Scottish Premier League wrap: Hearts close gap

Czech midfielder Rudi Skacel scored the only goal as Hearts beat St Johnstone at Tynecastle on Saturday.

The win enabled the Edinburgh side to close the gap on second-placed Rangers to two points and five behind leaders Celtic.

The home side were in front as early as the third minute after Skacel slid home at the end of a swift breakaway.

Suso Santana, Skacel and Stephen Elliott had chances to give Hearts a more commanding lead.

Steven May had a couple of efforts for St Johnstone, his second forcing a save from Marian Kello late on.

Hearts next face an away match with Rangers on Wednesday, with the Ibrox side having two games in hand over Jim Jefferies’ side.

The Tynecastle side were looking to bounce back from the midweek 4-0 defeat by Celtic and scored with their first attack after goalkeeper Kello collected a St Johnstone corner and released the ball upfield.

Gary Glen flicked the ball on to the overlapping Craig Thomson, who burst down the right flank and crossed low for Skacel to slide in and slam the ball into the net.

Hamilton and Kilmarnock shared the points in a 1-1 draw.

Irish international Connor Sammon, the league’s leading goalscorer, gave the Killies the lead after 15 minutes with his 15th goal of the season.

But Kilmarnock’s win was soured by the sending-off of midfielder Jamie Hamill after 28 minutes for a foul on Flavio Paixao for a second bookable offence,

Mickael Antoine-Curier equalised for the home side in the 79th minute with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.