Scottish Premiership
Hearts5Kilmarnock0

Heart of Midlothian 5-0 Kilmarnock

Ryan Stevenson scored a hat-trick as Hearts crushed sorry Kilmarnock and cranked up the Ayrshire side's relegation play-off fears.

The already-relegated hosts were streets ahead of Killie and Stevenson's treble was the least they deserved for their energetic first-half display.

Billy King and Callum Paterson added further goals after the break.

Killie remain in the play-off spot and the result means St Mirren's safety in the top flight has been secured.

Billy King nets the fourth for Hearts

The Buddies can no longer finish in 11th place, with two rounds of fixtures to play.

Kilmarnock went into this one having won the three previous meetings of the sides this season, but had lost five of their last six league games.

Hearts, meanwhile, were unbeaten in five and had won four of those.

A minute's silence was held before kick-off in memory of Hearts, Rangers and Scotland player Sandy Jardine, who died last month.

The pattern of play was set from the first whistle as the hosts piled forward, determined to test the nerves of the visitors.

And the home side grabbed the goal their early dominance merited after 11 minutes.

Rory McKenzie downed Sam Nicholson on the edge of the area and Stevenson's free-kick from the angle found its way through a packed box to beat Craig Samson.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Interview - Heart of Midlothian manager Gary Locke

Hearts kept the pressure on and Killie could not capitalise on their first real look at goal, when Sammy Clingan knocked a 25-yard free-kick over the bar.

That foray forward gave the visitors a bit of belief and Kris Boyd tried an overhead kick from Clingan's corner, but the ball dropped on to the roof of the net.

And Hearts soon cashed in on some woeful Killie defending to double their advantage. Nicholson delivered into the area and when the visitors failed to clear, Stevenson slammed a left-foot shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Kilmarnock offered a threat at the other end when Boyd drilled in a shot that Jamie MacDonald had to turn round the post.

The visitors then had a penalty claim when Chris Johnston went down under Paterson's challenge, but referee Calum Murray ignored the appeals.

Defender Callum Paterson rounds off the scoring with Hearts' fifth goal

Hearts finished the half as they started as Dale Carrick's delightful touch and pass sent Billy King darting away. He fed Stevenson, who was denied his hat-trick by a decent stop from Samson.

But Stevenson's treble was only delayed by a matter of seconds, as he knocked the ball out to King and then raced into the area to finish on the six-yard line.

The visitors were looking for a major improvement in the second 45 minutes but their sloppiness continued as Manuel Pascali's poor pass allowed Hearts to break with Nicholson setting up Stevenson, whose effort clipped the post.

Stevenson then turned provider after a lightning counter-attack, setting up King to crash in the fourth.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Interview - Kilmarnock boss Allan Johnston

The visitors threw on Alexei Eremenko but there was no stopping the one-way traffic towards their goal with Hearts hitting their fifth just before the hour.

Paterson cleared the ball from his own box then burst forward into the Killie area, where he finished from Stevenson's delivery.

Killie tried to shore things up at the back to help their goal difference and Hearts took their foot off the gas as the clocked ticked down.

They still had chances to add to their tally, however, and could have added more goals with a little more care in the final third.

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1MacDonald
  • 12Paterson
  • 3McHattie
  • 8Robinson
  • 5McGowan
  • 4Wilson
  • 18CarrickSubstituted forOliverat 78'minutes
  • 15Holt
  • 28Nicholson
  • 7StevensonSubstituted forHamillat 87'minutes
  • 19KingSubstituted forSmithat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Hamill
  • 13Ridgers
  • 14Walker
  • 16McKay
  • 17Smith
  • 29Oliver
  • 30McGhee

Kilmarnock

  • 1Samson
  • 15Barbour
  • 2Tesselaar
  • 28Slater
  • 29PascaliBooked at 25mins
  • 22Maksimenko
  • 18McKenzieSubstituted forAshcroftat 63'minutes
  • 8Clingan
  • 9BoydSubstituted forGrosat 69'minutes
  • 33MuirheadSubstituted forEremenkoat 57'minutes
  • 10Johnston

Substitutes

  • 4Fowler
  • 7Nicholson
  • 11Gros
  • 12Reguero Chapinal
  • 14Moberg-Karlsson
  • 20Eremenko
  • 30Ashcroft
Referee:
Calum Murray
Attendance:
13,656

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home11
Away10
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Hearts 5, Kilmarnock 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hearts 5, Kilmarnock 0.
Attempt blocked. Jason Holt (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Hearts. Jamie Hamill replaces Ryan Stevenson.
Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Ross Barbour.
Attempt saved. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Hearts).
Foul by Sam Nicholson (Hearts).
Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hearts. Gary Oliver replaces Dale Carrick.
Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).
Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).
William Gros (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).
Foul by Dale Carrick (Hearts).
Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hearts. David Smith replaces Billy King.
Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. William Gros replaces Kris Boyd.
Foul by Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock).
Callum Paterson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Lee Ashcroft replaces Rory McKenzie.

Goal!

Goal! Hearts 5, Kilmarnock 0. Callum Paterson (Hearts) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Stevenson.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Alexei Eremenko replaces Robbie Muirhead.

Goal!

Goal! Hearts 4, Kilmarnock 0. Billy King (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ryan Stevenson.
Attempt missed. Kevin McHattie (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.
Attempt missed. Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Sam Nicholson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).
Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).
Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Second Half

Second Half begins Hearts 3, Kilmarnock 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Hearts 3, Kilmarnock 0.

Goal!

Goal! Hearts 3, Kilmarnock 0. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Billy King with a cross.
Attempt missed. Danny Wilson (Hearts) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Craig Samson.
Attempt saved. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.
Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock).
Attempt missed. Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.
Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jason Holt (Hearts).
Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).
Sam Nicholson (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jason Holt (Hearts).
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.
Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.
Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Dale Carrick (Hearts).
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic3630517595
2Aberdeen3619891465
3Motherwell3620412264
4Dundee Utd361610101958
5Inverness CT3615912-154
6St Johnstone3615714852
7St Mirren3610818-1838
8Hibernian3681117-1835
9Partick Thistle3671415-2035
10Ross County369720-2034
11Kilmarnock369621-2333
12Hearts3610719-1822
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you:

For more ideas, information and inspiration, visit bbc.co.uk/getinspired