Kilmarnock claimed victory over Hearts in a controversial Scottish Premier League encounter.

Ian Black was sent for the home side after 16 minutes for a tackle on Dean Shiels, but Hearts went on to dominate the first half.

However, Killie won a penalty when Marius Zaliukas felled Paul Heffernan and Shiels converted on 55 minutes.

Hearts manager Paulo Sergio was sent to the stand and the home side were unable to force an equaliser.

Kilmarnock's third successive win at Tynecastle keeps them in a strong mid-table position and to within three points of fifth-placed Hearts.

Sergio's side imposed themselves early on and Danny Grainger's free-kick swerved wide of Anssi Jaakkola's left-hand post.

Ryan Stevenson and Black were also off target with a header and long-range shot respectively as the hosts continued to press.

Andy Webster headed over at the back post from a Hearts corner moments before the home side were reduced to 10 men.

Black slid in on Dean Shiels after the Kilmarnock player had released the ball and the challenge was deemed as a sending off offence by referee Alan Muir.

Ian Black fouls Dean Shiels

Black was dismissed after this challenge on Shiels

In spite of this, it was still the Edinburgh side who continued to threaten and Rudi Skacel juggled with the ball before trying an overhead kick that was off target and then Stevenson flashed a shot across the face of Jaakkola's goal.

Hearts claimed unsuccessfully for a penalty after the ball seemed to trickle down the arm of Alex Pursehouse in the penalty area after the Killie player mis-timed his headed clearance.

Pursehouse was soon replaced with David Silva and Jaakkola made a stunning save near the end of the half to keep the score at 0-0.

Grainger's inswining corner made it all the way to the back post, where Stevenson was lurking and the forward's downward volley was scooped off the line by the keeper.

Killie finally threatened when the ball broke to Silva on the edge of the box, but his shot was deflected out for a corner.

Hearts continued to look the more likely at the start of the second half, with Stevenson setting up Skacel for a shot that was well saved by Jaakkola and the ball was whipped away from Stevenson as he tried to convert the rebound.

And then, from a rare break, the visitors won a penalty.

Heffernan was released and the striker was bundled over by Zaliukas as he progressed into the penalty area, the referee eventually pointing to the spot after weighing up the decision.

Hearts protested and yellow cards were handed out to Skacel and Zaliukas before Shiels coolly stroked home the spot-kick.

Jamie Hamill sliced a shot over as Hearts tried to find a leveller and the former Kilmarnock player then had a long-range free kick held by Jaakkola.

Sergio was dismissed after an angry exchange with the officials.

Webster and team-mate David Templeton headed wide and Silva had a couple of shots as both sides missed chances in the closing stages.

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