Hearts 1-1 Kilmarnock: Balatoni denies former side

Kilmarnock defender Conrad Balatoni denied his former club Hearts victory after an entertaining afternoon at Tynecastle.

Jamie Walker gave Hearts the lead from the penalty spot after Osman Sow was chopped down by Balatoni.

But the former Hearts youngster atoned for his first-half error with a 25-yard drive into the bottom corner with 10 minutes to go.

The home side’s frustration was compounded when substitute Gavin Reilly was sent off for kicking out at Kilmarnock defender Steven Smith.

Hearts should have been out of sight before then but Killie goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald was instrumental in denying Sam Nicholson and Juanma several opportunities.

And, after the game, Robbie Neilson lamented his side’s profligacy in front of goal.

“I thought we should have been four or five up at half-time,” he said. “We had a good performance, we scored the goal had four or five clear cut chances and when you don’t score, you’re always going to be under pressure.

“There’s always a feeling they were going to put something in the box and get something and they did The lesson is we need to be more ruthless when we make chances.”

Neilson was handed a two-game suspended ban from the SFA for criticising referee Willie Collum but he seemed reluctant to comment on John Beaton’s performance – who handed out seven yellow cards and a red.

“I’ll be honest. The referee never missed six chances, we did. If we scored them then we’d be sitting here with three points and delighted. It was nothing to do with him today.”

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock boss Gary Locke was delighted with his side’s response to going behind.

“You always expect Hearts at home to put you under pressure. But we held firm and didn’t concede any further goals and I was pleased with the response and character.”

Scottish Premiership Round-Up

St Johnstone stunned Aberdeen at Pittodrie with a sensational 5-1 victory over the league leaders.

Steven MacLean grabbed a double, while Liam Craig, Joe Shaughnessy and Brian Easton got on the scoresheet. Ash Taylor netted a consolation for the hosts.

Managerless Dundee United suffered another huge setback losing 3-0 away to Partick Thistle.

Inverness CT won 2-1 in the Highland derby against Ross County.

Motherwell suffered their first defeat under interim boss Stephen Craigan after a 2-1 defeat to Dundee.

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