St Mirren 3-2 Hearts: Buddies celebrate first silverware for 26 years

The Scottish League Cup will make its home in Paisley after St Mirren fightback from a goal down to secure the trophy with a nervy win over the Jambos
Goals from Esmael Goncalves, Steven Thompson and Connor Newton helped St Mirren pick up the Scottish League Cup for the first time with a 3-2 win over Hearts.

The Paisley side were forced to soak up early pressure from their SPL rivals, but they managed to overcome a Ryan Stevenson double to claim their first major trophy since 1987.

St Mirren made one change from the side that drew at home to Dundee United last Saturday, with skipper Jim Goodwin replacing Graham Carey, who dropped to the bench.

While Gary Locke made three changes from the side that somehow survived the Edinburgh derby against Hibernian, with Fraser Mullen, Callum Tapping and Arvydas Novikovas all were left out, with Dylan McGowan, Darren Barr and Jamie Walker all stepping in for them.

The Edinburgh started the brightest and were rewarded when after 10 minutes Michael Ngoo ran towards goal, but Goodwin blocked the on-loan Liverpool striker and the ball fell kindly at the feet of Stevenson, who twisted his way into the box, before firing home with the aid of a deflection from Paul Dummett.

Locke’s side continued to pile on the pressure, with young winger Walker dancing past a couple of Buddies defenders before crossing for the John Sutton, who inching away from claiming Hearts second.

Hearts continued to knock on the door in search of a second goal, as Ngoo completely missed a Kevin McHattie free kick, but luckily for the Paisley side Craig Samson was alert enough to grab onto the effort.

After squandering so many chances, Hearts found themselves pegged back with about seven minutes until the break, as Gary Teale broke the offside trap, before drawing Jamie MacDonald out and squaring the ball to Goncalves, who tapped home the equaliser.

Within a minute of the restart St Mirren found themselves ahead, as Paul McGowan played the ball from the left wing for Thompson to thunder home at the near post, beyond the helpless MacDonald.

The Tynecastle outfit should have been back level minutes later when Mehdi Taouil made his way past John McGinn inside the box, but his ball to Ngoo cannoned off of the striker’s thigh before Samson cleared for a corner.

Instead of getting an equaliser, Hearts went further behind as Newton picked the ball up in the middle of the park before playing a one-two with Gonclaves, which allowed the on-loan Newcastle midfielder a clear path to goal, in which he made no mistake, finishing smartly.

Hearts should have got one back with seven minutes left as the ball left to as Stevenson somehow managed to left an effort from close range onto the top of the bar.

But moments later Locke’s side did get one back as Ngoo played in Stevenson, whose low effort went beyond Samson and into the net.

The Tynecastle side continued to push forward in search of the goal that would send the game into extra-time, but they left themselves with too little time and the League Cup was St Mirren’s.