Much Improved! St. Johnstone 1-1 Heart of Midlothian

Last night St. Johnstone drew 1-1 with 'Hearts' at McDiarmid Park, with Callum Davidson's side earning a solid point against their Edinburgh-based counterparts.

[Efe Ambrose challenges Josh Ginnelly]


It was an intense battle in Perth under the floodlights, with some big tackles early on setting the tone for the evening.


Saints opened the scoring on 11 minutes after a corner into the box was flicked onto the back post for new Club Captain Liam Gordon to poke home from a yard out into the back of the net - putting his side into the side with his 2nd ever St. Johnstone goal.

[St. Johnstone celebrate taking the lead]


St. Johnstone were good value for their lead and almost doubled their advantage when Chris Kane burst in on-goal with a great touch past the 'Hearts' defence however, Craig Gordon rushed out and blocked the ball with his hands - appearing to be outside of his box. Stevie May then attempted to follow up the loose ball, with Gordon taking him down on the edge of the area in what look a certain foul, somehow, referee Steven McLean waved play-on.


Stevie May almost created a 2nd-second goal after he pressed Craig Gordon and managed to deflect his kick into the path of strike partner Chris Kane whose first-time effort was expertly saved by the 'Hearts' keeper.


Robbie Nielson's side then managed to draw themselves level 5 minutes before the half-time break dubiously after Ali Crawford appeared to have been brought down in the centre of the park, 'Hearts' then stole the ball and drove forward at pace as the St. Johnstone team split like the red sea. Josh Ginnelly took the ball round McCart well and fired low into the bottom corner.

[Ginnelly celebrates his goal]


Zander Clark was then booked by the referee after protesting the goal, with boos ringing around McDiarmid Park.


That was a much-improved performance from Saints and it looked a lot more like a Callum Davidson side we have grown to expect.


Half-Time: 1-1


The second half was a tough slog for St. Johnstone with 2 changes being made at half-time due to injury with Lars Dendoncker and James Brown coming off for Efe Ambrose and Reece Devine.


Saints never really seemed to settle in the second half with chances few and far between for the home side, whilst 'Hearts' failed to get that all elusive goal despite a lot of pressure on the St. Johnstone backline.


Referee Steven McLean had a game to forget and by full-time all 4 stands of fans were disgruntled with the standard off officiating last night.


Highlights

[The highlights from last night's game]


What Did Callum Davidson Have to Say?


"Both teams wanted to go and win the game. I enjoyed it, apart from a few decisions.

"We got off to a great start but it's disappointing to lose a goal the way it happened.

[Callum Davidson instructs his side]


I thought it was a handball then a free-kick on Ali [Crawford]. I try to stay calm, but the first half wasn't my best."


What Next?


Saints travel to Tannadice to face 4th placed Dundee United as the second round of cinch Premiership fixtures begin. A win could see Davidson's side move up to 8th in the table and there is no reason why the Perth side can't get a result in Dundee.


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