Bhoys beaten, Inverness held
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 22:26:00
Graham Carey scored a goal of the season contender as St Mirren defeated Hearts 2-0 in tonight's Scottish Premier League match at St Mirren Park.
The two sides will contest the Scottish League Cup final next month - and Danny Lennon's side struck a psychological blow ahead of that contest with this comfortable victory.
Paul McGowan netted from the penalty spot after three minutes and Carey's impressive breakthrough extended their lead on the stroke of half-time.
Saints made a good start to the match and earned two early corners, the first of which was headed behind by Darren Barr.
Barr was involved in the next corner too and this time he was adjudged to have felled Lee Mair, resulting in referee Kevin Clancy pointing to the spot.
McGowan stepped up to take the resulting kick and duly despatched the ball past goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald, who dived the wrong way.
Hearts responded at the other end and Craig Samson had to parry away Jamie Walker's fizzing shot on the angle.
Barr received the first booking of the match for carelessly fouling Carey, before David Ngoo worked Samson with a low shot from the edge of the box.
However, it was the hosts who looked the more likely to add to the scoring and Sam Parkin should have done better when he met Carey's delivery.
On the stroke of half-time St Mirren did manage to double their lead and it came in stunning fashion, Carey looping a shot over the helpless MacDonald from 25 yards out.
Hearts boss John McGlynn introduced John Sutton and Dylan McGowan in place of Ardvydas Novikovas and Barr for the start of the second half.
Carey could not beat MacDonald with a second strike from distance on 56 minutes and Hearts had their best chance of the opening hour when Samson parried Walker's shot to Sutton, who could not quite turn the ball into the net.
After offering very little in the way of attacking threat in the first half, the double substitution at half-time seemed to breath new life into the visitors, although they continued to find scoring opportunities difficult to come by.
Kevin McHattie had a drive from distance in the final minute of injury-time comfortably gathered by Samson and St Mirren held out to leapfrog their opponents in the table.
James McFadden celebrated his first Motherwell start for 10 years by helping Stuart McCall's men to a 2-1 home victory over the leaders.
Michael Higdon volleyed the winner in the 73rd minute as Motherwell beat Celtic for the first time in exactly two years.
Chris Humphrey had opened the scoring prior to the break, before Georgios Samaras headed an equaliser for the visitors.
McFadden had come off the bench twice since re-signing for Motherwell, appearing in consecutive defeats against Dundee United and Ross County which had seen Motherwell slump from second to fourth place.
But his first start since playing for Everton against Wolves on May 6 last year saw them return to second spot.
The 29-year-old helped make his name in a 2-1 victory over Celtic in September 2002 when he scored and tormented Martin O'Neill's side.
His lack of game time meant he was never going to be running at Celtic in the same way on Wednesday night but his skill, improved football brain and willingness to work helped Motherwell boost their hopes of qualifying for Europe.
Inverness dropped a place to third and Dundee United moved up to eighth after a goalless draw at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
Graham Carey scored a stunning goal as St Mirren defeated Hearts 2-0.
The two sides will contest the Scottish Communities League Cup final next month - and Danny Lennon's side struck a psychological blow ahead of that contest with this comfortable victory.
Paul McGowan netted from the penalty spot after three minutes and Carey's impressive looping shot from 25 yards extended their lead on the stroke of half-time at St Mirren Park.
Hibernian twice came from behind to earn a point from their home tussle with Kilmarnock as three of the goals coming in a lively finish.
Sammy Clingan gave Kilmarnock the lead within a minute of the second half starting, with a long-range strike, before Ryan McGivern levelled five minutes from time.
The visitors regained the lead soon after through Jude Winchester, only for Leigh Griffiths to earn Hibs a point with a third goal in as many minutes.
Mark Stewart got new interim Dundee boss John Brown off the hook in his first game in charge as his late goal earned the SPL's bottom-placed team a 2-2 home draw against St Johnstone.
Ten-man Dundee looked set for their 20th defeat of the league campaign after losing Declan Gallacher to a red card for his last-man tug on Steven MacLean.
But former Falkirk man Stewart popped up with a last-minute leveller to keep Dundee 15 points adrift of safety.
MacLean headed the Perth side ahead 35 minutes in, but John Baird cancelled that out with his own header just before the break.
Saints struck again through skipper Dave Mackay's free-kick after 68 minutes as he made sure it was a double punishment for the hosts following Gallacher's dismissal.
However Stewart netted at the end to secure a point.