Saints end home hoodoo
Dargo goal earns first SPL win at St Mirren Park
Last Updated: 03/10/09 5:36pm
Dargo: Grabbed winner
St Mirren belatedly gained a first SPL win at their new ground after coming from behind to beat Hearts 2-1.
Gus MacPherson's side appeared set for another frustrating afternoon after Jose Goncalves put Hearts into the lead just after the half-hour mark.
However, Steven Thomson levelled before the break and Craig Dargo scored in the 65th minute to clinch a first league win at St Mirren Park.
Saints boss MacPherson made two changes from the side that lost to Celtic last week, with Lee Mair back from suspension and Andy Dorman also starting, while Chris Innes and Garry Brady dropped to the bench.
Hearts also made two changes for the trip to Paisley. In came Lee Wallace and Ruben Palazuelos after missing out through injury and illness respectively and out went the injured Marius Zaliukas and Ian Black.
The Jambos could have been ahead with only two minutes on the clock when Craig Thomson's corner found the towering figure of David Witteveen in the box but he was denied the opener when his header was hooked off the line by Steven Thomson.
David Obua then tried his luck with a powerful shot from just outside the box but his effort flashed just past St Mirren goalkeeper Paul Gallacher's left-hand post.
Saints had the chance to put pressure on their visitors when they won a free-kick on the edge of the area. Dorman picked out Stephen McGinn at the back post but he connected awkwardly and his header fell wide.
Gallacher was called into action to tip a Suso Santana shot just over the crossbar, before Obua saw his effort from the resulting corner cleared off the line.
But the Saints keeper was picking the ball out of the back of the net with 31 minutes gone when Goncalves threw himself in front of Craig Thomson's corner and directed a header past Gallacher.
Hearts should have doubled their lead a few moments later when Suso took advantage of an unfortunate slip by Gallacher and rounded the keeper only to be denied by a last-gasp block from Mair after taking too long to unleash the shot.
The Edinburgh side were left ruing that missed opportunity when Saints hauled themselves level after 38 minutes. McGinn's cross found Dorman at the back post and his attempted shot broke to Steven Thomson to rifle home.
Hearts had a chance to restore their lead early in the second half when Suso won a free-kick just outside the box and Craig Thomson's swerving shot forced a decent save from Gallacher, who did well to parry past the post.
Innes had replaced Mair at the break and Saints shuffled their pack again when Hugh Murray made way for Tom Brighton, who set up St Mirren's second of the day when he nodded on for Dargo to send a superb volley past Janos Balogh with 64 minutes gone.
Hearts suffered a further blow with 15 minutes remaining when Witteveen left the pitch on a stretcher following a collision with Innes.
The visitors could have restored parity late on but Obua nodded narrowly wide from a corner and the chance was lost.
Saints could then have put the outcome beyond doubt when Innes connected well with a Dorman corner only to see his shot saved by the keeper but the home side managed to hold on for their long-awaited home triumph.