Robbie Neilson declared Scottish football's goal of the season debate over after Stephen Humphrys' incredible strike from his own half.

The substitute forward produced a moment of brilliance to cap Hearts' 3-1 win over Dundee United on Saturday. The visitors had led through Steven Fletcher but were dealt a heavy blow when Ryan Edwards' crunching tackle on Andy Halliday earned him a red card.

Goals from Lawrence Shankland and Alex Cochrane put Hearts in control before Humphrys stepped up in the final moments, driving away from the edge of his own box and lobbing Mark Birighitti from an outrageous distance.

"I’ve been here for a long time and see a lot of games over the years but I can’t think of a better goal to be honest with you," admitted Neilson. "It was an unbelievable finish. As soon as it left his boot we all thought it had a chance, it’s over the keeper, is it dipping and time kind of slowed down a bit.

"It was outstanding and I’m delighted for him, firstly he is a brilliant boy, he has been brilliant for the dressing room and the group. He has been a wee bit in and out, but you saw when he comes on what he can give you.

"It shows you both sides of him, pace, power, strength but also the finesse to have that final finish. I think goal of the season is now done in Scottish football. I think it will definitely be over social media tonight."

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In a frantic finish to proceedings, Hearts also had Josh Ginnelly sent off for two quickfire bookings - the first one for time-wasting and the second for sarcastically clapping referee Nick Walsh.

But Neilson reckons the official handled the incident poorly.

“I thought it was so poor," he said. "I tried to talk to the referee but he didn’t want to speak to me.

“I thought it was terrible. Dundee United were down to 10 but they time wasted all day, two or three times the referee warned them.

“We did it once and he gets the yellow card out, desperate to do it. 

“The second one, yes, you can’t clap him, but Nick Walsh is an experienced referee and the first one for me was handled very poorly.

“We pay the price as we have a man suspended now. If we go through the right processes we might get an answer from him, maybe if we see him sneaking out."

Defeat keeps United bottom of the pile but manager Liam Fox insisted he could not ask any more of his players as they battled away for over an hour with 10 men.

And he also reckons Edwards was harshly dealt with by Walsh, who initially let the incident go unpunished before being beckoned to the pitchside VAR monitor.

“My initial reaction is it was a really good tackle,” he insisted. “It’s disappointing but I’m really proud of my players today. The performance was really good, I know that sounds silly when we’ve lost 3-1 but they gave me everything. The referee said the red was excessive force, maybe I’m getting old but that was a normal tackle back in my day. It’s disappointing for us.”