There is definitely something to be said for this scoring first business.
It has taken until after the clocks go back for St Johnstone to do it in the league and three points were their reward.
There was a big element of luck in the Christophe Berra own goal that won the game for Saints but there was nothing lucky in the fact that the hosts were the victors. They were by far the better team.
All of a sudden the Premiership is a much nicer place for Tommy Wright’s side, who are off the bottom and closing in on mid-table.
That’s what two wins in a row does in a league as tight as this.
The only disappointment is they don’t have a game at the weekend to maintain the upward momentum.
To describe this contest as a slow-burner would have been something of an understatement. Scrappy was much nearer the mark.
After 15 minutes of neither keeper having to lay a glove on ball we eventually had a chance, though.
Scott Tanser fed a pass down the left wing to David Wotherspoon and his cross to the near post found Murray Davidson. The midfielder directed his first-time shot goalwards but it took a deflection off Berra to steer it off target.
One opportunity was swiftly followed by another.
Wright has been calling for Stevie May to get back to the striker who shot without pausing for thought and that was exactly what he did from a tight angle. May’s well-struck effort sailed over the bar, however.
You could see why Hearts have been toiling this season. There was no fluency in their attacking play whatsoever but they will always carry a threat when loading the box with their big men like Uche Ikpeazu.
That’s exactly what they did with a long diagonal ball into the box on 19 minutes. Zander Clark did the right thing in coming out of his six-yard box to punch clear, wiping out his own team-mate Anthony Ralston in the process.
The keeper got enough distance on it to make sure Aidan White’s subsequent shot was hit from too far out to trouble him.
Ali McCann’s reputation is growing week on week. Pressuring his opponents into mistakes is one of the youngster’s attributes and on 37 minutes he rushed Oliver Bozanic into giving away the ball 30 yards from goal.
For a moment it looked like the 19-year-old would be breaking the deadlock but keeper Joel Pereira was just quick enough to beat McCann to the ball at the edge of the box.
The game was opening up a bit as half-time approached and right winger Callumn Morrison had Tanser back-pedalling towards his own box on 42 minutes. Morrison eventually cut inside and let fly with his left foot but it was straight at Clark.
Saints’ ability to shoot themselves in the foot has been a recurring early-season theme and they were nearly at it again in stoppage time.
From Matty Kennedy making a mess of a chance to get a cross into the Hearts box one moment, there was a corner at the other end within the blink of an eye. Smith curled an inswinger to the near post but Berra couldn’t find the target.
Drey Wright is still working his way back to full match sharpness after his long injury lay-off but there was glimpse of magic when he flicked the ball over White’s head, forcing the defender to drag him down and be booked.
Wotherspoon took the free-kick and sent it long to the back post where Davidson and Wallace Duffy got in each other’s way.
Saints were building some pressure now and it brought about a deserved opener.
Pereira saved from Davidson and from the Wotherspoon corner that followed Berra put the ball into his own net after Jason Kerr had gone for it and missed.
Craig Levein’s response was an immediate double substitution, with Jamie Walker and Glenn Whelan replacing Morrison and Loic Damour.
The Hearts support – the smallest at McDiarmid Park in many a year – certainly weren’t impressed with the way the game was going and it was more than a handful of them chanting for “Levein to go” well before the end.
Saints’ first sub of the night, Chris Kane, nearly got on the end of a May cross but his first touch was too heavy.
With six minutes left Duffy rose tallest to meet a corner and his looping effort had to be headed off the line by Aaron Hickey.
There was to be no end of game onslaught from Hearts and Saints saw it out comfortably.
St Johnstone – Clark, Ralston, Tanser, Duffy, Kerr, Wright, Wotherspoon (Craig 73), Davidson, McCann, Kennedy (Kane 68), May (Hendry 87). Subs not used – Parish, Vihmann, Swanson, O’Halloran.
Hearts – Pereira, Smith, White, Berra, Bozanic, Clare (Meshino 80), MacLean, Ikpeazu, Damour (Whelan 60), Morrison (Walker 60), Hickey. Subs not used – Doyle, Brandon, Dikamona, Irving.
Referee – David Munro.