Dundee United ignored the speculation surrounding Blackburn Rovers and Rangers target David Goodwillie to beat Hearts thanks to a Jon Daly goal.

United adapted early to Goodwillie's absence and John Rankin sent a free kick against the crossbar.

Hearts' Stephen Elliott missed a chance before Daly headed home on 38 minutes after winning the corner by forcing a save from home goalkeeper Marian Kello.

Kello and United's Dusan Pernis both excelled in an exciting second half.

And that Daly goal proved to be the decider to ensure that Hearts have now gone 10 Scottish Premier League games without a win stretching back into last season.

The side buoyed by Thursday's Europa League draw against Paksi in Hungary had started confidently, with a Marius Zaliukas shot ricocheted off Elliott and narrowly wide before a Ryan McGowan long throw had to be flapped away by goalkeeper Pernis.

Despite the absence of talisman Goodwillie, who is in negotiations with Blackburn, United looked increasingly dangerous and Rankin sent an effort wide after Daly rolled the ball into the midfielder's path.

The visitors had strong cries for a penalty when Adrian Mrowiec pulled down Willo Flood on the edge of the box.

Referee Brian Winter appeared to think about pointing to the spot before he and his assistant decided on a free-kick that Rankin rattled against the crossbar.

Jon Daly celebrates his goal

Daly scored his second goal of the season at Tynecastle

Hearts could have taken the lead when former United full-back Danny Grainger pulled the ball back for Elliot.

However, the striker who had replaced the suspended Jamie Hamill in the starting line-up fired straight at Pernis before John Sutton diverted another cross from the left narrowly wide.

Daly forced a brilliant save from Kello when the striker produced a thunderous volley from a Paul Dixon cross.

The Irishman made no mistake from the resulting corner, rising to head home Flood's driven cross from 12 yards.

Hearts went close to levelling when Elliott broke clear of marker Sean Dillon but dragged his shot wide.

Garry Kenneth almost found his own net as the defender lashed clear in front of goal after David Templeton set up Elliott after the break.

Kenneth sent a header in the right direction moments later but his effort was straight at Kello after Scott Allan forced the goalkeeper to turn the ball round a post as the midfield debutant looked to steer the ball into the corner.

Johnny Russell, who had replaced Goodwillie in the starting line-up, fired just wide after a clever turn.

Templeton went one better at the other end, forcing a superb one-handed save over the top by Pernis after a pirouette of his own.

Pernis produced another excellent last-gasp save to deny Hearts substitute Ryan Stevenson and secure the three points for United.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Hearts

  • 25 Kello
  • 03 Grainger Booked
  • 13 Obua
  • 17 McGowan
  • 26 Zaliukas
  • 04 Jonsson
  • 08 Black
  • 12 Templeton
  • 31 Mrowiec (Skacel - 70' )
  • 10 Elliott (Novikovas - 70' )
  • 15 Sutton (Stevenson - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 30 MacDonald
  • 05 Barr
  • 16 Stevenson
  • 19 Skacel
  • 18 Novikovas
  • 22 Smith
  • 27 Robinson

Dundee Utd

  • 01 Pernis
  • 02 Dillon
  • 03 Dixon
  • 05 Kenneth
  • 12 Watson
  • 04 Severin (Robertson - 76' )
  • 06 Flood Booked
  • 11 Rankin
  • 20 Allan (Douglas - 83' )
  • 09 Daly
  • 15 Russell

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks
  • 14 Douglas
  • 08 Robertson
  • 16 Armstrong
  • 17 Mackay-Steven
  • 22 Dow
  • 23 Hilson
Ref: Winter
Att: 13,821

Match Stats

Shots

8 5

On target

2 2

Corners

9 6

Fouls

8 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:35 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +4:05

Free kick awarded for a foul by Garry Kenneth on Ryan Stevenson. Free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.

90:00 +2:11

Arvydas Novikovas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Keith Watson. Free kick taken by Garry Kenneth.

90:00 +0:30

The official flags Johnny Russell offside. Marian Kello restarts play with the free kick.

88:49

Marius Zaliukas fouled by Barry Douglas, the ref awards a free kick. Daniel Grainger crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Johnny Russell manages to make a clearance.

86:01

Barry Douglas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ian Black. Ian Black takes the direct free kick.

83:25

The official flags Jon Daly offside. Marian Kello takes the free kick.

82:43 Substitution

Substitution Scott Allan leaves the field to be replaced by Barry Douglas.

80:47

Corner from right by-line taken by Daniel Grainger.

77:30

Daniel Grainger gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Willo Flood.

77:28

Sean Dillon takes the direct free kick.

77:28 Booking

Booking Daniel Grainger goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

76:26 Substitution

Substitution John Sutton goes off and Ryan Stevenson comes on.

75:09 Substitution

Substitution Scott Robertson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Scott Severin.

73:57

Corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood from the right by-line, Daniel Grainger makes a clearance.

72:42

Rudi Skacel produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.

69:44 Substitution

Substitution Rudi Skacel on for Adrian Mrowiec.

69:44 Substitution

Substitution Stephen Elliott leaves the field to be replaced by Arvydas Novikovas.

67:42

Outswinging corner taken by Daniel Grainger from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Willo Flood.

67:22

David Templeton takes a shot. Dusan Pernis makes a save.

65:49

Corner from left by-line taken by Willo Flood.

64:30

David Templeton fouled by Keith Watson, the ref awards a free kick. Ian Black delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, clearance made by Garry Kenneth.

63:34

Stephen Elliott produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.

62:43

Johnny Russell produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

60:49

Scott Severin fouled by Daniel Grainger, the ref awards a free kick. Sean Dillon restarts play with the free kick.

58:55

Corner taken by Willo Flood, clearance made by David Obua.

56:30

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger, Jon Daly manages to make a clearance.

53:33

Strike comes in from David Templeton from the free kick.

53:33 Booking

Booking Willo Flood receives a yellow card.

53:26

Willo Flood gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Grainger.

50:58

Free kick awarded for a foul by David Templeton on Willo Flood. Scott Allan restarts play with the free kick.

48:50

Outswinging corner taken by Daniel Grainger, Garry Kenneth makes a clearance.

48:04

Foul by Ian Black on Johnny Russell, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Paul Dixon.

45:08

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Eggert Jonsson by Johnny Russell. Marian Kello takes the direct free kick.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:00 +0:24 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

44:23

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Daniel Grainger.

41:12

Effort from deep inside the area by Stephen Elliott misses to the right of the target.

37:14

Assist on the goal came from Willo Flood.

37:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Jon Daly - Hearts 0 - 1 Dundee U Jon Daly scores a headed goal from inside the area. Hearts 0-1 Dundee Utd.

37:13

Corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood,

36:48

Centre by Paul Dixon, Effort on goal by Jon Daly from 12 yards. Save by Marian Kello.

34:15

Corner taken by Daniel Grainger, clearance by Jon Daly.

33:01

Corner taken right-footed by Willo Flood from the left by-line, John Rankin challenges Stephen Elliott unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Marian Kello.

31:56

Daniel Grainger takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Garry Kenneth.

30:51

The official flags Johnny Russell offside. Free kick taken by Marius Zaliukas.

30:03

Scott Allan concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Grainger. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.

25:36

Ian Black concedes a free kick for a foul on John Rankin. Garry Kenneth restarts play with the free kick.

22:37

The ball is delivered by Daniel Grainger, Effort on goal by John Sutton from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.

22:09

Centre by Daniel Grainger, Stephen Elliott takes a shot. Comfortable save by Dusan Pernis.

20:42

Ryan McGowan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Allan. Paul Dixon restarts play with the free kick.

19:46

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Willo Flood, save by Marian Kello.

18:45

The assistant referee signals for offside against Jon Daly. Marius Zaliukas restarts play with the free kick.

15:12

Adrian Mrowiec gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Willo Flood. John Rankin fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick,

10:43

Corner taken by Daniel Grainger from the left by-line, Paul Dixon manages to make a clearance.

9:20

David Obua produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.

7:18

Free kick awarded for a foul by Willo Flood on Daniel Grainger. Daniel Grainger crosses the ball in from the free kick.

6:35

Corner from the right by-line taken by Daniel Grainger, clearance by Scott Severin.

2:23

Ian Black fouled by Scott Allan, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Marius Zaliukas.

1:51

Shot from deep inside the area by John Rankin goes over the bar.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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