Hearts manager Craig Levein admitted his emotions went from one extreme to the other after Colin Doyle’s stoppage-time blunder gifted Motherwell victory at Fir Park.
The goalkeeper spilled David Turnbull’s 30-yard free-kick into his net in the third and final minute of time added on to hand the hosts a 2-1 win.
Steven Naismith had levelled for Hearts before the break after Jake Hastie fired Motherwell ahead as both teams contributed to an entertaining game.
Doyle made several impressive saves but the Irishman went over to apologise to the Hearts fans after his howler – which came seconds after substitute Ben Garuccio had been sent off for flying into a tackle on Liam Grimshaw.
Levein said of his goalkeeper: “He’s disappointed, as we all are. He has held his hands up. He’s made a mistake hasn’t he? In a game I felt we were in pretty good control of and my substitutions and thoughts were mainly about how we could win the game.
“It’s strange at times. I have gone from feeling positive and ended up in a situation where two huge mistakes have cost us the points.
“It feels like we have gone from one extreme to another.”
Levein had no complaints about referee Nick Walsh’s decision to show Garuccio a straight red card.
“Twenty-five to 30 years ago, you got away with that, no bother,” Levein said.
“All the players know that if you leave the ground to tackle, which Ben did, then although he has won the ball and the player wasn’t injured, it’s just the nature of the game. And it’s not a surprise.
“I’m not criticising the referee at all because he did leave the ground, and I think everybody knows that’s not acceptable. And Colin has made an error from a free-kick that was easily saved.”
Turnbull’s goal earned Motherwell a sixth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership win and moved them two points off the top six.
“It’s a great way to win a game,” manager Stephen Robinson said. “It’s unfortunate for their goalkeeper, who I thought was outstanding throughout the match, made two or three terrific saves. But we’ll take it.
“We earned it. We were positive and made positive substitutions. It was two teams trying to win the game.”
Hastie scored his fourth goal in three matches and his fifth in total since returning from a loan spell at Alloa in January.
The 19-year-old winger is in talks about extending his contract beyond the summer but Robinson claimed his latest spectacular strike – after cutting inside Christophe Berra and lashing the ball home – would not make any difference to the negotiations.
“No, because we haven’t got any more money,” Robinson said. “We offer what we can.
“I’ll sit in front of any parent, as I do with my own son, and say they have got to play football. He is playing football here, he has got a very good coaching staff who really support him, and this is the place for him to develop.
“A few hundred pounds now will not make any difference to his life but he could be a very good player if he keeps grounded and keeps improving.”
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