Russell double downs Hearts

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Johnny Russell notched a late brace as Dundee United beat Hearts 2-0 to move up to fourth in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and increase their hopes of catching the Tynecastle side.

The diminutive forward scored with a looping header in the 83rd minute and was then presented with an easy tap-in during injury time as the visitors chased the game.

The victory sees United close the gap on third place Hearts to 12 points and Peter Houston's side can move closer to the Gorgie outfit if they take all the spoils from their game in hand.

In a scrappy opening, Hearts registered the next shot on goal. Paul Dixon's poor defensive header from Marian Kello's long kick was picked up by Ryan Stevenson and his shot on the stretch from 18 yards forced a diving save from Pernis, while at the other end, Kello kept the score level with a brilliant save to deny David Goodwillie.

The Scotland international raced on to meet Barry Douglas' flick and powered a shot towards goal that the Slovakian did well to flick over. David Templeton's mazy run took him into the United box where he found Stephen Elliott, but the Irishman's left-footed shot on the turn bounced past the post.

Hearts right-back Ismael Bouzid was lucky to still be on the pitch after 52 minutes when he gave away another foul on Douglas by the corner flag, referee Iain Brines deciding not to show the Algerian a second yellow card.

Sublime close-ball control from Templeton saw him make his way into the penalty area after beating Keith Watson and Morgaro Gomis. The winger fell after a challenge from behind by Keith Watson but referee Brines waved away appeals for a penalty.

As the fog that descended on Tannadice worsened, United were stepping up their bid to find the breakthrough goal. Goodwillie did well to create room cutting in from the left and his near-post shot was pushed behind by Kello.

United made the breakthrough with seven minutes left through Russell after his header from substitute Danny Swanson's cross flew over Kello into the back of the net.

Russell added a second in injury-time, prodding home a Paul Dixon cross that was flicked on by Swanson.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Paul Dixon
Premier League
Stephen Elliott

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