A bonus trip after yesterday's visit to Kilmarnock to sign off a busy first month. We were joined by Nicola for the trip to Perth and it was a game I was thoroughly looking forward to, probably after yesterday's drudge that was Kilmarnock-St Mirren.
St Johnstone have returned to the Premier League after a 7 year absence from the top table and the early signs were reasonably good - despite just 1 point from the opening games they had been praised for an open, attacking approach. Hearts on the other hand seemed to be continually stumbling from one disaster to another after showing such promise in the early days of the Romanov era - no wins and dumped out of Europe by August suggest that this season little will change.
Armed with a satisfying pie and Bovril we took our seats in the impressive McDiarmid Park (the first purpose built all-seater stadium in Britain according to the encyclopedia that anyone can edit). St Johnstone began the match in ferocious fashion with their attacking impetus centred through the excellent Jody Morris whose career had stalled somewhat after early promise in England. It was rewarded in 23 minutes with a Murray Davidson header from a set piece but the Saints couldn't add to their advantage against a misshapen Hearts team.
The Edinburgh side came out with much more pace and purpose in the second period and it was Goncalves who headed them level on the hour. St Johnstone couldn't get a stranglehold again and Obua's rebound shot just four minutes from time sent the Hearts fans delirious. It looked like the Saints were about to be dealt a harsh lesson but with the final action of the game Martin Hardie curled a superb free kick home to give his side a deserved share of the spoils.
It had been a humdinger of a match, played at a furious pace with committed players on both sides. I have to admit I am surprised at just how involved I seem to get when in the home end for the games we've attended thus far, none more so than today as I gleefully waved goodbye to the Hearts neds as they trooped despondently out of the ground.
At a time when all we seem to hear on the radio whilst driving to the games is doom and gloom about the state of the Scottish game this proves that, on its day, very few leagues in Europe can match it for excitement and drama. 7 games completed in the first month, so far so very good.
Journey - 4/10
Pie - 7/10
Bovril - 8/10
Ground - 7/10
Game - 9/10