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Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Saturday, 3 October 2009 16:51 UK

St Mirren   2 - 1   Hearts

By Clive Lindsay

St Mirren celebrate Craig Dargo's winning goal
Dargo's goal allowed St Mirren to at last celebrate a home win in the SPL

Craig Dargo's superb strike gave St Mirren victory over Hearts - the Paisley side's first Scottish Premier League win at their new stadium.

Hearts had already had two efforts cleared off the line by the time they took a deserved lead after 31 minutes when Jose Goncalves headed home.

Suso had another attempt saved on the line by goalkeeper Paul Gallacher, but Steven Thomson fired an equaliser.

Dargo volleyed home from 18 yards and his side were comfortable thereafter.

It meant that St Mirren had ended their long wait for a league win in the new St Mirren Park, which opened for business in January.

The Buddies had Lee Mair back from suspension to bolster their defence and Andy Dorman was back in the starting line-up after impressing as a goal threat from midfield, with Chris Innes and Garry Brady dropping to the bench.

Hearts also made two changes, Lee Wallace and Ruben Palazuelos returned to fitness and took the starting places from Marius Zaliukas and Ian Black.

It was the visitors who appeared to have benefited most from the changes as they went close to opening the scoring after two minutes.

Craig Thomson's corner found David Witteveen, but the striker's header was hooked off the line by Steven Thomson.

David Obua tried his luck from long range, but the midfielder's powerful drive from just outside the box flashed just past the goalkeeper Paul Gallacher's left-hand post.

Hearts took a deserved lead after 31 minutes following a sustained spell of pressure.

Suso's fine snap-shot from the edge of the box was turned over the crossbar by Gallacher and, from the resulting corner, Potter cleared Obua's header off the goal-line.

Jose Goncalves (left) celebrates the opening goal
Goncalves (left) put Hearts ahead at St Mirren Park

However, it was third time lucky for the Edinburgh side from the next Craig Thomson corner as Goncalves threw himself at the ball to head past Gallacher.

Straight from the restart, Hearts should have gone two ahead when Suso rounded the goalkeeper but delayed his shot long enough for Mair to block and Gallacher pawed the deflected effort off the line.

St Mirren levelled against the run of play after 38 minutes when Steven McGinn's cross was miss-kicked by Dorman, but the ball fell kindly for Thomson, who was clinical with his low drive into the corner of the net from 12 yards.

Witteveen twice came close to restoring Hearts' lead, his clever back-heel following a low Andy Driver cross going invitingly across the face of goal and then the striker headed a couple of feet wide from 15 yards.

St Mirren boss Gus MacPherson replaced Mair with Innes at half-time and the reconstructed defence was immediately under pressure, Gallacher turning a powerful Thomson free-kick from 22 yards past his near post.

MacPherson did not wait long to make another change, the more offensive Tom Brighton coming on for Hugh Murray.

That change immediately had a beneficial effect as the Buddies took the lead, Billy Mehmet's header falling to Dargo 18 yards from goal and his strike partner volleyed beautifully into the far top corner of the net.

Witteveen was carried off on a stretcher after 74 minutes after a clattering challenge by Innes.

However, it was St Mirren who were now the more dangerous and goalkeeper Janos Balogh did well to block the ball on his goal-line after Innes had poked the ball towards goal following a corner.


St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson:
"We are delighted to get our first home win and the most important thing is that we deserved it.

"There have been games we have deserved to win and we haven't got the three points.

"But, for the second-half performance and Dargo's goal alone, that was worthy of winning any game.

"It's a very open stadium and they were difficult conditions, but credit to both teams, they tried to get the ball down and play football."

Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo:
"I think we dominated the whole game and had enough chances to win five games.

"Maybe in the second half, we had 20 minutes when we were not so aggressive on the ball.

"I don't like to criticise my players, but sometimes a player comes from another country and does not like to do the simple things.

"But, if Suso scores instead of trying to dribble, we go 2-0 up and would have had an easy afternoon, but then the opponents score when they have had no chances from our mistake."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
St Mirren 2-1 Hearts FT
(HT 1-1)
  • Thomson 38
  • Dargo 65
  • Jose Goncalves 31

St Mirren

  • 01 Gallacher
  • 05 Mair (Innes 46)
  • 06 Potter
  • 19 Barron
  • 02 Ross
  • 04 McGinn
  • 07 Murray (Brighton 61)
  • 08 Dorman (O'Donnell 90+2)
  • 10 Thomson
  • 09 Mehmet
  • 18 Dargo

Substitutes

  • 20 Howard,
  • 21 Innes,
  • 25 Faulds,
  • 12 O'Donnell,
  • 14 Brady,
  • 16 Brighton,
  • 23 Burns

Hearts

  • 01 Balogh
  • 03 Wallace
  • 05 Jose Goncalves
  • 13 Obua
  • 21 Ismael Bouzid
  • 06 Palazuelos
  • 07 Suso Santana (Nade 67)
  • 11 Driver
  • 23 Stewart (Robinson 78)
  • 46 Thomson
  • 15 David Witteveen (Black 73)

Substitutes

  • 30 MacDonald,
  • 02 Kucharski,
  • 04 Jonsson,
  • 08 Black,
  • 14 Nade,
  • 24 Templeton,
  • 55 Robinson
Ref: WinterAtt: 4,652
ST MIRREN
HEARTS

Possession

  • St Mirren 49%
  • Hearts 51%

Attempts on target

  • St Mirren 3
  • Hearts 2

Attempts off target

  • St Mirren 1
  • Hearts 4

Corners

  • St Mirren 4
  • Hearts 12

Fouls

  • St Mirren 7
  • Hearts 7
  • Final Result
  • 94:13 The match has reached full-time.
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+1:11 Substitution Andy Dorman goes off and Stephen O'Donnell comes on.
  • 88:40 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Craig Thomson, Andy Dorman makes a clearance.
  • 88:06 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Thomson, clearance by Jack Ross.
  • 85:16 Corner taken by Andy Dorman, Chris Innes takes a shot. Ismael Bouzid makes a clearance.
  • 84:03 Chris Innes fouled by David Obua, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Gallacher restarts play with the free kick.
  • 83:42 Craig Dargo is caught offside. Free kick taken by Jose Goncalves.
  • 80:54 Scott Robinson is ruled offside. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
  • 79:22 Corner from the right by-line taken by Craig Thomson, clearance made by Jack Ross.
  • 78:42 The ball is delivered by Craig Thomson, Jack Ross makes a clearance.
  • 77:07 Substitution Scott Robinson comes on in place of Michael Stewart.
  • 75:45 Outswinging corner taken by Craig Thomson from the right by-line played to the near post.
  • 75:40 Ian Black crosses the ball.
  • 75:09 David Barron produces a cross, Lee Wallace gets a block in.
  • 72:20 Substitution Ian Black joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Witteveen.
  • 69:42 The referee blows for offside. Jose Goncalves restarts play with the free kick.
  • 68:41 Craig Thomson takes the outswinging corner, Chris Innes manages to make a clearance.
  • 68:05 The offside flag is raised against Craig Dargo. Janos Balogh takes the free kick.
  • 66:50 Substitution Christian Nade replaces Suso Santana.
  • 66:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jack Ross on Andrew Driver. Jose Goncalves restarts play with the free kick.
  • 65:46 Craig Dargo is caught offside. Free kick taken by Ismael Bouzid.
  • 64:01 Assist on the goal came from Tom Brighton.
  • 64:01 GOAL - Craig DargoSt Mirren 2 - 1 Hearts Craig Dargo gets on the score sheet with a goal from just inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. St Mirren 2-1 Hearts.
  • Correction - 61:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrew Driver on Craig Dargo. David Barron takes the free kick.
  • 61:33 Andrew Driver challenges Craig Dargo unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Barron restarts play with the free kick.
  • 60:31 Substitution (St Mirren) makes a substitution, with Tom Brighton coming on for Hugh Murray.
  • 58:24 Corner taken by Andy Dorman, clearance made by Suso Santana.
  • 57:43 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Andy Dorman, clearance by Suso Santana.
  • 56:58 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Thomson, save by Paul Gallacher.
  • 56:26 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Thomson from the right by-line, Stephen McGinn manages to make a clearance.
  • 55:57 Craig Thomson takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Jack Ross.
  • 55:07 Foul by John Potter on Suso Santana, free kick awarded. Craig Thomson produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save by Paul Gallacher.
  • 54:21 Craig Thomson crosses the ball.
  • 52:48 The ball is delivered by Andrew Driver, save made by Paul Gallacher.
  • 46:59 Andy Dorman is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ismael Bouzid.
  • 46:00 David Witteveen challenges Hugh Murray unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Innes takes the free kick.
  • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
  • 45:01 Substitution Chris Innes on for Lee Mair.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+0:06 The referee calls an end to the first half.
  • 42:53 The ball is crossed by Michael Stewart, Headed effort from inside the area by David Witteveen misses to the left of the goal.
  • 42:00 The ball is sent over by Andrew Driver.
  • 39:03 Unfair challenge on Hugh Murray by Andrew Driver results in a free kick. Paul Gallacher takes the direct free kick.
  • 37:10 GOAL - Steven ThomsonSt Mirren 1 - 1 Hearts Steven Thomson gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. St Mirren 1-1 Hearts.
  • 36:39 Effort from deep inside the area by Suso Santana misses to the right of the target.
  • 32:58 Ruben Palazuelos challenges Stephen McGinn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stephen McGinn has an effort direct from the free kick.
  • 30:02 Assist by Craig Thomson.
  • 30:02 GOAL - Jose GoncalvesSt Mirren 0 - 1 Hearts Jose Goncalves finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close in. St Mirren 0-1 Hearts.
  • 29:39 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Thomson from the left by-line,
  • 29:09 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Thomson from the left by-line, clearance by Stephen McGinn.
  • 28:57 Shot on goal by Suso Santana from long range goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 28:00 Craig Thomson takes a corner.
  • 26:15 Unfair challenge on Billy Mehmet by Jose Goncalves results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by John Potter.
  • 25:43 Foul by Craig Dargo on Ismael Bouzid, free kick awarded. Janos Balogh takes the free kick.
  • 16:22 Unfair challenge on Craig Thomson by Steven Thomson results in a free kick. Janos Balogh restarts play with the free kick.
  • 15:24 Free kick awarded for a foul by John Potter on Suso Santana. Michael Stewart takes the free kick.
  • 14:37 The assistant referee signals for offside against David Witteveen. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
  • Correction - 14:17 Unfair challenge on Suso Santana by John Potter results in a free kick. Michael Stewart takes the free kick.
  • 13:18 Short corner worked by Andy Dorman.
  • 11:21 Foul by Ruben Palazuelos on Andy Dorman, free kick awarded. Andy Dorman takes the free kick.
  • 7:49 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Witteveen by Hugh Murray. Michael Stewart restarts play with the free kick.
  • 6:20 Foul by John Potter on David Witteveen, free kick awarded. Lee Wallace takes the free kick.
  • 4:54 Andy Dorman crosses the ball.
  • 3:38 Andrew Driver delivers the ball, Stephen McGinn manages to make a clearance.
  • 3:09 The ball is swung over by Craig Dargo, blocked by Craig Thomson.
  • 2:11 Effort from the edge of the area by David Obua goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 0:51 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Thomson from the right by-line.
  • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Scottish Premier results

3 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Hamilton 0-2 St Johnstone R
Hibernian 1-1 Dundee Utd R
Kilmarnock 1-1 Aberdeen R
Motherwell 1-0 Falkirk R
St Mirren 2-1 Hearts R

Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 3 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Celtic 6 9 16
2 Hibernian 7 5 13
3 Rangers 6 7 12
4 Dundee Utd 7 3 12
5 Motherwell 7 2 12
6 Aberdeen 7 2 10
7 St Mirren 7 -2 8
8 Hearts 7 -3 7
9 Kilmarnock 7 -1 6
10 St Johnstone 7 -5 6
11 Hamilton 7 -10 4
12 Falkirk 7 -7 3

see also
SPL photo gallery
03 Oct 09 |  Scottish Premier


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