Where to start? Three red cards, six goals, a hat trick, two crazy late strikes, an outfield player playing in goals and a referee whose performance was questionable to say the least. In a match that never waivered in excitement, Hearts - against all glorious rhyme or reason - produced a late fight back to reaffirm just why we love all this wonderful game.

Sadly, there was unfortunate news, too, for St Johnstone, away from the field. Their kitman, Tommy Campbell, was taken for treatment in hospital following a heart scare. By that point, Murray Davidson was already there; he was driven in an ambulance after damaging his knee.

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"He has torn the patella tendon," said Tommy Wright, his manager. "He won't be playing again this season. Tommy [Campbell] is being kept in for observation. We wish him and his family well."

In terms of onfield action, the major flashpoint occurred in the final minute of normal time. Sam Nicholson had somehow bundled the ball in to pull one back for Hearts - who later announced that assistant manager Billy Brown would stay on until the end of the month - with only injury time to come. That was just the beginning of the drama, though, as a horde of players fought either to retrieve the ball or put back the restart, becoming tangled up in the net along with referee Brian Colvin.

"I was getting the ball, I chucked it up to the half-way line and then I saw all the madness and I just came back and tried to help," said Dale Carrick, whose first goal for Hearts after half-time dragged his side back into the contest. "I was just trying to stop it. I'm no' the biggest, but I'll try!"

Alan Mannus and Ryan Stevenson were sent off amid the chaos, before Hearts, almost inevitably, went on to grab a late equaliser via a thumped header by Danny Wilson.

It all overshadowed what should have been a match-winning hat trick by Stevie May. The young visitors could not handle his bothersome, raw power. The striker stomped around the turf, let loose like a bull in a shop full of quaking, defenceless china. He scored two penalties, while a second goal was bundled in after he ploughed through goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.

Tom Scobbie, who was forced to go in goals after Mannus went sent off and no substitutes were available, bemoaned the other red card, shown to Steven Anderson in the first half after the defender brought down Carrick some 40 yards from goal and in a wide position.

"I spoke to the referee during the game and he was running around asking everyone's opinion," Scobbie said. "He was just asking: 'Do you think it was a red card?'. To be honest, when a referee's asking you questions like that, he's obviously got doubt in his mind. It's a hard one to take."