St Mirren 3 Hearts 2: Trophy hunt finally ends after 26 years


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The Independent Football

St Mirren midfielder Paul McGowan believes the players did the club proud when they ended a 26-year wait for a trophy by winning the Scottish League Cup at Hampden Park yesterday with a 3-2 triumph over Hearts.

Goals from Esmael Goncalves, Steven Thompson and Connor Newton won the game for Danny Lennon's side, despite a double from Hearts' Ryan Stevenson.

The trophy was St Mirren's first since they won the Scottish Cup in 1987 and McGowan said: "It's unbelievable. I'm so proud of every one of the players and it's a great day. We truly deserved it. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try and win a cup here."

St Mirren faced an uphill battle when Stevenson opened the scoring in the 10th minute but they did not look back after Goncalves levelled eight minutes before the break. Thompson scored 50 seconds after the restart and Newton's first St Mirren goal rendered Stevenson's 86th-minute response for Hearts a mere consolation.

Gary Locke did not even attempt to hide his disappointment in what was his first match as Hearts' permanent manager.

After three weeks in charge as a caretaker, the 37-year-old was yesterday entrusted with the first team until the end of next season following John McGlynn's departure.

"I'm disappointed," he said. "I thought when we were 1-0 ahead we had chances after that to go 2-0 up. It's been one of those seasons where we've been really disappointed with the way things have gone but we've got to keep our heads up,

"Between now and the end of the season we've got to win as many games as we can."