Successive victories for United
Sat 9th Feb 3pm
Dundee United's new manager Jackie McNamara led his side to a second straight home triumph with a 3-1 victory against ten-man Hearts.
Striker Johnny Russell began the scoring on two minutes and Willo Flood added to it after the break. That followed Hearts losing skipper Marius Zaliukas to injury before then seeing Ryan Stevenson sent-off
However, Michael Ngoo reduced the deficit with fourteen minutes remaining, only for substitute Michael Gardyne to secure victory late on and lift United into the top half of the table.
The Tangerines had the perfect start with Russell immediately collecting John Rankin's cross and firing low past Jamie MacDonald inside the first couple of minutes.
Hearts replied with Ngoo driving an effort against the crossbar before Zaliukas had to be replaced after suffering an ankle injury. And worse was to follow when Stevenson was shown a straight red card for his 25th minute challenge on Mackay-Steven.
The fleet-footed winger then almost set up skipper Jon Daly for a second as keeper MacDonald managed to block. But it was still to arrive on 62 minutes when Flood swapped passes with Mackay-Steven and calmly slotted in.
Goalscorer Flood soon directed another attempt at the keeper before Ngoo struck the crossbar again at the opposite end. He did though find the target from around ten-yards following Fraser Mullen's 76th minute corner to give the visitors renewed optimism.
Those hopes were finally dashed, however, when substitute Gardyne claimed his second goal of the season from Daly's cross just before the end.
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Watson, Dillon, Gunning (McLean 72), Douglas, Flood, Rankin, Armstrong, Mackay-Steven (Gardyne 77), Russell, Daly
subs (unused): Banks, Soutattar, Ryan, Millar, Dow
Goals: Russell (2), Flood (62), Gardyne (89)
Heart of Midlothian: MacDonald, Wilson, Webster, Walker (Robinson 67), Zaliukas (Barr 19), Mullen, Stevenson, Holt, Tapping, Ngoo, B. King (Sutton 67)
subs (unused): Ridgers, Driver, Prychynenko, Novikovas
Goals: Ngoo (76)