sport

Locke salutes brave Hearts

Hearts manager Gary Locke paid tribute to his side's character after two late goals snatched a dramatic 3-3 draw at St Johnstone.

Stevie May netted a hat-trick for the home side, who had Steven Anderson controversially sent off and before Murray Davidson was carted off to hospital at half-time for surgery on a serious knee injury.

May's second penalty of the match gave Saints a 3-1 lead on 62 minutes, but they were reduced to nine men in the final minute when goalkeeper Alan Mannus was also dismissed along with Hearts striker Ryan Stevenson following Sam Nicholson's goal.

Danny Wilson then headed Kevin McHattie's corner past stand-in keeper Tam Scobbie to spark wild celebrations in the visiting camp, and Locke said: "I can't be any prouder of the players.

"You saw the spirit we have got in the camp. It's a young team but they never give up. That's what the fans appreciate.

"To get two penalties against you and still show the character to come back, I think that speaks volumes for the players."

McHattie was penalised for both spot-kicks, each time by a different linesman, the first for a pull on Nigel Hasselbaink and the second for handball.

Locke added: "I sit here most weeks and some of the penalty decisions we have had against us have been pretty poor. I haven't seen them again but they tell me the first one was outside the box and the second one was a penalty."

St Johnstone counterpart Tommy Wright requested a meeting with referee Brian Colvin to explain what he felt were harsh dismissals.

"I'm disappointed to lose two points," he said. "I thought we were the better team even with 10 men.

"In those situations at times I think we should walk away. Alan sees three or four Hearts players trampling over Frazer (Wright) and he gets involved in something. Stevenson comes running at him from left field and two players who do very little get sent off."

On Anderson's dismissal for a trip on Carrick in the first half, Wright said: "We will definitely appeal that one. The lad is going away into an even wider area and he's 35 yards from goal.

"I have asked to see the referee and hopefully that will happen and I'll get his views on what happened, particularly the two sendings-off."

Wright also revealed that kit man Tommy Campbell was also taken to hospital after complaining of chest pains.

Locke added: "Although it was a great game, everyone at Heart of Midlothian's thoughts go out to the St Johnstone kit man. He had a suspected heart attack there. There are a lot more important things than football."