St Mirren 3 Hearts 2

17 March 2013 05:01
Over 44 thousand fans turned up to see quite a game today at Hampden

St Mirren v Hearts in the Scottish Communities League Cup Final was the game of the day despite the Dundee Derby, which was the early kick off supporting card, being played on the same day. No matter that the competition is vilified by the fans, all clubs and players want to be involved in the final of any competition and a national competition is a national competition. Many players have played out their career without a final appearance and the national stadium is always on the wanted list of ‘places to play’. Hearts have their problems and have a side full of youngsters led by old head and newly appointed manager Gary Locke hoping to find something to brighten up the season. The Buddies would love to be able to add lustre to their season so an exciting game was on the cards. The weather was not at it’s best for a game with snow forecast and a chill creeping into the bones of the fans from Edinburgh and Paisley.  However, one set of fans would not be complaining at the end of the game.  The opening five minutes had the sides testing each other out and also the referee to see just where his tolerance line was. It was in the ninth minute that Hearts took the lead when Ryan Stevenson looked to have taken too much time when the ball was passed to him on the edge of the box. He was on his own but appeared to tarry too long but with St Mirren defenders heading his way he calmly kept the ball under control and beat Craig Samson in the St Mirren goal with a ball across the keeper and into the net. This goal appeared to unsettle St Mirren and they took their time to settle again. Hearts were keen on adding to their lead and were testing the Buddies defence on a regular basis. John Sutton nearly scored a second on the 20 minute mark when a cross found him at the back post. With Samson scrambling backwards to protect his net, Sutton’s close range header beat him but hit the post and out for a bye-kick. Hearts tails were up and were playing some nice football. St Mirren were having to put bodies here there and everywhere to keep Hearts out. The high tempo tactics of the Tynecastle side were working and St Mirren were being restricted to long range efforts from the likes of Esmael Goncalves to threaten the Hearts goal. Michael Ngoo nearly managed to get a foot to a free-kick, flighted in by Kevin McHattie from long range, on the six meter box. As the game moved to the 30 minutes mark, it was all Hearts now with Mehdi Taouil twisting and turning on the edge of the box before driving to the left and just beating the right hand post with his shot with Samson beaten. When St Mirren did make headway into the hearts half they appeared to want too much time and that was something which was in short supply. However, there was time given to Goncalves to score an equaliser before half time. Gary Teale, taking the ball when in a clearly off-side position, ran in from the halfway line and passed the ball in the penalty box for Goncalves to score with ease. Both sides has a lot to talk about at half time after a free-flowing first half. And Danny Lennon’s half-time words appear to have worked their magic as St Mirren started the second half with a goal from Steven Thompson in the opening minutes. Paul Dummett’s determination allowed him to pass the Thompson to finish it off. Hearts were not about to give up and Ngoo nearly scored an equaliser from a cross to the near post which he headed close to the net in the 53rd minute. But not close enough.  They may regret this as St Mirren went 3-1 up when Conor Newton played a one-two with Goncalves just outside the box in the middle of the field and fired in goal number three to the obvious delight of the outnumbered St Mirren fans. Things were getting rugged in the middle of the park with hard tackles coming in from both sides. However, no histrionics from the tackled players who just got up and got on with it.  In the 80th minute with time running out Hearts had a chance to get a goal back when determined tackling on the edge of the St Mirren box allowed McHattie to sent in a stinging shot. This was parried strongly by Samson but straight to Ngoo whose shot was blocked by a determined St Mirren defender’s body. However, game on again in the 84 minute when Stevenson got his second goal of the game with a shot from the left of the penalty box, again across Samson’s body, into the net. Worried faces started appearing in the black and white be-decked fans after they were leading by two goals. Hearts tails were up and St Mirren looked worried. It was all Hearts now with weary St Mirren bodies cramming the defence when required.  Three minutes of injury time just added to the pressure on both sets of fans. These minutes were not enough for Hearts to score and take the game into extra rime. St Mirren picked up the trophy and Hearts can feel aggrieved but not disgraced.Hearts: MacDonald, Wilson, Barr, Webster, Stevenson, Sutton, Taouil, Walker, McGowan, Ngoo, McHattieSubs: Ridgers, Holt, Novikovas, McKay, Carrick St Mirren: Samson, Dummett, VanZanten, McAusland, McGinn, Goodwin, Newton, Concalves, Thompson, McGowan, TealeSubs: Adam, Mair, McLean, Parkin, CareyAttendance: 44036

Source: ScottishFitba


World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44