Neilson revels in Ibrox silence as Hearts draw with Rangers

The Hearts boss says the hush that fell through Ibrox told him an equaliser had been scored.

Neilson revels in Ibrox silence as Hearts draw with Rangers Sammy Turner via SNS Group
Neilson was unhappy Rangers midfielder Juninho Bacuna wasn't sent off.

Sent-off Hearts boss Robbie Neilson insists the sound of silence at a packed Ibrox told him Craig Halkett had scored a dramatic late equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Rangers.

With three minutes remaining and the cinch Premiership leaders ahead through a wonderful first-half strike by midfielder John Lundstram, the Gorgie manager was dismissed by referee Don Robertson after picking up two yellow cards within seconds for dissent following a touchline melee which saw Tynecastle defender Kingsley and Gers substitute Juninho Bacuna cautioned.

In the final minute, Light Blues keeper Allan McGregor flapped at a Gary Mackay-Steven corner and Halkett nodded in at the back post to keep Hearts unbeaten in nine league games and still a point behind the champions.

Neilson said: “I didn’t see the goal but I just heard the silence which was nice, so I was delighted.

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“I was in the tunnel area, at the back, you are not allowed down. I am disappointed that I got a second yellow.

“I am more disappointed at the fourth official because the boy (Bacuna) has grabbed Stephen Kingsley by the throat right in front of him. That is a red card.

“So I complained about that and complained again and got a second one. But when you come to these places and you are not going to get the decisions.

“For me that was a stone-waller but you have to accept it sometimes.

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“I thought it was a really good game, we came here and went toe-to-toe with the champions, we created chances, they created chances and I was delighted with the players, they showed brilliant character.”

A “frustrated” Gers boss Steven Gerrard claimed his players “stitched” McGregor up by missing so many chances to finish the game off.

He said: “That first-half performance will take us to where we want to get to but the second half, I don’t think we came out with the same intent, urgency.

“I thought we got a little bit soft as the game went on.

“The game is about both boxes, you have got to take your chances.

“At 1-0 we had four or five really top chances to go and kill that game.

“We haven’t so we have almost stitched Greegsy up because the headlines will be Allan McGregor should have dealt with the cross.

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“But I think we stitched him up today because we should have scored the second, the third and fourth goal to kill that game before that moment comes.”