By Alison McConnell
Stephen Robinson’s side sustained their unbeaten start to the season after an impressive win over a Hearts side who were fairly toothless in attack.
Indeed, Saints had the ball in the back of the net four times against the Tynecastle side with only one effort counting. Ryan Strain got the only goal of the game after a horror mix-up in Hearts defence but on balance of play Robinson will feel his side did more than enough to merit the three points.
St Mirren took first blood after just eight minutes with Hearts architects of their own downfall.
Scott Tanser had sent a fairly straightforward looking pass across the six-yard box but Zander Clark and Frankie Kent left the other to deal with it much to the glee of Strain who was fully switched on to the chance. The Australian internationalist pounced to prod the ball low into the net to give Stephen Robinson’s side something to hold on to.
Hearts tried to rally with Liam Boyce forcing a decent block from the industrious Alex Gogic after a strong run from Nathaniel Atkinson.
It was St Mirren, though, who looked to carry more menace going forward. The Paisley side ought to have doubled their lead after Olutoysi Olusanya found himself straight through on Clark but he spent too long on the ball and his effort was saved by the Hearts stopper. Greg Kiltie pounced on the rebound and, when his shot was blocked by Kent, Olusanya got a second bite of the cherry from a yard out but somehow missed connecting.
As Saints sustained their pressure, a foul for a high boot prevented them from doubling their lead after Kiltie had the ball in the back of the net.
Hearts looked less toothless after the break. Kye Rowles had a header cleared off the line from Stephen Kinglsey’s corner while the visitors had appeals for a penalty waved away.
St Mirren substitute Mikael Mandron thought he had netted the elusive second goal that St Mirren craved but referee Nick Walsh had already blown for what looked to be a fairly soft infringement.
Hearts thought they had found a leveller only for Zach Hemming to get down low to his right to tip away a Cammy Devlin effort after Lawrence Shankland flicked a ball over the top.
Alex Greive thought he had sealed the points four minutes from time only for a lengthy VAR check to chalk it off.
Saints survived to take the win and stay second at the top of the table.
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