Hearts bounced back from Kevin McHattie's sending-off midway through the second half to claim an unlikely three points when 17-year-old substitute Jordan McGhee, who had replaced the concussed Brad McKay, headed home at the back post after Dons goalkeeper Nicky Weaver had missed a Callum Tapping free-kick.
Hearts have now taken seven points off their 15-point penalty for going into administration, a return bettered only by Scottish Premiership leaders Inverness.
And Locke feels his team deserve more praise.
"I'm delighted with the performance," he told Hearts TV.
"Some people have said we have won games and not played that great.
"I think we showed we can pass the ball and our young players are certainly rising to the challenge."
Locke added: "Our target at the start of the season was to get to zero points as quickly as possible.
"It's important we don't get carried away. It's a good win at home and it keeps a bit of momentum going, which I'm delighted with.
"But it's just another three points, we are still eight points off zero.
"It's important we keep our feet on the ground and keep working like that, and if we can do that then hopefully we can win a few games."
- Sports & Recreation