“He's one of our own, he's one of our own,” sang the Hearts support as Jamie Walker warmed up in front of them at various intervals.

Manager Robbie Neilson later hailed the impact of both his changes up until the point when the boyhood Gorgie Boy tapped in after fellow substitution Aaron McEneff's deflected effort came back off the post.

The finish was simple but it came at the end of the stadium and from the side of the goal where the Hearts fans were housed. Sending them into a raucous fit as the Hearts players congregated below.

There was special praise from Neilson for Walker and the “little bit of magic” he can bring. His introduction from the bench and into the thick fog that fell just too late to threaten the game's conclusion. He was brought on to lighten up a Hearts attack which had watched the home side’s defence become denser and denser in harmony with the mist.

READ MORE: Dundee 0 Hearts 1: Substitute Jamie Walker nets the winner for the away side

"I always believe in my ability,” said Walker.” I'm always confident that I'll score and thankfully I've done that today.

"Everyone knows I'm a Hearts supporter, so to send the fans away happy is always nice.”

On his severe lack of minutes in recent months, he added: "You just need to wait for your opportunity. I got that today and I've put myself in the gaffer's thoughts."

His popularity among the support clear, his chances in the side few, he was linked with a move away last week before making just his third league appearance of the season – his first for exactly three months.

The 28-year-old, who said he “felt better than I thought I would” after a long absence of playing any football, added:  "I'm getting a bit older now, I'm not younger like I used to be, and I want to play football. But If I am going to get opportunities like that, and I take opportunities like that, then I'm delighted to be here.

"My contract is up in the summer so it's just up to me to keep my head down, keep working, hopefully keep getting opportunities and hopefully keep scoring goals."

He gave the side what they were lacking: a goal threat. First he fired over from 20 yards and later rounded Adam Legzdins to slot home but the whistle had long gone, in error. Then he won the game with its solitary goal.

It was a cruel way for Dundee to lose the match but they rarely threatened themselves and conceded much of the possession – and many fouls in the process.

Liam Fontaine had put in a valiant effort, alongside Jordan McGhee at the heart of a makeshift defence, throughout the match and was left to rue his miserable luck after watching his desperate attempt to maintain a clean sheet fall where it did.

“We were down to the bare bones and fighting for each other," said Dundee midfielder Paul McGowan. "You see the goal that goes in and it's incredible the luck that we're getting just now. It deflects off Fonts [Fontaine], rolls along... honestly, it's heartbreaking.

"Second half we were a bit sloppy, let them come back into it but we fully deserved a point and I don't think Hearts could argue with that either."

While things have tightened up at the back in recent matches, there remains an issue at the other end: just two goals in this four-game pointless streak, in a 3-2 defeat to fellow strugglers Ross County. But with so many absences and James McPake having just 11 fully fit first-team regulars, they can rightly feel hard done by.

READ MORE: James McPake opens up on 'unfit to train' Dundee striker Jason Cummings after Open Goal Live

"I felt we were the better side in the first half and I felt we'd go out and win the game and then the goal sucker-punches us,” added McGowan. “It's just what's been happening the last few games: we've been playing well, it's just not been happening and it'll turn.

“I believe in this group. We've been down so many times, we always seem to find a way."

They are the fourth-lowest scorers in the division and have conceded more than everyone else. But time and time again this side, and this manager, have shown tremendous resilience – which they will need once more if they are to get out of this latest predicament.