skip to content
Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Stevenson.
Ryan Stevenson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David MacKay. David MacKay takes the indirect free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Millar by Ryan Stevenson. Liam Craig restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mehdi Taouil by Liam Craig. Caution for Liam Craig. Adrian Mrowiec takes the free kick.
Mehdi Taouil finds the back of the net with a goal from just outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Hearts 1-2 St Johnstone.
David McCracken fouled by John Sutton, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
(Hearts) makes a substitution, with Ryan Stevenson coming on for David Templeton. David Obua comes on in place of Jamie Hamill. Corner taken right-footed by Mehdi Taouil, clearance made by Alan Maybury.
Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Murray Davidson by Eggert Jonsson. David MacKay scores a power penalty. Hearts 0-2 St Johnstone.
Mehdi Taouil fouled by Alan Maybury, the ref awards a free kick. Mehdi Taouil takes the free kick.
Carl Finnigan goes off and Alan Maybury comes on.
The ball is crossed by Ryan McGowan, David MacKay makes a clearance.
The ball is delivered by Eggert Jonsson, save made by Peter Enckelman.
Carl Finnigan concedes a free kick for a foul on Marius Zaliukas. Mehdi Taouil produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, Steven Anderson manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Craig by Eggert Jonsson. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Liam Craig. The assistant referee signals for offside against Carl Finnigan. Indirect free kick taken by Marian Kello.
The ball is delivered by Jamie Hamill, clearance made by Steven Anderson.
Unfair challenge on John Sutton by David McCracken results in a Penalty. A save by Peter Enckelman from penalty by Jamie Hamill. Hearts 0-1 St Johnstone.Corner from right by-line taken by Jamie Hamill.
Mehdi Taouil takes a shot. Peter Enckelman makes a save.
Jamie Hamill takes the inswinging corner, David MacKay makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Carl Finnigan on Ryan McGowan. Free kick taken by Marian Kello.
Unfair challenge on Liam Craig by Jamie Hamill results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Callum Davidson.
Shot from outside the box by Liam Craig goes wide right of the target.
Liam Craig crosses the ball, Stephen Elliott takes a shot. Save by Peter Enckelman.
Corner taken by Liam Craig, clearance by Adrian Mrowiec.
Eggert Jonsson takes a shot. Clearance by Murray Davidson. Corner taken by Jamie Hamill from the left by-line, Steven Anderson makes a clearance.
Foul by Stephen Elliott on Murray Davidson, free kick awarded. Liam Craig takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Anderson on David Templeton. Strike comes in from Jamie Hamill from the free kick, Liam Craig manages to make a clearance.
Shot by Liam Craig from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.
Stephen Elliott comes on in place of Andy Webster.
Mehdi Taouil delivers the ball.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Carl Finnigan. Marian Kello takes the free kick.
Carl Finnigan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Webster. Free kick taken by Marian Kello.
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Rudi Skacel. David McCracken fouled by Andy Webster, the ref awards a free kick. Peter Enckelman restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by David McCracken on John Sutton. Jamie Hamill has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, save by Peter Enckelman. The offside flag is raised against John Sutton. Indirect free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
The ball is delivered by Carl Finnigan, clearance by Marius Zaliukas.
David McCracken concedes a free kick for a foul on David Templeton. David McCracken is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour. David Templeton restarts play with the free kick.
A cross is delivered by Rudi Skacel, Callum Davidson makes a clearance.
Liam Craig takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Rudi Skacel.
The ball is sent over by David MacKay.
Liam Craig fouled by Mehdi Taouil, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Peter Enckelman. Booking for Mehdi Taouil.
Centre by David Templeton, clearance made by Liam Craig. Corner taken right-footed by Jamie Hamill, clearance made by Peter Enckelman.
Mehdi Taouil produces a cross, Kevin Moon makes a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken by Liam Craig from the right by-line, save made by Marian Kello.
Unfair challenge on Carl Finnigan by Eggert Jonsson results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Steven Anderson.
Ryan McGowan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David MacKay. David MacKay takes the indirect free kick. The referee blows for offside. Marian Kello restarts play with the free kick.
Marius Zaliukas fouled by Marcus Haber, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Andy Webster.
A cross is delivered by Ryan McGowan, Callum Davidson makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Jamie Hamill from the left by-line.
Murray Davidson concedes a free kick for a foul on Eggert Jonsson. Indirect free kick taken by Marius Zaliukas.
Mehdi Taouil sends in a cross, clearance by Steven Anderson.
Mehdi Taouil crosses the ball, David McCracken manages to make a clearance.
The ball is delivered by David Templeton, save by Peter Enckelman.
Centre by Jamie Hamill, clearance made by Steven Anderson.
The ball is crossed by Mehdi Taouil, Steven Anderson manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Murray Davidson on Mehdi Taouil. Mehdi Taouil takes the indirect free kick.
Rudi Skacel takes a corner.
David McCracken replaces Frazer Wright.
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Liam Craig, clearance by Adrian Mrowiec.
Inswinging corner taken by Liam Craig from the left by-line, Andy Webster makes a clearance.
Eggert Jonsson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Carl Finnigan. Free kick taken by Steven Anderson.
Unfair challenge on John Sutton by Steven Anderson results in a free kick. Ryan McGowan takes the free kick.
Liam Craig grabs a goal from just inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Hearts 0-1 St Johnstone.
The referee blows for offside. Marius Zaliukas takes the indirect free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Eggert Jonsson by Chris Millar. Ryan McGowan restarts play with the free kick.
Black back for Hearts
Midfielder Ian Black is available again as Hearts tackle St Johnstone in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Black has served a three-match ban following his second sending-off of the season.
Hearts have no fresh injury concerns, with left-back Danny Grainger (groin), defender Darren Barr (groin), strikers Kevin Kyle and Gary Glen and midfielder Suso Santana also out.
Their players remain in wait for their November salaries.
Hearts have numerous going concerns at present - with owner Vladimir Romanov voicing his desire to sell, #35million of debt and a dilapidated stadium - but chief among them has been the delayed payment of players for a second successive month.
It may have been coincidental, but prior to last Saturday's 2-1 win over Inverness, Hearts had not scored in four games, picking up one point from a possible 12, a run which dated back to before their payment was first delayed.
Their salaries are due on the 16th of each month and, but they were made to wait until November 4 for their October payment, and have now gone six weeks without receiving any further.
Hearts players have been in regular dialogue with their union, PFA Scotland, and had been poised to make a formal complaint to the Scottish Premier League on November 3.
However, manager Paulo Sergio persuaded them to bide their time and within 24 hours their wages arrived, 19 days later than scheduled.
The current delay is rivalling last month's in time, but unless the players group together and proceed with a complaint, little can be done, with the authorities not in a position to intervene.
Irrespective of whether a formal complaint is made, the case is complex and, without funds forthcoming, a resolution is difficult to find.
Should players go 90 days without payment, they would be entitled to invoke FIFA's article 14 (breach of contract) and leave the club for nothing - a scenario Hearts would surely wish to avoid.
Hearts are expected to sell players in January, although the situation could be complicated if the players were still owed money.
Hearts are maintaining their media lockout and the official website is the only channel of communication.
Sergio has regularly hinted at the troubles, but is concentrating on footballing matters.
Earlier this week the Portuguese boss told Hearts TV: "Everybody knows we're living hard times in the club, with their great character and great attitude last weekend we did enough to deserve to win (against Inverness).
"I think we can do better. I'm happy about the result, but I think we can play better football."
Sergio will again watch from the stand this weekend, serving the third of a five-match suspension.
Also banned from the touchline is Saints boss Steve Lomas, while captain Jody Morris is rated a 50-50 chance to be fit.
The former Chelsea midfielder missed last weekend's win over Hibernian with a hamstring problem.
Striker Cillian Sheridan is definitely missing with the same injury.
Saints cause further hurt for Hearts
St Johnstone extended their formidable away record in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a 2-1 win as Hearts' troubles continued at Tynecastle.
Liam Craig netted after three minutes and Dave MacKay converted a 78th-minute penalty as Saints, who have lost just once away from Perth all season, strengthened their advantage over their hosts in fourth place in the table, with Mehdi Taouil's 86th-minute strike proving a consolation.
Jamie Hamill had earlier seen his 64th-minute spot-kick saved by Peter Enckelman as beleaguered Hearts - mired in debt and with owner Vladimir Romanov seeking to sell - suffered a fourth loss in six games since the first-team squad first suffered delayed payment of their wages.
Both managers were absent from the touchline, Hearts boss Paulo Sergio serving the third of a five-match ban and Saints boss Steve Lomas also confined to the stands after being handed a one-game suspension this week.
Hearts, whose players' salaries are overdue for a second straight month, began the day one point behind the Perth side, who were seeking back-to-back wins over Edinburgh clubs after their defeat of Hibernian last weekend.
Saints' only loss in eight previous away matches was on their last trip to the capital, when Hibs prevailed in Leith, and despite missing strikers Cillian Sheridan and Francisco Sandaza and the continued absence of midfielder Jody Morris, the visitors made a swift start.
Hearts had overcome their numerous problems last weekend in beating Inverness, but compounded them today after three minutes when MacKay's cross from the right caused confusion in the Hearts defence and Saints went in front.
Marian Kello was caught in no-man's land as Andy Webster's weak header found Craig at the edge of the area and the left winger composed himself before executing a delicate chip.
The visitors suffered a setback when defender Frazer Wright limped off after 10 minutes, with David McCracken coming on in his place.
While Sergio watched on from behind the dugout, Lomas' view from the directors' box was more comfortable.
After Taouil and Craig tangled on the edge of the Saints box and the Hearts forward was booked, the visitors almost doubled their advantage.
Craig's cross-field pass found Chris Millar, who centred first time.
Carl Finnigan was unable to connect and the ball found Marcus Haber, whose shot was destined for the bottom corner, only for Kello to turn the ball around the post.
David Templeton, who earlier hit the wall with a free-kick, blasted high and wide with Hearts' first meaningful shot as their attacking endeavours continued without causing Saints stopper Enckelman any distress.
Enckelman's goal was under siege as soon as the second half began, with Hearts switching to a 4-4-2, Stephen Elliott replacing Webster to join John Sutton up front and Adrian Mrowiec switching to the centre of defence.
Elliott almost levelled 40 seconds after the restart, heading Taouil's cross from the right narrowly wide.
Craig fired narrowly over before Elliott twice had chances in quick succession.
The Irishman snatched at a shot following a Templeton cross and then fired over on the turn after Saints failed to deal with a long Ryan McGowan throw.
Hearts were then awarded a penalty after Sutton was hauled down by McCracken following Hamill's cross.
Hamill took the spot kick, but Enckelman saved diving to his right.
Referee Stevie O'Reilly pointed to the spot at the other end after Eggert Jonsson brought down Murray Davidson as the Saints midfielder surged into the box and latched onto MacKay's pass.
MacKay converted from the spot to double the lead, sending Kello the wrong way.
Hearts' hopes were revived four minutes from time when Taouil struck a curling effort from 25 yards for his first goal for the club.
But it was not enough to avoid defeat, with Enckelman making a late save from Elliott as Saints held on.
"Liverpool v Norwich"
© 2004 - 2013 football.co.uk