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Ryan Stevenson gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. St Johnstone 0-2 Hearts.The assist for the goal came from Calum Elliot.
A cross is delivered by Cleveland Taylor, save made by Marian Kello.
The ball is delivered by Craig Thomson, Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Peter Enckelman makes a save.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Anderson by Craig Thomson. Indirect free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
David Templeton goes off and Craig Thomson comes on.
Michael Duberry goes into the book.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ryan Stevenson, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Kevin Kyle misses to the left of the goal.
Daniel Grainger crosses the ball, Marian Kello makes a save.
(Hearts) makes a substitution, with Calum Elliot coming on for Stephen Elliott.
A cross is delivered by David Templeton, save made by Peter Enckelman.
Steve May on for Jamie Adams.
Cleveland Taylor delivers the ball.
The ball is delivered by Daniel Grainger.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Templeton by Jody Morris. Free kick crossed left-footed by Rudolf Skacel from right wing, Foul by Kevin Kyle on Michael Duberry, free kick awarded. (Hearts) makes a substitution, with Ryan Stevenson coming on for Rudolf Skacel. Indirect free kick taken by Peter Enckelman.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Marius Zaliukas on Murray Davidson. The referee shows Marius Zaliukas a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Daniel Grainger has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
Alan Maybury fouled by Stephen Elliott, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Duberry takes the free kick.
Daniel Grainger has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
Corner taken by Daniel Grainger played to the near post, Ismael Bouzid manages to make a clearance.
Peter MacDonald produces a cross, Sam Parkin takes a shot. Save by Marian Kello.
Stephen Elliott takes a shot. Save by Peter Enckelman.
Collin Samuel leaves the field to be replaced by Sam Parkin.
Murray Davidson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eggert Jonsson. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Rudolf Skacel from right wing, clearance by Michael Duberry.
A cross is delivered by Kevin Kyle, save made by Peter Enckelman.
The referee gives a against Jamie Adams for handball. Kevin Kyle scores a power penalty. St Johnstone 0-1 Hearts.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Alan Maybury on David Templeton. Alan Maybury is shown a yellow card. David Templeton has an effort direct from the free kick.
The ball is swung over by Ruben Palazuelos, save by Peter Enckelman.
The ball is delivered by Jody Morris, save by Marian Kello.
Ian Black concedes a free kick for a foul on Murray Davidson. Ian Black is given a yellow card. Daniel Grainger takes the free kick.
Foul by Jamie Adams on Ian Black, free kick awarded. Jody Morris booked. Direct free kick taken by Marius Zaliukas.
A cross is delivered by Rudolf Skacel, Peter Enckelman makes a save.
Ian Black concedes a free kick for a foul on Jody Morris. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Daniel Grainger from left wing, Kevin Kyle makes a clearance.
Effort from outside the penalty box by Rudolf Skacel goes wide left of the target.
The ball is crossed by Cleveland Taylor, Ian Black makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Collin Samuel by Ismael Bouzid. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Daniel Grainger, clearance by Ian Black.
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Rudolf Skacel from the left by-line, save by Peter Enckelman.
Centre by Stephen Elliott, clearance made by Jamie Adams.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Alan Maybury on Ian Black. Direct free kick taken by Marius Zaliukas.
The ball is swung over by Cleveland Taylor, Header on goal by Peter MacDonald from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
Cleveland Taylor crosses the ball, Marius Zaliukas manages to make a clearance.
Peter MacDonald joins the action as a substitute, replacing Liam Craig.
Corner taken by Rudolf Skacel from the left by-line, Eggert Jonsson has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
Kevin Kyle takes a shot. Michael Duberry gets a block in.
Liam Craig produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.
Eggert Jonsson crosses the ball, Rudolf Skacel takes a shot. Save by Peter Enckelman.
The ball is crossed by Alan Maybury, clearance by Marius Zaliukas.
Steven Anderson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ian Black. Marius Zaliukas delivers the ball, Kevin Kyle takes a shot. Comfortable save by Peter Enckelman.
David Templeton concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Grainger. Peter Enckelman takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Kyle on Murray Davidson. Michael Duberry restarts play with the free kick.
Effort on goal by Liam Craig from long range goes harmlessly over the target.
The ball is swung over by Cleveland Taylor.
The ball is delivered by Ruben Palazuelos, clearance by Michael Duberry.
Corner taken left-footed by Rudolf Skacel from the left by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Kevin Kyle misses to the right of the target.
David Templeton takes a shot. Alan Maybury gets a block in.
The ball is sent over by Steven Anderson.
Foul by Ian Black on Collin Samuel, free kick awarded. Daniel Grainger delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance by Marius Zaliukas.
Ruben Palazuelos gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Cleveland Taylor. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Daniel Grainger, Kevin Kyle manages to make a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Cleveland Taylor, Marius Zaliukas manages to make a clearance.
Centre by Liam Craig, blocked by Marius Zaliukas.
Steven Anderson fouled by Kevin Kyle, the ref awards a free kick. Daniel Grainger takes the direct free kick.
Liam Craig has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.
Ruben Palazuelos sends in a cross, Peter Enckelman makes a save.
Steven Anderson challenges Stephen Elliott unfairly and gives away a free kick. Rudolf Skacel crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, blocked by Cleveland Taylor.
Collin Samuel is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Ismael Bouzid.
Stephen Elliott produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
Foul by Steven Anderson on Ian Black, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Rudolf Skacel from right wing, Unfair challenge on Michael Duberry by Kevin Kyle results in a free kick. Peter Enckelman restarts play with the free kick.
Foul by Ian Black on Jody Morris, free kick awarded. Michael Duberry takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ian Black on Murray Davidson. Free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.
Collin Samuel produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
Daniel Grainger concedes a free kick for a foul on David Templeton. Rudolf Skacel crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Murray Davidson.
The ball is crossed by Eggert Jonsson, clearance made by Alan Maybury.
Ian Black sends in a cross, Kevin Kyle takes a shot. Peter Enckelman makes a save.
Collin Samuel is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Marian Kello.
It is the end of the first-half.
The match gets underway.
The second half begins.
The match has reached full-time.
McInnes urges players to keep the faith
St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes has assured his players that the good times can return if they maintain belief and tighten up at the back.
McInnes goes into Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash against Hearts on the back of his worst spell as a manager following four consecutive defeats.
Saints have conceded 13 goals in that run and not scored for three games, but two of the encounters came against Celtic and the other opponents were third-placed Motherwell and a Kilmarnock team in the midst of a goal spree.
McInnes is refusing to panic and will urge his players to grind out a result against Hearts, if McDiarmid Park survives a 9.30am pitch inspection.
"We have been fortunate in the last few seasons that there has been a lot of good," McInnes told Press Association Sport. "These players have done very, very well.
"Football is full of ups and downs. We had two sore ones against Celtic and then met a couple of teams who were in form.
"We have been playing a part in our own downfall by not taking opportunities.
"The biggest thing for draining confidence is losing cheap goals, we have been doing that for the last two or three games.
"(But) it can turn very, very quickly. A month ago we were very resolute, our results were picking up and we weren't losing. It can go quickly the other way.
"The best way to get confidence is to get results. Regardless of how we play, results can restore that confidence. Performances can come later."
The games do not get any easier for St Johnstone as they prepare for the visit of Jim Jefferies' team.
McInnes will be without Chris Millar (groin) and Dave Mackay (thigh), but he is hopeful Murray Davidson can overcome an ankle knock and Jamie Adams could make his debut if his registration is confirmed by the SPL following his recall from a loan spell at Dundee.
Hearts have not beaten St Johnstone since the Perth side returned to the SPL but McInnes believes they are facing a different prospect on Saturday, evidenced by their victories over Hibernian and Celtic in the past six days.
"I felt with Jim being there you would see that improvement," McInnes said.
"He has good players and he added one or two that have brought something to the team.
"We got a decent point on the opening day and we had two good wins against them last season but this Hearts team are better, more physical and they are buoyed by their recent wins.
"We always seem to be meeting teams who have hit form."
Hearts winger Suso Santana will miss the encounter in order to undergo a knee operation to repair cartilage damage, while Jason Thomson is a doubt with an ankle problem.
Lee Wallace (knee) and Andrew Driver (thigh) are two to three weeks away from full training, with David Obua (groin) still out.
Hearts boss Jim Jefferies is determined to ensure victories over Hibernian and Celtic are followed by a third straight success at St Johnstone.
Jefferies has revelled in two 2-0 league victories this week but, with the recent 3-0 loss at home to Kilmarnock also on his mind, Jefferies is wary of complacency against a struggling Saints side.
"Results wise and some of the performances, it certainly has been a good week, but we want to finish it off," said Jefferies.
"The week's not complete yet until we play on Saturday, so it would be nice if we can follow it up with a performance.
"That's what we've got to guard against, because we've won two tough, important matches, thinking everything is just going to be a formality on Saturday.
"This game's got a habit and you can't take anything for granted.
"We've got to do what we did in the two games and hopefully it will be good enough and it will finish off a great week."
It has been a good week for Hearts off the pitch too, with #10million worth of debt wiped out in a debt for equity scheme arranged by Hearts majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov.
Jefferies was also given the added boost by confirmation of Marius Zaliukas' contract extension, the Lithuania international defender and Hearts captain signing a three-year deal to stay at Tynecastle following a long contract impasse.
Jefferies added: "It was all tied up yesterday, but it had all been agreed verbally.
"It was just a case of no last-minute hitches and I'm really pleased that it's gone through because he is the captain and he is an important player for us - he's been outstanding."
Hearts heap misery on Saints
Hearts turned on the style in the second half to heap more misery on out-of-form St Johnstone, securing a 2-0 victory at McDiarmid Park.
The home team had conceded 10 goals in losing their three previous Clydesdale Bank Premier League games, but looked more resolute against Hearts.
They could not hold out for even a point however as the visitors followed up on their midweek success over Celtic with Kevin Kyle's 65th-minute penalty and Ryan Stevenson's late clincher.
The Perth club were without defender Dave Mackay with a thigh problem. Jamie Adams was recalled from a loan period at Dundee yesterday and he secured clearance from league officials to start for Saints.
Hearts were without Suso Santana, who learned this week he requires knee surgery.
Kyle required early touchline treatment on a cut nose after an apparent collision with Michael Duberry, but the Hearts forward was able to continue after a short delay.
Kyle did force the first save of the contest, though it was an easy one for Peter Enckelman, as the striker was unable to put enough power onto his headed effort from Ian Black's cross.
Collin Samuel claimed a foul against Adrian Mrowiec as he tried to reach a ball over the top, but despite the Hearts defender seemingly pulling him back and denying a potential goalscoring opportunity, nothing was given by referee Mike Tumilty.
Samuel had nobody to blame but himself moments later as he swung wildly at a shooting chance set up by Duberry's muscular play inside the area, firing the ball badly wide.
Hearts were the more enterprising side early on and Stephen Elliott should have done better with an angled drive blazed over the crossbar with an unmarked Kyle wanting a pass in the middle.
St Johnstone were presented with a real chance in the 28th minute when Duberry's ball was only half-cleared by Ruben Palazuelos with his goalkeeper Marian Kello drawn out of position behind him, but Liam Craig volleyed wide of the empty net.
David Templeton, so impressive in recent weeks, was at it again here, drifting beyond three St Johnstone players before producing a strike that full-back Alan Maybury did well to block.
Eggert Jonsson's fine run and cross set up midfielder Rudi Skacel in the 43rd minute but his low effort was well held by Enckelman to preserve the deadlock.
St Johnstone made a change at the break, Peter MacDonald on for Craig, and he headed wide a Cleveland Taylor cross.
Jody Morris got the game's first booking for dissent in protest at Adams being penalised for fouling Black.
Hearts were then awarded a 64th-minute penalty for handball, seemingly against Adams, from a Templeton free-kick and went ahead via Kyle's emphatic finish.
Hearts almost doubled their lead in the 68th minute when Skacel set up Elliott for a fierce strike which was pushed wide by Enckelman.
St Johnstone introduced Sam Parkin for Samuel and he was soon involved, forcing a fine save from Kello after MacDonald's pass.
St Johnstone kept battling to rescue at least a point, but it was Hearts who came closest late on with a Kyle header wide.
And in the final minute of injury time, Elliott's searching pass found substitute Stevenson, who finished well with a low drive.
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