Hearts gave up a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League Championship group play-offs on Saturday.Jim Jefferies’ side had a three-goal buffer after 52 minutes but gave up the lead after John Sutton’s second, either side of a goal from Tom Hateley, clinched Motherwell an unlikely point.
Full-back Craig Thomson put Hearts ahead from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after Steven Saunders fouled Ryan Stevenson.
Midfielder Rudolf Skacel doubled their advantage 10 minutes later after playing a one-two with Irish striker Stephen Elliott.
When Stevenson scored their third seven minutes after the interval it looked as though Hearts would romp home.
But a Sutton goal was followed by a free-kick from 21-year-old Hateley to bring the score back to 3-2 with half an hour to play.
A cross from Gavin Gunning was met by the head of Sutton to score a dramatic 88th minute equaliser.
The draw leaves Motherwell in sixth, two points behind Kilmarnock, while Hearts are seven points clear of Dundee United with Celtic and Rangers well clear at the top.
Dundee made the perfect start to the play-offs with a 4-2 win over Kilmarnock.
Striker David Goodwillie struck a brace either side of half-time to help United open up a 4-0 lead before Kilmarnock hit back twice late on.
After a lively start to the contest, it took 25 minutes for Dundee to find the opener through Scott Severin.
He rose highest to head in a corner from Craig Conway for his first goal of the season.
Goodwillie doubled the lead seven minutes before the break when he headed home a cross from Conway.
In the space of three second-half minutes the game was over when Goodwillie headed in another Conway cross from the right and the provider of the first three goals struck from long-range to cap off a fine performance.
Portuguese substitute David Silva pulled a goal back with a low strike in the 70th minute and midfielder Manuel Pascali headed in another three minutes from time to make it 4-2.
Kilmarnock are left eight points from United after the loss.