For the most part it was typical end of season stuff with very little for both sets of fans to get excited about. That didn't bother the Hearts fans who wanted a party but if we'd managed another goal we'd have sneaked seventh and got some more money. Eighth will have to do - incredible considering the start to the season and where we were a few months ago.
This game was similar to the one against Hearts at the end of 2013 - we led, they equalised at the start of the second half then were denied a win by a stunning save in the last minute. We probably said goodbye to a few players but whether or not we were saying goodbye to the manager remains to be seen.
Gary Teale made his first Saints start for goodness knows how long, his injury problems finally behind him. Josh Magennis and Gregg Wylde also came in as Danny Lennon freshened things up for what may well have been his last game in charge. Steven Thompson had an operation yesterday so was absent, while Paul McGowan and John McGinn were on the bench. With so much uncertainty there's a fair chance a number of our players were playing for us for the last time, including Conor Newon and Kenny McLean. Hearts were without Jamie Hamill and Ryan Stevenson so had even less experience than normal, although Jamie Macdonald and Danny Wilson were still about.
Try telling the Hearts fans they had nothing to play for. They were out in huge numbers and making a heck of a lot of noise, although goodness knows how loud they'd have got had Christopher Dilo not turned Jamie Walker's fourth minute shot behind. Next time Walker shot straight at Dilo and he dealt with it comfortably. We were struggling to cope with Hearts at times but they weren't creating a great deal either, however it was still slightly against the run of play when we took the lead - Macdonald failing to hold McLean's drive and Newton reacting quickest to fire the loose ball high into the net.
It was our first decent chance of the game and our second almost yielded another goal, this time Magennis heading wide from a Wylde cross. Just before half-time McLean produced a swerving free-kick that Macdonald turned away although the Hearts fans barely noticed - they were too busy celebrating Kilmarnock scoring against Hibs! They nearly had something else to celebrate in the final seconds of the half but Dale Carrick shot wide.
He made up for it within seconds of the restart. Not for the first time Harts were able to break easily from a corner and when Dilo could only parry a shot from Walker, Carrick ran in to smash in the equaliser and send the huge travelling support into over drive. With Magennis and Wylde both starting it made you wonder who our 60 minute substitution would be today. The answer was Paul McGowan, who came on for Gary Teale. He looked lively but in truth it was a poor game and McLean firing a shot straight at Macdonald after some neat play was about as good as it got.
Subs were about all we had to get excited about, McGinn coming on for Newton - who almost certainly won't be here next season - with Hearts putting on Billy King for Walker. It made a slight difference as we created a chance, although the unmarked Magennis somehow managed to head several yards wide of goal from McGowan's cross. Next time around McGinn headed over from a more difficult position while McLean got himself booked for a poor tackle. Magennis headed a Jim Goodwin free-kick on for McGowan but his looping header was always going over before Macdonald easily saved from McGinn. Darren McGregor hasn't scored for nearly two years but tried to put that right at the wrong end, breathing a huge sigh of relief as his attempt to cut out Oliver's cross trickled past the post.
That was a scare but the Jambos very nearly won it in the dying seconds - Callum Paterson getting on the end of Sam Nicholson's cross only to see his header kept out by a brilliant save from Dilo. Oliver then shot wide and we could relax, the final few seconds used to give David van Zanten a runout. It was a pointless substitution, suggesting that this was his last appearance for the club. he probably wasn't the only one in that boat but the most important thing at the moment is to find out what's happening with the manager. Hopefully all will be revealed at the start of the week.
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