neilson, Tall, Berra (Zaliukas 24), Fyssas, Mikoliunas, Aguiar (Brellier 82), Hartley, McCann, Jankauskas (Pospisil 78), Velicka.
Subs Not Used: Banks, Mole, Barasa, Goncalves.

Sent Off: Hartley (75). Booked: Hartley, McCann, Aguiar, Mikoliunas.

Goals: Mikoliunas 1, Zaliukas 51.

Att: 5,728

Ref: C Richmond

SEE ALSO
Union blasts Hearts over Pressley
02 Dec 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Ivanauskas backs sent-off Hartley
02 Dec 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
MacPherson hails battling Buddies
02 Dec 06 |  St Mirren


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