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Sport: Stephen Kingsley's Hearts stunner lights up ugly win - but this one over St Mirren could be so important

Brian Cox to make directorial debut on Glenrothan

  Brian Cox to make directorial debut on Glenrothan Brian Cox will make his directorial debut on the film 'Glenrothan', which is described as a "love letter" to the actor's native Scotland.The 'Succession' actor will also star in the movie, which is described as a "love letter" to the star's native Scotland and is set against the backdrop of a thriving whisky distillery town in the Highlands.

Stephen Kingsley doesn’t appear to score ugly goals, but as this victory – a 2-0 triumph for Hearts over St Mirren – illustrates, there are no extra points for style.

  Stephen Kingsley's Hearts stunner lights up ugly win - but this one over St Mirren could be so important © Stephen Kingsley curls home Hearts' second goal.

It took until the second half for Hearts to really get going and pull everything together in such a way that they were able to find a route through the defiant St Mirren backline.

But, come the end of the season, if the Gorgie side have fulfilled their ambitions, matches like this one will be just as important as previous Tynecastle wins where they dazzled against the likes of Livingston and Motherwell.

If Hearts are to split Rangers and Celtic the mental block on the road must end - Ryan Stevenson

  If Hearts are to split Rangers and Celtic the mental block on the road must end - Ryan Stevenson Robbie Neilson's men have hit a brick wall away from Tynecastle after their latest slump against Motherwell.Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Motherwell was a sore one.

And, while Kingsley’s inch-perfect set pieces will no doubt feature among the goals of the season, few in the stands and even fewer in the home dressing room will care whether decisive efforts are curled into the top corner or sclaffed over the line.

The defender’s postage stamp strike was his side’s second goal of the game and helped seal the outcome, but it was Gary Mackay-Steven’s 60th-minute opener that tipped the finely-balanced contest in their favour.

In a game between a team with the best home record in the league and opponents with the third best away form, there was little to separate them at half-time, as both goalkeepers pulled off quality saves – Craig Gordon denying Eamonn Brophy and reacting superbly to foil Charles Dunne before sparing Michael Smith’s blushes when he prevented a deflected Joe Shaughnessy effort finding the net.

Craig Gordon says Hearts players benefit from knowing about club's community work ahead of foodbank donations against St Mirren

  Craig Gordon says Hearts players benefit from knowing about club's community work ahead of foodbank donations against St Mirren Craig Gordon is convinced Hearts players benefit from knowing about the club’s extensive community work in and around the Gorgie area.Gordon, the Hearts captain, says such initiatives in line with the Big Hearts charity help players to understand how their club is rooted in the local area.

  Stephen Kingsley's Hearts stunner lights up ugly win - but this one over St Mirren could be so important © Hearts' Craig Gordon makes a save from St Mirren's Jamie McGrath.

At the other end, Jak Alnwick was tested by Barrie McKay – whose link up with Liam Boyce, Michael Smith and Gary Mackay-Steven was inventive throughout the game – and Makay-Steven forced another spritely save from the St Mirren keeper but Gordon was soon back in the midst of the action, pulling off a series of stops, the best from Jamie McGrath. Back defending Boyce then had to clear off the line before Gordon charged down another attack and then tipped Kyle McAllister’s strike over the bar.

  Stephen Kingsley's Hearts stunner lights up ugly win - but this one over St Mirren could be so important © St Mirren's Joe Shaughnessy leaves the field after a red card.

After the disappointment of last week’s trip to Fir Park, Hearts knew they had to bounce back if they still had realistic hopes of mixing it with the likes of Rangers and Celtic, who don’t play until Sunday.

Aware that few teams can muster and remain undefeated all term, the difference between the teams at the top and those left chasing is ability to respond positively to any loss.

Hearts ace Alex Cochrane on his future at Tynecastle, a 'must-win' encounter and showing patience

  Hearts ace Alex Cochrane on his future at Tynecastle, a 'must-win' encounter and showing patience ‘Must win’ is typically not a statement you expect to hear from players, managers or anyone involved in the day-to-day running of a football club, who tend to play down the significance of individual games, especially not when the match takes place in late November and the team in question are easily outperforming pre-season projections.It may seem a little reactionary, given last Saturday’s loss to Motherwell, was only the club’s second league defeat of the season, but the larger message coming out of Riccarton was one of patience and self-belief.

Boyce made a huge difference in that regard, adding graft and guile to the attack, while Craig Halkett returned from injury to bolster a back line that had to retain its composure as their guests pressed the play.

But, having had Richard Tait’s ‘goal’ chalked off for offside, it was the home side who eventually opened he soring in the 60th minute. McKay’s angled strike was parried and Mackay-Steven pounced on the loose ball to slot it inside the left post and give Hearts the impetus.

They built on that and when Kingsley stepped up to execute his free-kick with 15 minutes remaining, the win Hearts needed to move into second place was secured.

There was some concern when midfield star Beni Baningame was carried off but the prognosis is good.

But a disappointing day for Paisley boss Jim Goodwin got worse when Shaungnessy picked up a stoppage time red card after toppling Cammy Devlin.

What channel is Celtic v Hearts on? Match info, kick-off time, TV details .
Celtic and Hearts meet for the third time this season as the pair conclude the midweek fixturecard in the cinch Premiership. © Celtic won 3-2 the last time they met Hearts. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group) It is a big game for both clubs with the teams sitting second and third in the league respectively.For Celtic it is about keeping close to rivals Rangers, while Hearts will want to prove they have staying power at the top of the league as they target splitting the Old Firm.Hearts will have to end a long winless run in the league at Parkhead to do so.

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