CRAIG HALKETT hailed Hearts hero Craig Gordon as the visitors snatched a share of the spoils at Ibrox.

The Scotland keeper produced a string of stunning saves - including three quickfire stops to deny Leon Balogun - that kept Robbie Neilson's side in the top of the table clash.

Gordon celebrated those blocks like a goal had been scored but could do nothing to prevent John Lundstram beating him from distance just before the break.

In the end, that wasn't enough to deny Hearts as Halkett headed home in the final minute to maintain their unbeaten run and keep them second in the Premiership standings.

The Jambos had to ride their luck in stages as Rangers dominated the first half but a succession of spurned chances would come back to haunt them at Ibrox.

And Halkett knows how important Gordon's efforts were to their cause before he capitalised on a rare Allan McGregor mistake to silence the home crowd.

Halkett said: "That’s what he does. Craig has shown that he is a top-class goalkeeper at club and international level.

"The other ten boys know that he is there to dig us out of a hole, especially the guys in defence.

"But the boys at the top end of the pitch also know that he will keep us in the game.

"Some of the saves he makes are just as important as scoring a goal at the other end of the pitch. He is a huge part of this team and we are glad he is there.

"It was actually a really good game. Rangers showed their quality at the start of the game and we managed to get through that.

"We wanted to get to half-time at 0-0 but they scored a good goal.

"We spoke at half-time about how we were still in the game and if we continued doing the good things that we would have a chance.

"Thankfully we stuck to that and got the equaliser at the end.

"We spoke before the match about how the unbeaten run was a massive thing for our confidence.

"We knew that if we came here and carried out our gameplan that we were capable of getting a result so confidence is high."

Boss Neilson would miss the header from Halkett that earned Hearts a point after he was sent off by referee Don Robertson for voicing his fury at an incident involving Stephen Kingsley and Juninho Bacuna.

The Jambos offered little in the way of an attacking threat for most of the afternoon and an excellent McGregor save that denied Barrie McKay was as close as they would come until the final seconds.

Their goal was a moment to savour for Halkett and he was delighted his gamble paid off as McGregor failed to deal with a Gary Mackay-Steven corner and he nodded home at the back post.

Halkett said: "You have to hope that the best thing is going to happen for yourself so you gamble.

"I had managed to get free of my marker. It looks like McGregor is going to catch it but I was hoping he missed it and then managed to steer it on target.

"I was just delighted. It’s a while since I scored and I pride myself on that as well as helping the team to clean sheets.

"It’s been almost two years so I was delighted to get that.

"It was also good to have the away fans here because they do make that wee bit of difference.

"I’s not just 50,000 fans against you, there’s that pocket cheering you on. I was happy we gave them something to celebrate."