The reaction of the crowd is never the most accurate gauge of an official's performance. Firstly, their judgement is made through the spectacles that are the colour of their team. It can have a snowball effect where one perceived injustice rolls into another and then another. Each decision deemed incorrect by the fans is met by boos that grow louder and louder. After the game, on reflection of seeing decisions back, the display was perhaps not as bad as first thought.

That wasn't the case at Tynecastle Park on Saturday.

The Heart of Midlothian support were well within their right to feel aggrieved. The growing howls of derision and disbelief are accurate to the performance of not just Alan Muir but his officiating team, including VAR David Munro, as a whole. And that is important. It is not just the referee anymore, there is much more to it with the technology. He just continues to take the brunt of it from the crowd.

Now, before we get any further, the officials' performance and that of the team should be separated. There was much more to the 2-2 draw with Ross County than the referee. This is where this article splinters in two.

READ MORE: Hearts analysis: Beni missed, shape struggles and a first for the season

Hearts were off it for the majority of the game and Staggies boss Derek Adams was spot on when he said that, in his view, "over the afternoon we were the better team". 

The first-half performance from Hearts was one of the worst periods of football from Steven Naismith's men in recent weeks. The fact the Hearts head coach changed shape across the game three or four times painted its own picture. 

"I think you could tell it was a leggy performance, I think the schedule has caught us a wee bit, especially first half," he said. "A lot of our passages of play and passing were not crisp, the touch was poor."

There were decent moments throughout when the team broke forward with pace and purpose. In the first 45 minutes, however, individually and collectively the team were guilty of hesitancy in their decision making or reaction to events. The worst moment came in the 18th minute. Calem Nieuwenhof got a pass just outside the Hearts box. He had acres of space to travel into but decided to play a short pass back to Craig Halkett who was immediately pressured by Simon Murray. It led to a double chance.

Naismith spoke of it being a "leggy performance" and mentioned the schedule. It could be argued there was as much mental fatigue as physical fatigue. Take the Celtic and Hibs games, there was plenty of exertion in both. Ross County, who hadn't played since December 16, played with greater verve and energy. They looked like they had worked on their new 4-2-2-2 shape.

Alex Cochrane was given man of the match but it could be argued that Zander Clark earned the award with key saves in the first-half.

The main positive from the fixture, Vargas' goal aside, was the team showing their ability to come back and earn a point. The first time the Hearts have come back from a losing position this season in the league to gain something. Equally, it is a frustration that they didn't strengthen their grip on third and they now can't afford to undo all the great work over the past six weeks or so by failing to beat Livingston, who are winless in 12, on Tuesday afternoon.

READ MORE: Steven Naismith hits out at 'rubbish' VAR and hopes it will be big Hearts point: Q&A

Now, back to Muir and his fellow officials. A lot of the discussion from Hearts fans across the past 20 hours or so has been centred on the non-penalty award for Alan Forrest.

The more you watch it, the more baffled you can be by the decision not to award a penalty.

Naismith quite rightly pointed out after the match that he can "understand" why Muir may have viewed it as a dive. But what he can't get his head around is VAR official Munro looking back at it and not suggesting the match referee have another look at it on the monitor by the Wheatfield Stand.

"I can understand the referee not seeing it with the speed of play, but VAR has got to see it," Naismith said. "I’ve come in and looked at the video and there’s contact, you pause it and there’s contact."

It is clear Muir thought it was a dive with the speed at which he made the decision and booked Forrest, despite the Hearts winger being in a great position to score and someone who isn't the type to go down easy. 

READ MORE: Steven Naismith explains Beni Baningime's Hearts absence from squad

As both a fan and writer, I try to steer clear of castigating referees. Firstly, the preference is to focus on the good and bad of the actual football. The fascination with officials from some within Scottish football is both alarming and tedious. And then you see some of the horrific scenes regarding the treatment of referees at kids and amateur football and now professional football. There needs to be more maturity and respect.

It seems like the worst job in football, perhaps ever. There are several factors at play when it comes to making a split-second decision. Sometimes referee have their view blocked for example. Or a situation happens or develops quickly. Sometimes there can be more than one thing happening at once. Then there are situations which look completely different from two separate angles. To top it all off, there is subjectivity at play. A simple difference of opinion.

For example, the penalty shout on Nathaniel Atkinson. It is one of those which you could argue for and against. When it happened, I didn't think it was. There is an angle from behind the goal which confirms that initial view. Then there is another angle where I can see why Naismith felt it was a penalty as Ben Purrington fell to his left and it looked like he impeded the Aussie full-back. The Hearts head coach compared it to the penalty Kyogo Furuhashi won against Alex Cochrane. 

(Ross County boss Derek Adams was aggrieved over the second Hearts goal as he tried to make a double sub)

The biggest issue at play now is VAR. 

Prior to the introduction of the technology, referees had bad games. Some found it difficult to accept those bad games but, as pointed out, it is a tremendously tricky job. Back then, mistakes were forgivable.

VAR was never going to be a panacea. As many point out, it is the same referees operating VAR who are being criticised for their on-field performances. But the belief was that it would help get decisions closer to 100 per cent correct.

It is now far less forgivable that incidents like Forrest being brought down by Ross Laidlaw or Liam Boyce falling under a very high boot against Motherwell are not being picked up on. In terms of the former, Hearts had, as mentioned, been poor up to the point of the (non-)foul. A penalty with the score goalless would have had a big say on the direction of the game.

What's the answer? There is no obvious one. Well, for me, there is. Get rid of VAR, accept referees make mistakes and hope that everyone grows up. After all, we are wanting referees to be perfect in an imperfect world. 

I think, having experienced the referees in European competitions, we can all appreciate that Scottish officials are not the worst around. Ideally, they would be better and more accurate. Going full-time would help but, again, it wouldn't be perfect. Anyone who pays attention to the Premier League will see that.

But, while VAR is still around, we should be expecting better. It's unfathomable how David Munro, with the benefit of numerous replays and different angles, could not see that Laidlaw had made clear contact with Forrest who was moving at pace. Any slight contact can bring a player down in such a situation. 

Naismith summed it up. "Rubbish".