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Levein is left to rue goalkeeper Doyle's spill in stoppage time

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Craig Levein

Craig Levein

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Craig Levein

Hearts manager Craig Levein admitted his emotions went from one extreme to the other after Colin Doyle's stoppage-time blunder gifted Motherwell victory at Fir Park.

The goalkeeper spilled David Turnbull's 30-yard free-kick into his net in the third and final minute of time added on to hand the hosts a 2-1 win.

Steven Naismith had levelled for Hearts before the break after Jake Hastie fired Motherwell ahead as both teams contributed to an entertaining game.

Doyle made several impressive saves but the Irishman went over to apologise to the Hearts fans after his howler - which came seconds after substitute Ben Garuccio had been sent off for flying into a tackle on Liam Grimshaw.

Levein said of his goalkeeper: "He's disappointed, as we all are. In a game I felt we were in pretty good control of and my substitutions and thoughts were mainly about how we could win the game.

"It's strange at times. I have gone from feeling positive and ended up in a situation where two huge mistakes have cost us the points.

"It feels like we have gone from one extreme to another."

Levein had no complaints about referee Nick Walsh's decision to show Garuccio a straight red card.

"Twenty-five to 30 years ago, you got away with that, no bother," Levein said.

"Players know that if you leave the ground to tackle, which Ben did, then although he has won the ball and the player wasn't injured, it's just the nature of the game. And it's not a surprise.

"I'm not criticising the referee at all because he did leave the ground, and I think everybody knows that's not acceptable. And Colin has made an error from a free-kick that was easily saved."

Turnbull's goal earned Motherwell a sixth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership win and moved them to two points off the top six.

"It's a great way to win a game," manager Stephen Robinson said. "It's unfortunate for their goalkeeper, who I thought was outstanding throughout the match, made two or three terrific saves. But we'll take it.

"We earned it. We were positive and made positive substitutions. It was two teams trying to win the game."

Belfast Telegraph