Hearts: How they rated in the victory over St Mirren

How the Hearts players rated in the 2-0 cinch Premiership victory away to St Mirren, where Ellis Simms and Cammy Devlin were on target.

Saturday, 26th February 2022, 4:55 pm

Robbie Neilson made six changes to his team, the most notable his decision to start with a back four in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Nathaniel Atkinson, John Souttar, Craig Halkett and Stephen Kingsley lined up at the back, but Andy Halliday and Alex Cochrane finished the game in the full-back positions.

On-loan Liverpool forward Ben Woodburn was preferred to on-loan Everton frontman Ellis Simms, who came off the bench to change the game.

Ellis Simms celebrates after he comes off the bench to put Hearts in front

With Saints down to ten men, he was one of three subs introduced early in the second half as Neilson changed the shape to 4-4-2.

Craig Gordon 6/10

Back in the team after recovering from Covid, the Scotland goalkeeper had very little to do.

Nathaniel Atkinson 5

Struggled defensively to cope with Jordan Jones. Megged by the winger and then booked for bringing him down. Better going forward.

John Souttar 8

Very strong performance from the centre-back, who didn’t let the defensive shape stop him from stepping out in possession.

Craig Halkett 7

Welcome return from injury added much-needed solidity to the defence. Showed how much he has been missed.

Stephen Kingsley 7

Solid defensively and offered a threat on the overlap, delivering some quality crosses. Just what is expected.

Cammy Devlin 7

Enjoyed his first goal for Hearts, following up a rebound, and then immediately subbed. The Australian had done his job.

Beni Baningime 7

On the receiving end of Connor Ronan’s rash red card challenge but didn’t let it affect him. Helped Hearts totally control the game.

Barrie McKay 7

Had the vision and craft to provide Boyce with plenty of chances. Set up Simms’ goal. The most creative outlet for Hearts in attack.

Ben Woodburn 5

Off the pace and ineffective. Could easily have given a penalty away. Knocked off the ball too easily.

Gary Mackay-Steven 6

Plenty of endeavour. Took a sore one from Marcus Fraser and had his moments down the left flank early on, but faded.

Liam Boyce 6

Should have scored at least two. Got himself into good scoring positions, but finishing let him down.

SUBS

Ellis Simms 8

For Woodburn 55mins Instant impact with a scrappy goal. Played part in the second goal and hit the bar too. Caused Saints problems.

Josh Ginnelly 6

For Mackay-Steven 55 mins. Very direct on the right flank, zipping in a couple of great deliveries.

Alex Cochrane 6

For Atkinson 55 mins. Left footer came on in the unusual position of right-back before switching to the left.

Peter Haring 6

For Devlin 69 mins. Shored up the game in midfield with Hearts two ahead. Booked for collision with Jones.

Andy Halliday 6

For Kingsley 69 mins. Came on at right back to allow Cochrane to switch to the left. Steady enough.

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