Jambos pinch points at Tannadice

Under-strength Hearts moved five points clear in third place after Michael Stewart fired the only goal in a 1-0 SPL win over Dundee United.

Last Updated: 28/02/09 at 18:25 Post Comment

Stewart: Grabbed only goal of the game

Stewart: Grabbed only goal of the game

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Hearts played without a recognised striker for the whole match, but Stewart drove home a 62nd-minute winner with their only shot on target.

United were handed a lifeline in the shape of a controversial late penalty, but Janos Balogh saved Francisco Sandaza's poor effort.

The away win was all the more rewarding for Hearts, given their selection problems - exacerbated on Friday with the news that Laryea Kingston faces two months out with a torn hamstring.

With Christian Nade suspended and Gary Glen injured, Hearts started with midfielder Adrian Mrowiec up front on his own - Bruno Aguiar supporting. The Pole was handed the unfamiliar role in only his second start for Hearts, and his first since suffering a knee injury in September.

The visitors also had Christos Karipidis and Eggert Jonsson in a makeshift central defence but they survived against a United side lacking confidence in the final third.

They were grateful for Balogh's double save in the 13th minute. Paul Caddis found Sandaza inside the box with a clever reverse pass. But Balogh blocked his effort and held Caddis' first-time follow-up at the second attempt.

Hearts survived another scare in the 20th minute, after being caught out by Danny Grainger's quickly-taken free-kick. The full-back's low cross found Sandaza at the near post, and he helped it on for Darren Dods - whose close-range shot was blocked by Robbie Neilson.

On-loan Leicester midfielder James Wesolowski soon shot well over from 20 yards on his United debut, but the home side failed to build on their pressure.

Caddis weakly shot a 25-yard free-kick into the wall as Hearts comfortably survived a scrappy phase of football until half-time, without providing any attacking threat of their own.

United strikers Warren Feeney and Sandaza even looked unconvincing during some half-time target practice - the Northern Ireland international then volleying high and wide after the ball broke for him 15 yards out after the restart.

Mrowiec failed with a hopeful penalty appeal as he tried to run between two defenders, but United's sloppy passing was allowing Hearts more possession in dangerous areas.

They took an unlikely lead, after Andrew Driver's persistence inside the box paid off. The ball fell into Stewart's path 20 yards out, and he shot powerfully into the bottom corner after his initial effort had been blocked.

United brought on winger Craig Conway for Wesolowski as they sought much-needed inspiration, and they began to push Hearts back.

Sandaza's shot trundled wide, after he had turned Jonsson just outside the box, and the Spaniard came closer when he fired inches wide of the far post.

Sandaza soon won a controversial 80th-minute penalty from Eddie Smith when he fell over Jonsson's leg as the Hearts man appeared to take the ball with a sliding tackle.

As Hearts unsuccessfully appealed for Smith to allow treatment to the Mrowiec, the United striker saw his weak penalty saved by Balogh.

The game threatened to spiral out of control as United played on, with Mrowiec still lying in the middle of his own half.

But Hearts saw out the remainder of the game - including five minutes of injury time - with Balogh making a comfortable save from Dods from 10 yards out.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Sunday, 21 December 2014
12:15
Dundee U 2-1 Celtic Report
Saturday, 20 December 2014
15:00
Aberdeen 1-0 Kilmarnock Report
Partick 1-1 Dundee Report
Ross Co 0-1 Hamilton Report
St J'stone 1-0 Inverness Report
St Mirren 0-1 Motherwell Report
Sunday, 14 December 2014
13:00
Celtic 4-1 St Mirren Report
Saturday, 13 December 2014
15:00
Dundee U 0-2 Aberdeen Report
Hamilton 2-1 Dundee Report
Inverness 0-4 Partick Report

Footer 365

Neil Warnock sacked by Crystal Palace after run of one win in 12 games

Neil Warnock has been sacked as manager of Crystal Palace, with Keith Millen placed in charge for Sunday's trip to QPR.

Rooney Enjoying 'Scholes' Role

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is revelling in his position as an attacking central midfielder, after he scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha in Arsenal's 2-1 win over QPR.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property