Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson refused to blame Jordan McGhee after the defender’s late handball cost the Edinburgh side the game against Aberdeen.
McGhee had looked to be under no pressure as he leapt for a cross but threw his arm up and handled the ball, giving Dons forward Adam Rooney the opportunity to score from the penalty spot with just three minutes left to leave the final score 1-0 to the home side.
While Neilson admits he was disappointed to throw away a point in such a manner, he accepts that youngsters such as McGhee will make mistakes, and said: “I’m disappointed with the way we lost, but that’s football.
“If you don’t want to see mistakes like that, you don’t play kids. We’re a team that’s going to produce young players, and we’re going to have to accept mistakes. He’s played left-back in the biggest game in Scotland this weekend, and I thought he was magnificent.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes had a degree of sympathy for McGhee. “Although young Jordan made the mistake, I feel for him because he played well. I think David Goodwillie’s presence spooked him a bit, but it’s a real bonus for us.”