Hearts all but secured their top-six slot with a draw against relegation-threatened Dundee as Ross Callachan marked his return to the starting line-up with a goal.
The midfielder, who hadn’t featured in the previous two matches after a costly mistake away to Motherwell in the Scottish Cup four weeks ago, fired in a superb early opener. However, the Tynecastle side were pegged back by a Sofien Moussa equaliser in the 28th minute and never really looked like getting back in front.
The main source of consolation for Hearts after an underwhelming performance was that the draw took them six points clear of Motherwell, who have a vastly inferior goal difference and only two games left in which to overhaul Craig Levein’s team in the scrap for a place in the Premiership’s top six.
Callachan made the breakthrough when he finished off an impressive build-up by taking a pass from Marcus Godinho inside the box, stepping away from Josh Meekings and firing a lovely finish beyond Elliott Parish from 15 yards out.
After on-loan Hibs striker Simon Murray went clean through on goal only to be denied by Jon McLaughlin, Hearts had chances to extend their lead through Don Cowie and Kyle Lafferty either side of an incident in which the Northern Ireland striker was controversially booked for diving in the box under a challenge from Steven Caulker.
The Tynecastle side were made to pay for not turning the screw when Dundee striker Moussa bundled home Roarie Deacon’s cross from the right. Chances were scarce at both ends in the second half, but the hosts went closest to winning it when Murray saw a header blocked on the line by Steven Naismith.