Adelaide toughs out draw

An injury-time goal to Mathew Leckie has helped Adelaide United salvage a 1-1 draw against an undermanned Gold Coast United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday.

An injury-time goal to Mathew Leckie has helped Adelaide United salvage a 1-1 draw against an undermanned Gold Coast United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday.

Kristian Rees received a red card in the first half and a 10-man Gold Coast was under siege heading into the break. But the visitors rallied and scored in the 64th minute when Steve Fitzsimmons nodded home a well-weighted Zenon Caravella cross.

The Reds had a raft of opportunities and were visibly frustrated with their position as the minutes ticked away. However, just when all looked lost, Leckie weaved his through heavy traffic to score the equaliser with a low ball into the left hand corner of the net.

While the Coast is third and the Reds are eighth, it will be the home side which will be more disappointed with the draw after receiving little reward for an exciting opening.

Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar felt his side deserved the three points despite conceding the first goal of the match.

"I thought our first half was excellent, the movement off the ball, the movement right throughout the team, everyone was really committed and I felt really sorry for the boys tonight, very sorry for them," he said.

"I thought there were a lot of positives out of tonight and I think a performance like that, although we didn't get the three points, certainly there's a lot to draw from for the rest of the season."

Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg had mixed feelings about the draw.

"After the send-off happened I would've been happy with one point, I would've signed my life on it," he said.

"To tell you the truth I didn't feel sorry because sometime you feel for a colleague, I don't think Viddie deserved to lose or Adelaide deserved to lose but I felt sorry and disappointed for the boys."

Adelaide United took a new-look line-up into this match with Travis Dodd and Leckie playing up front and Cassio at left back while Scott Jamieson and Cristiano started the game on the bench.

The moves proved a positive for the Reds who dominated the first half - they had eight more shots than the Coast, five corners in a row and 62 per cent of possession.

They also had a number of probing free kicks and strikes, with Kristian Sarkies testing Scott Higgins in the 23rd and 26th minutes and in injury time.

A shell-shocked Gold Coast went to the sidelines for refuge on numerous occasions and could hardly muster a forward foray. And its task became even tougher when Rees was sent off in the 33rd minute.

The former Adelaide United player brought down a fleet-footed Leckie as he was streaming towards goal. His team-mates were furious with the decision but Rees had already been given his marching orders.

The Reds continued to attack and when another sparkling run from Leckie was ended through foul play the crowd was crying for another red.

Instead, Zac Anderson was given a yellow card and the home side were disappointed with another set play proving unsuccessful.

Gold Coast displayed more urgency in the second half and while Adelaide earned some early corners, the Reds weren't playing with the same authority.

The shift in momentum was completed when Fitzsimmons broke the deadlock, leaving the Gold Coast flying high while the Reds first-half anticipation had become second-half frustration and desperation.

Adelaide pressed hard for the equaliser with Travis Dodd and Fabian Barbiero giving Higgins some headaches while a Jason Culina clearance cut short another attempt.

But persistence paid off in injury time.

Adelaide United 1 (Leckie 93) Gold Coast United 1 ( Fitzsimmons 64) Crowd: 9578 at Hindmarsh Stadium