Hearts 5-2 St Mirren: Three things learned as goals return to Tynecastle Park

Jambos looking stronger in attack as key forwards return

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 5:17 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th November 2019, 5:29 pm
Jamie Walker celebrates after scoring Hearts' fourth goal against St Mirren

Net gain

Hearts scored five goals in a league game for the first time since August 2016 against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. There was certainly a more attacking intent about Hearts which would have pleased supporters following their team's malaise. They were more aggressive in MacPhee's 4-3-3 formation, even though it was a surprise seeing left-back Aidy White and striker Uche Ikpeazu lining up on the left and right wing respectively. The plan worked and the desired outcome of three points was achieved. Crucially, the Edinburgh club are no longer joint-bottom of the Premiership table.

Naismith, Walker and Mulraney

Hearts have waited a seemingly endless period of time for Steven Naismith and Jamie Walker to return from injury. With both forwards back in the starting line-up and etching their names on the scoresheet, it showed everyone partly what has been missing. Naismith's first-time finish opened the scoring from a corner, while Walker expertly guided a header away from the St Mirren goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky for the fourth goal. That put the game beyond the visitors as two of Hearts' talismen demonstrated their worth to the side in the best fashion. There was also the welcome sight of winger Jake Mulraney featuring as a substitute as injury problems continue to slowly subside. He marked his return with a superb curling strike into the top corner for his team's fifth goal.

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Defence still vulnerable

St Mirren last scored more than one goal away from home back in May at relegated Dundee, yet they broke through the Hearts rearguard several times without too much difficulty in the first 45 minutes. The Tynecastle back line has been chopped and changed all season so it should be no surprise that they are struggling for consistency in that department. Both Jon Obika and Danny Mullen found themselves unmarked with a clear sight of goal to score for St Mirren. The amount of space and time they had will be of great concern to the Hearts coaching staff, especially against a side which had only scored two away league goals all season prior to this fixture.