In the crash, bang, wallop of football against the clock, it’s perhaps not surprising that players develop some kind of amnesia when it comes to recalling majors moments amid the frenzied, mind-mangling tumult. “I don’t really remember it much,” said Sean Clare of the 25-yard pile driver in injury time which rescued a point for Hearts in a pulsating skirmish at McDiarmid Park.

Having derailed Rangers’ title tilt the previous weekend, Hearts were in danger of clattering into the buffers as St Johnstone’s spirited second-half thrust pushed them into a deserved 3-2 lead. Hearts, with an all-action opening period which had them 2-1 up, were almost unrecognisable after the resumption. Even Doctor Jekyll would have gasped at the transformation as Daniel Stendel’s men struggled to cope with St Johnstone’s industry and impetus. Clare’s late and spectacular intervention, one which stemmed from a throw-in which should have been awarded to the hosts, salvaged the situation.

“We were in control in the first half and then we had a shaky 15 minutes which cost us the three points,” conceded Clare. “We’ll have a look at why it (the second half struggle) happened and stop it happening again.”

Clare has been galvanised under Stendel and his switch to right back has brought benefits to all concerned. Stendel’s fondness for the so-called high press, a high risk but high reward strategy, requires discipline, trust and boldness. The exacting nature of it just about requires breathing apparatus too but Clare is revelling in its demands.

“The style of play is right up my street,” he added. “I’m nowhere near the finished article in the right back position and I’m not saying I’m permanently right back but there’s lots to learn. That’s promising for me in my eyes because I can get better. The manager wants the full backs high up the pitch and that suits me. I’m an attacking player. There’s definitely an element of risk (to the system).The way we play will allow us to score more goals and as we keep working on it the more secure we will be at the back.”

The late leveller was a sore one for St Johnstone who put in a terrific second-half shift and probably should have put Hearts to the sword. Stevie May added a penalty to his 17th minute opener while the impressive Ali McCann capped a robust display with a tidy goal as the hosts left Hearts in an appalling guddle. The Saints also rattled the woodwork while May’s growing confidence was illustrated by a wonderfully executed effort from 45-yards which was desperately clawed to safety by the Hearts keeper.

"At half-time some people might have said it would be a great result to go and draw the game,” reflected May. “But the way the game went, we are disappointed. You could see it in the changing room. It felt like a defeat.”

It’s not been the most prolific of campaigns for May but the 27-year-old’s brace, which took his tally to five for the season, illuminated a fine all-round performance. “My confidence in my ability has always been there,” he added. “When you have scored a couple, like I did, it is easier to maybe have a few more efforts from longer range than you would if you were losing 2-0 and hadn’t scored in that game. My confidence levels are good. I know my ability. I know I’m good enough. That’s never been a problem for me.”