John Sutton grabbed a deserved equaliser for Hearts with the last kick of the ball despite Ross County goalkeeper Michael Fraser's heroics.

Arvydas Novikovas beat Fraser from 14 yards after Marius Zaliukas set up the winger five minutes from half time.

Richard Brittain scored with a 55th-minute penalty after Andy Webster pulled down Iain Vigurs, who set up Stuart Kettlewell to fire County ahead.

But Sutton hammered in the equaliser after a miss-hit strike from Zaliukas.

Darren Barr congratulates Hearts goalscorer Darren Barr

It was a sore end to the match for County, who were aiming to pull off a double over the capital sides following their 3-2 win over Hibernian last weekend.

A low-key start to the match was notable only for early Hearts pressure, with skipper Zaliukas guilty of heading an outswinging corner well wide of Fraser's goal from 12 yards.

With County struggling to advance over the halfway line, they had to rely on Fraser to keep the score level with an outstanding double save, first from Andrew Driver's left-foot shot then immediately from Ryan McGowan's diving header.

County registered their first decent chance when captain Brittain pinged a shot a couple of feet wide of goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald's right-hand post with a low effort from 20 yards.

Hearts striker Callum Paterson was certain he had been fouled in the box by Fraser after half an hour as the pair raced for the ball, but his claim looked weak.

County's only other chance in the first half fell to Kettlewell, who was afforded time and space to fizz a shot that MacDonald parried only as far as former Jambo Gary Glen, whose blushes at his wayward follow-up shot were partly spared by his being called offside.

Barr's downward header from Driver's corner looked a certain goal but was cleared off the line by the leg of Grant Munro.

With five minutes until half-time, the Lithuanians put Hearts ahead. Zaliukas played the perfect ball for Novikovas to run on to it and hit it through Fraser's legs.

After the break, the impressive Fraser blocked a Novikovas effort when the winger should have doubled Hearts' advantage.

The hosts were made to pay for that when Webster barged into the back of Vigurs in the Hearts box and Brittain calmly stroked home the equaliser.

Paterson stabbed a shot wide, Ryan Stevenson stung the palms of Fraser and Driver could not control his effort from the rebound.

Paterson raced from the halfway line to reach a through ball but his shot was diverted wide by Fraser under pressure from a hastily retreating County rearguard and the County keeper made a wonderful instinctive save from Paterson's overhead kick as Hearts responded.

Vigurs had threatened the Hearts defence with a run and shot moments before County moved in front.

On the more profitable occasion, in a quick break, Vigurs set up Kettlewell, who steadied himself just outside the box and, with stunning accuracy, hammered the ball a foot inside MacDonald's far post.

Substitutes Sutton and Gordon Smith both missed chances to level as Hearts camped in the County box.

With the final move of the game, Sutton latched on to a ball into the box and his shot on the turn across Fraser was just reward for the home side.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Hearts

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 03 Grainger
  • 04 McGowan
  • 05 Barr
  • 06 Webster Booked
  • 26 Zaliukas
  • 33 Paterson (Smith - 84' )
  • 07 Stevenson
  • 10 Taouil
  • 11 Driver Booked
  • 18 Novikovas (Sutton - 70' )

Substitutes

  • 21 Enckelman
  • 29 McHattie
  • 19 McGowan
  • 08 Robinson
  • 09 Sutton
  • 12 Smith
  • 32 King

Ross County

  • 01 Fraser
  • 03 Fitzpatrick
  • 04 Munro Booked
  • 05 Boyd
  • 22 Kovacevic Booked
  • 07 Kettlewell
  • 10 Brittain
  • 11 Vigurs (Tokely - 89' )
  • 12 Quinn (McMenamin - 72' Booked )
  • 29 Fotheringham
  • 20 Glen (Scott - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 25 Brown
  • 06 Tokely
  • 14 Scott
  • 24 Ross
  • 09 McMenamin
  • 26 Dingwall
  • 27 Porritt
Ref: Charleston
Att: 12,139

Match Stats

Shots

19 5

On target

8 5

Corners

8 2

Fouls

10 13

Live Text Commentary

93:56 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +2:42

Assist by Marius Zaliukas.

90:00 +2:42 Goal scored

Goal! - John Sutton - Hearts 2 - 2 Ross Co John Sutton fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hearts 2-2 Ross County.

90:00 +2:08

The assistant referee signals for offside against Martin Scott. Free kick taken by Jamie MacDonald.

90:00 +1:39

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mehdi Taouil on Martin Scott. Marc Fitzpatrick restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +1:11

Foul by Marius Zaliukas on Martin Scott, free kick awarded. Marc Fitzpatrick restarts play with the free kick.

89:46

Ryan Stevenson produces a right-footed shot from close range that goes over the bar.

88:05 Substitution

Substitution Ross Tokely joins the action as a substitute, replacing Iain Vigurs.

87:09 Booking

Booking Colin McMenamin receives a caution.

85:08

Martin Scott takes a shot. Save by Jamie MacDonald.

84:39

Martin Scott concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Grainger. Daniel Grainger delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, clearance by Marc Fitzpatrick.

84:26

Daniel Grainger crosses the ball, Grant Munro manages to make a clearance.

84:18

Ryan McGowan delivers the ball.

83:07 Substitution

Substitution Callum Paterson goes off and Gordon Smith comes on.

82:13

Corner taken by Iain Vigurs from the right by-line, clearance by Callum Paterson.

81:30 Substitution

Substitution Gary Glen goes off and Martin Scott comes on.

81:09

A cross is delivered by Ryan McGowan, clearance by Grant Munro.

79:27

Richard Brittain produces a cross.

78:30

Andy Webster sends in a cross, save made by Michael Fraser.

78:07

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ryan Stevenson.

77:48

John Sutton takes a shot. Save by Michael Fraser.

76:20

Assist on the goal came from Iain Vigurs.

76:20 Goal scored

Goal! - Stuart Kettlewell - Hearts 1 - 2 Ross Co Stuart Kettlewell scores a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hearts 1-2 Ross County.

74:06

Shot comes in from Daniel Grainger from the free kick.

74:06 Booking

Booking Grant Munro is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

74:01

Grant Munro concedes a free kick for a foul on Callum Paterson.

73:20

Iain Vigurs takes a shot. Jamie MacDonald makes a save.

71:00

Michael Fraser restarts play with the free kick.

71:00 Substitution

Substitution Colin McMenamin comes on in place of Rocco Quinn.

71:00

Unfair challenge on Marc Fitzpatrick by Ryan Stevenson results in a free kick.

70:04

John Sutton concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Boyd. Michael Fraser takes the free kick.

69:02 Substitution

Substitution Arvydas Novikovas leaves the field to be replaced by John Sutton.

68:37

Centre by Arvydas Novikovas, Callum Paterson produces a volleyed right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area and hits the post.

67:51

Foul by Scott Boyd on Ryan McGowan, free kick awarded. Jamie MacDonald restarts play with the free kick.

67:27

Unfair challenge on Stuart Kettlewell by Andrew Driver results in a free kick. Richard Brittain takes the free kick.

66:17 Booking

Booking Mihael Kovacevic goes into the book for dissent.

64:54

Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Michael Fraser makes a save. Effort on goal by Andrew Driver from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.

63:51

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marc Fitzpatrick by Andrew Driver. Direct free kick taken by Michael Fraser.

62:45

Scott Boyd is adjudged to have handled the ball. Ryan Stevenson takes the free kick.

61:30

Free kick awarded for a foul by Stuart Kettlewell on Andy Webster. Marius Zaliukas takes the free kick.

60:25

Scott Boyd restarts play with the free kick.

60:25 Booking

Booking The referee shows Andrew Driver a yellow card.

60:07

The referee gives a free kick against Daniel Grainger for handball.

58:21

Callum Paterson has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

57:37

Andrew Driver delivers the ball, Grant Munro makes a clearance.

57:27

Foul by Scott Boyd on Callum Paterson, free kick awarded. Ryan Stevenson restarts play with the free kick.

56:18

A cross is delivered by Ryan Stevenson.

55:45

Handball by Ryan McGowan. Grant Munro restarts play with the free kick.

54:03 Goal scored

Goal! - Richard Brittain - Hearts 1 - 1 Ross Co Penalty taken right-footed by Richard Brittain and scored. Hearts 1-1 Ross County.

53:25 Booking

Booking Andy Webster booked for unsporting behaviour.

53:08

Andy Webster challenges Iain Vigurs unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

52:18

Free kick awarded for a foul by Callum Paterson on Scott Boyd. Grant Munro takes the direct free kick.

50:48

Arvydas Novikovas sends in a cross.

50:13

Outswinging corner taken by Ryan Stevenson from the right by-line, Marc Fitzpatrick manages to make a clearance.

50:05

Centre by Ryan McGowan, clearance made by Scott Boyd.

47:00

Arvydas Novikovas takes a shot. Michael Fraser makes a save. Corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger from the left by-line, Darren Barr takes a shot. Clearance by Iain Vigurs.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +0:14 Half time

Half Time The half-time whistle blows.

44:45

Andrew Driver produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.

44:05

Ryan Stevenson fouled by Mark Fotheringham, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Webster takes the direct free kick.

42:36

Richard Brittain gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Stevenson. Free kick taken by Jamie MacDonald.

42:25

Centre by Rocco Quinn, clearance by Marius Zaliukas.

41:31

Daniel Grainger concedes a free kick for a foul on Richard Brittain. Iain Vigurs takes the free kick.

39:47

The assist for the goal came from Marius Zaliukas.

39:47 Goal scored

Goal! - Arvydas Novikovas - Hearts 1 - 0 Ross Co A goal is scored by Arvydas Novikovas from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hearts 1-0 Ross County.

37:29

Andy Webster gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Iain Vigurs. Mark Fotheringham takes the direct free kick.

36:53

The ball is sent over by Daniel Grainger, Grant Munro makes a clearance.

35:35

Andrew Driver sends in a cross.

33:57

The ball is crossed by Andrew Driver.

32:42

The official flags Callum Paterson offside. Free kick taken by Michael Fraser.

31:36

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ryan Stevenson, Darren Barr takes a shot. Scott Boyd makes a clearance.

30:21

Richard Brittain is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Grainger, Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Glen.

30:15

The ball is delivered by Daniel Grainger.

29:56

Short corner taken by Daniel Grainger from the right by-line.

29:45

Gary Glen is caught offside. Jamie MacDonald takes the direct free kick.

29:15

Iain Vigurs takes a shot. Save made by Jamie MacDonald.

28:46

Mihael Kovacevic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Grainger. Daniel Grainger takes the direct free kick.

28:26

Daniel Grainger takes a shot. Iain Vigurs gets a block in.

27:20

Foul by Richard Brittain on Ryan Stevenson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ryan Stevenson.

26:05

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Callum Paterson by Grant Munro. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Stevenson.

25:01

Andrew Driver sends in a cross, save by Michael Fraser.

21:36

The offside flag is raised against Gary Glen. Andy Webster restarts play with the free kick.

20:29

Foul by Mihael Kovacevic on Daniel Grainger, free kick awarded. Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.

18:57

Richard Brittain takes a shot. Blocked by Daniel Grainger. Corner taken right-footed by Richard Brittain from the left by-line, Marius Zaliukas makes a clearance.

17:42

The ball is crossed by Ryan McGowan.

15:12

Corner from the left by-line taken by Daniel Grainger, Grant Munro manages to make a clearance. Ryan Stevenson has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.

14:10

A cross is delivered by Daniel Grainger, Richard Brittain gets a block in.

13:44

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mehdi Taouil by Iain Vigurs. Direct free kick taken by Mehdi Taouil.

10:37

Unfair challenge on Callum Paterson by Marc Fitzpatrick results in a free kick. Daniel Grainger shoots direct from the free kick, Grant Munro makes a clearance.

8:48

The ball is sent over by Rocco Quinn.

6:21

Corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger from the left by-line, Headed effort from inside the area by Marius Zaliukas misses to the right of the target.

5:33

Arvydas Novikovas has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

2:13

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Michael Fraser.

0:38

The ball is sent over by Andrew Driver, Grant Munro makes a clearance.

0:00

The match gets underway.

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