Hearts hit back twice to earn a point at home to 10-man Ross County.

Graham Carey intercepted a pass from Callum Tapping to run in and shoot County in front on 20 minutes but Callum Paterson levelled soon after.

Melvin De Leeuw drove the visitors ahead after the interval before Richard Brittain picked up his second caution.

With Hearts piling forward, Ryan Stevenson bundled the ball over the line from a corner, with Paterson hitting the crossbar late on.

Every point is crucial for Hearts as they gradually near positive figures following their 15-point deduction for entering administration.

They are now on -3 but made up small ground on 11th-place Kilmarnock, who lost at home to Motherwell.

Derek Adams' men came agonisingly close to a first league win since 5 October.

Both sides had early opportunities to take the lead. Kevin Luckassen found space inside Hearts 18-yard box but his curling shot was wide of Jamie MacDonald's goal.

At the other end good play by Paterson down the left set up Scott Robinson for a deep cross that Jamie Walker was inches away from connecting with.

Hearts always looked dangerous going forward and a mix up in the County defence almost led to the opening goal.

Centre half Scott Boyd collided with keeper Mark Brown as a cross came into the box and neither knew where the ball was before it hit the shin of Boyd and slowly rolled wide.

Walker had a crack at goal but midway through the first half a terrible mistake by Tapping allowed Ross County to take the lead.

The youngster tried an ambitious pass across the field that was intercepted by Carey, who found himself clean through on goal and fired the ball underneath the body of MacDonald.

Their lead lasted just six minutes, though.

Robinson mis-hit a corner but the ball eventually found its way to Paterson who fired an unstoppable left foot volley beyond Brown and into the net.

Brittain found his way into the book of referee Crawford Allan after wrestling Walker to the ground.

De Leeuw rattled the underside of the bar but County regained the lead when Hearts failed to clear the ball and De Leeuw fired the ball low into the corner.

Brittain fouled Walker again to collect his second booking.

Hearts pressed again and substitute David Smith shot over from close range before 'keeper Mark Brown held on to Stevenson's effort from 20-yards.

Their numerical advantage was eventually made to count two minutes from time when Stevenson bundled the ball home from a corner.

Smith's delivery was knocked down by Danny Wilson and the forward forced the ball home inside a congested six-yard box.

Paterson crashed a header off the bar from a Smith free kick as the Jambos nearly took all three points.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (4)

Heart of Midlothian

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 30 McGhee
  • 03 McHattie
  • 20 Tapping (Smith - 57' )
  • 05 McGowan
  • 04 Wilson
  • 02 Hamill
  • 08 Robinson (King - 80' )
  • 12 Paterson
  • 07 Stevenson
  • 14 Walker

Substitutes

  • 13 Ridgers
  • 16 McKay
  • 17 Smith
  • 18 Carrick
  • 19 King
  • 26 King
  • 29 Oliver

Ross County

  • 01 Brown Booked
  • 04 Kettlewell Booked
  • 11 De Leeuw (Maatsen - 78' )
  • 06 Micic
  • 21 McLean
  • 05 Boyd
  • 08 Brittain Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 10 Quinn
  • 15 Glen (Klok - 70' Booked )
  • 19 Luckassen
  • 23 Carey Booked

Substitutes

  • 02 Kovacevic
  • 09 Mustafi
  • 14 Maatsen
  • 16 Cooper
  • 17 Ross
  • 18 Klok
  • 20 Fraser
Ref: Crawford Allan
Att: 12,508

Match Stats

Shots

12 10

On target

5 4

Corners

12 5

Fouls

8 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Hearts 2, Ross County 2.

90:00 +3:12 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Hearts 2, Ross County 2.

89:58

Callum Paterson (Hearts) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

89:30

David Smith (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

89:30

Foul by Graham Carey (Ross County).

88:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hearts 2, Ross County 2. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

86:41

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Mark Brown.

86:29

Attempt saved. David Smith (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

85:42

Foul by Callum Paterson (Hearts).

85:42

Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

79:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Billy King replaces Scott Robinson.

79:09 Booking

Booking Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

79:03

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:03

Foul by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County).

78:41

David Smith (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.

78:41

Foul by Kevin Luckassen (Ross County).

77:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ross County. Darren Maatsen replaces Melvin De Leeuw.

77:00

Attempt missed. Jamie Hamill (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

75:31 Booking

Booking Marc Klok (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

75:16

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

75:16

Foul by Marc Klok (Ross County).

71:28

Attempt saved. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

71:09

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:09

Foul by Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County).

69:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Ross County. Marc Klok replaces Gary Glen.

68:31

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Branislav Micic.

68:10

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Brian McLean.

67:09

Attempt missed. Danny Wilson (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

66:40

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Brian McLean.

65:28

Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:28

Foul by Branislav Micic (Ross County).

64:24

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Mark Brown.

64:12

Attempt saved. Jamie Hamill (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

63:22 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Richard Brittain (Ross County).

63:17

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:17

Foul by Richard Brittain (Ross County).

61:20

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

60:44

Attempt missed. Jordan McGhee (Hearts) header from the left side of the box is too high.

60:00

David Smith (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

59:58

Foul by Branislav Micic (Ross County).

56:48

Foul by Jamie Walker (Hearts).

56:48

Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

56:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. David Smith replaces Callum Tapping.

49:04 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hearts 1, Ross County 2. Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Gary Glen.

47:36

Hand ball by Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County).

46:12

Foul by Jamie Walker (Hearts).

46:12

Rocco Quinn (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Hearts 1, Ross County 1.

45:00 +1:13 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Hearts 1, Ross County 1.

45:00 +0:20

Attempt missed. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

44:18

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

44:09

Attempt saved. Rocco Quinn (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

43:32

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Brian McLean.

42:28

Foul by Callum Tapping (Hearts).

42:28

Richard Brittain (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

41:52

Attempt missed. Brian McLean (Ross County) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high.

41:18

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Dylan McGowan.

40:53

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

40:53

Scott Boyd (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:07

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Scott Boyd.

37:57

Attempt missed. Richard Brittain (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

37:22

Foul by Callum Paterson (Hearts).

37:22

Kevin Luckassen (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:31

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jordan McGhee.

34:33

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

33:28

Attempt missed. Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

33:05

Rocco Quinn (Ross County) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box.

30:42

Attempt missed. Dylan McGowan (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

29:59 Booking

Booking Richard Brittain (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

29:55

Callum Tapping (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:55

Foul by Richard Brittain (Ross County).

27:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hearts 1, Ross County 1. Callum Paterson (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

26:56

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Scott Boyd.

25:24

Foul by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County).

25:24

Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:14 Booking

Booking Graham Carey (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

24:09

Foul by Graham Carey (Ross County).

24:09

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:23

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Mark Brown.

22:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hearts 0, Ross County 1. Graham Carey (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

20:39

Foul by Callum Paterson (Hearts).

20:39

Branislav Micic (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

19:56

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Graham Carey.

18:14

Hand ball by Kevin Luckassen (Ross County).

16:38

Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:38

Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

16:10

Attempt missed. Jamie Walker (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

15:05

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Mark Brown.

11:16

Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).

11:16

Michael Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:47

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Scott Boyd.

6:00

Attempt saved. Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

4:36

Attempt missed. Gary Glen (Ross County) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the right.

4:08

Foul by Gary Glen (Ross County).

4:08

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.

0:51

Attempt missed. Kevin Luckassen (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers