Hearts report and player ratings v St Mirren: 7/10s and an 8/10 as Lawrence Shankland hits another landmark

The prolific striker scored a superb equaliser for the Tynecastle club

Hearts’ final away game of 2023/24 produced an entertaining 2-2 draw at St Mirren as Lawrence Shankland struck his 30th club goal of the season. The Scotland internationalist hooked a quite sublime equaliser over his shoulder after coming on as a second-half substitute. He is the first Hearts player to score 30 times for the club in one campaign since the legendary John Robertson in 1987/88.

James Scott opened the scoring with his first St Mirren goal early in the match, but Kyosuke Tagawa stroked home his first Hearts league goal to level the scoreline at 1-1. Defender James Bolton then headed his first goal in black and white before Shankland intervened to secure a point for Hearts. Their aim of ending the season with 70 points remains alive as they now look to beat Rangers at Tynecastle Park on Saturday.

Both these clubs will play European football next season after Saints secured fifth spot in the Premiership and Hearts achieved third. As such, there was a fairly boisterous atmosphere inside the SMiSA Stadium with the two sets of supporters eagerly anticipating foreign trips in the next few months.

Scott struck the evening’s first shot on target which the Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon repelled before Kye Rowles cleared. Moments later, with less than eight minutes on the clock, Conor McMenamin headed a cross from the left down towards the six-yard line and Scott was there to pounce for his first St Mirren goal.

That was the culmination of a very positive start from the hosts, but the away side didn’t wait too long to respond. They equalised on 20 minutes when Cammy Devlin got forward from midfield to deliver a low left-footed cross which Tagawa struck first-time with his left foot, the ball drilled past St Mirren goalkeeper Zach Hemming.

Tagawa had another decent opportunity from Alex Cochrane’s cross in first-half stoppage-time, however his finish was high and wide. Hearts finished the opening 45 minutes strongest with Devlin their most influential performer in a roaming midfield role.

The Australian continued to be heavily involved in proceedings after the interval and was then substituted on 60 minutes, presumably with Saturday’s final league game against Rangers in mind. It certainly could not have been because of his display. Hearts fell behind again not long after Devlin’s departure. The St Mirren substitute Caolan Boyce-Munce hung a cross up near the six-yard area and the unmarked Bolton was allowed time and space to head his first goal for the Paisley club.

Once again, Hearts reacted purposefully and sharply. When a corner from their right was only partially cleared by the home defence, Shankland hooked a first-time shot over his shoulder with his back to goal and turned to see the ball loop into the far corner of the net. It was his 30th goal of the club campaign and further endeared him to the adoring Tynecastle faithful, if that’s possible.

St Mirren pushed for a winner and striker Mikael Mandron forced Gordon into an excellent save in the 89th minute. That was the last attempt at goal, and in the end both teams settled for a point.

Here are the Hearts player ratings from Paisley:

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