Hearts 2-0 St Johnstone extras: Barrie McKay masterclass but John Souttar booing was counterproductive

Rounding up the action from Hearts’ 2-0 win over St Johnstone at Tynecastle.

Hearts' Josh Ginnelly points to Barrie McKay after making it 2-0 againt St Johnstone. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Hearts' Josh Ginnelly points to Barrie McKay after making it 2-0 againt St Johnstone. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Player of the match

Josh Ginnelly scored both goals in Hearts’ 2-0 victory over St Johnstone but on both occasions he was gifted the perfect ball and sent on his way by playmaker Barrie McKay. So much of Hearts’ best attacking play flowed through McKay, making him the top pick of the day.

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It was unsurprising but still disappointing to hear fans booing one of their own every time he got on the ball. Regardless of the fact John Souttar has chosen to see out the next chapter of his career at Rangers - and the Tynecastle fans are entitled to be as disappointed as they like about that - for now, he remains a Hearts player and, on this evidence, he is as committed as ever to earning them three points in every game he plays. Just seems counterproductive to try to unsettle and boo one of their own players when that kind of reception could surely wait until he rocks up in an opposition shirt, should the punters still feel so inclined.

The big let down for St Johnstone was the fact their run of defeats now stretches to nine, rendering the next couple of matches pivotal to their season’s hopes for success. On Saturday they are in Scottish Cup action, looking to defend the trophy, before returning to league duty with a massively-important head to head with Dundee, their nearest rivals in the battle to avoid relegation.

Turning point

Punters had hardly had time to swallow their half-time pie before Hearts pounced to make the breakthrough early in the second half. St Johnstone never looked capable of overhauling that deficit.

Ref watch

In real time Hearts seemed worthy of a penalty but Nick Walsh was not convinced.

Gave us a giggle

It was no laughing matter for St Johnstone but there was an element of farce in the build up tp Hearts second goal as Nadir Ciftci’s sloppy pass was picked up by McKay, who darted upfield. The Turkish striker and team-mate Michael O’Halloran gave chase and tried to squeeze him out but an injection of pace from McKay saw him burst between them, leaving them to take each other out and end up in a crumpled heap on the turf while he was free to gain more ground before squaring the ball to Ginnelly to finish.

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