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Football: St Mirren break Hearts to win maiden League Cup

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

St Mirren came from behind to create history as they clinched the Scottish League Cup for the first time following a 3-2 win over Hearts at Hampden.

Hearts took the lead through a deflected Ryan Stevenson shot in the 10th minute and John Sutton hit the post with a header as the Edinburgh side dominated.

But they failed to take their chances and St Mirren equalised against the run of play in the 37th minute through on-loan Esmael Goncalves.

Steven Thompson fired St Mirren into the lead 50 seconds after the restart before Conor Newton made it 3-1 with a fierce 66th minute strike.

Stevenson hit the bar before grabbing his second of the game in the 85th minute to give Hearts hope.

But the Tynecastle club, who had hoped to give their fans something to cheer following a turbulent season involving financial difficulties off the pitch and poor displays on it, were unable to force extra time.

The result makes up for the heartache suffered by St Mirren in the 2010 final when they were defeated by nine-man Rangers and sees them collect their first trophy since their 1987 Scottish Cup win.

"I'm very proud and emotional. It's only just sinking in and I'm absolutely thrilled," St Mirren boss Danny Lennon said.

"From a personal point of view I'm absolutely delighted that we are bringing the trophy back to Paisley for the first time in this club's wonderful 135-year history."

Gary Locke, who was only confirmed as the new permanent Hearts manager on Saturday, was despondent.

"It's a sore one. Myself, the staff and all of the players are really hurting at the moment," the former Hearts player said.

"I felt if we could have got the second goal we probably would have went on to win it. We had a few chances and I think we've hit the woodwork two or three times but it just wasn't meant to be."

Hearts had all the pressure in the opening stages and Stevenson handed Hearts the lead with a fine finish.

The ball broke to the midfielder at the edge of the box and he took his time before firing an angled shot beyond Craig Samson with the help of a deflection off Paul Dummett.

Hearts were winning the individual battles all over the pitch and came close to adding another in the 21st minute when Jamie Walker jinxed down the left wing and swung a cross over to the far post where Sutton fired a header off the outside of the post.

However, Hearts were left to rue their missed chances when St Mirren equalised in the 37th minute.

Thompson fed Gary Teale down the right wing and he raced into the box and squared for Goncalves to side foot home the equaliser.

It took just St Mirren just 50 seconds after the restart to take the lead for the first time in the final through Thompson.

Dummett sent in a low cross from the left and Thompson, who scored the winner in the semi-final against Celtic, got in front of Danny Wilson to lift the ball high into the net at the front post.

Hearts immediately looked for a way back into the match and Walker found himself in space after cutting in from the left but he sent his effort well wide.

Taouil then held off several challenges before making a beeline for the byline but his cutback hit off the legs of Ngoo with Samson making a point-blank save.

However, St Mirren dealt another blow to Hearts' chances when Newton made it 3-1 in the 66th minute.

The on-loan Newcastle United midfielder played a neat one-two with Goncalves to burst into the box and drill a fierce right foot strike that beat MacDonald at his near post.

Stevenson came agonisingly close to pulling one back in the 84th minute when his close range shot crashed off the bar.

But the midfielder gave Hearts hope a minute later when he made it 3-2 with a low angled strike from just inside the box.

Stevenson then forced Samson into a fine save with a fierce strike in the 89th minute before sending the rebound off the outside of the post.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130317/football-st-mirren-break-hearts-win-maiden-league-cup-0