Steven Naismith branded VAR “rubbish” after Hearts were not awarded at least one penalty before they had to fight back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Ross County.

The Jambos boss felt Nathaniel Atkinson was fouled by Ben Purrington in the first half, and he was left irate in the 51st minute when substitute Alan Forrest looked to be tripped as he tried to round County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw, only to be booked for diving.

Replays indicated that there was contact, although the decision was not changed following a VAR review.

It proved important as County moved into a two-goal lead within 10 minutes through an Alex Cochrane own goal and a Yan Dhanda free-kick.

The Jambos fought back to earn a point thanks to goals from substitute Kenneth Vargas and Lawrence Shankland.

“I think we should have had a penalty from two incidents in the first and second half,” Naismith said.

“With the first one with Natty Atkinson, (Celtic striker) Kyogo (Furuhashi) gets a penalty here (in October) against us by getting his body in front of Cochrane.

“Today, Natty Atkinson gets his body in front of the defender, no penalty given. VAR should see it, but doesn’t.

“The second one Alan Forrest gets contact. I can understand the referee not seeing it with the speed of play, but VAR has got to see it.

“I’ve come in and looked at the video and there’s contact. You pause it and there’s contact. It’s not given and it’s not good enough.

“This is twice before today we’ve had apologies for the wrong decision being made by VAR, rubbish. The positive for us is that we get back in the game and take something from the game.”

Ross County boss Derek Adams felt his side were dominant in the first half and did enough to win the game.

“We murdered them in the first half, we had so many good opportunities,” he said. “The way we played, the way we passed the ball, the way we opened them up, it was a fantastic performance.

“Look at the chances we created, the goals we did score. Over the afternoon we were the better side. I thought we were very good.

“We could have been 2-0 or 3-0 up at half-time but we didn’t take the chances when we had them and we were up against a team that’s third in the league, and that’s what you get with them and the players they’ve got.”