Beginners' luck for Heart

Melbourne Heart coach John Van't Schip admitted his side was 'lucky' to have scored its first point in the Hyundai A-League in the 1-1 draw with the Newcastle Jets on Friday night.

Melbourne Heart coach John Van't Schip admitted his side was 'lucky' to have scored its first point in the Hyundai A-League in the 1-1 draw with the Newcastle Jets on Friday night.

After starting brightly the Heart were forced onto the backfoot when chief playmaker Josip Skoko was forced from the field in the 17th minute with a hamstring injury.

From that point on the Jets controlled the play and they looked to have the match in their keeping when Kiwi international Jeremy Brockie put them ahead with his first goal for the club on the hour mark.

The Heart made some tactical changes with Eli Babalj coming on for Dean Heffernan and Rutger Worm moving to the right side of the field in an effort to break down the Jets.

The switch achieved the desired result when Michael Marrone chased a long ball through to the edge of the area where Newcastle defender Ben Kantarovski scooped the ball into his own net for the equaliser.

"Yeah we are happy with a point,' Van't Schip said after the match. "For some periods we played a bit of football and with the qualities we have in the team, we should play more football, but we were not able to, for different types of reasons.

"Skoko fell out in the beginning and we had to change with Wayne (Srhoj) coming and I think at that time we lost control of the game."

"We had some occasions in the beginning with a free kick and headers but overall I think Newcastle had the best chances."

"But the positive thing is we showed we were a team, we kept on fighting and at the end we got a result that we are very pleased with."

The Heart boss admitted it was difficult to penetrate the Newcastle defence but he got the desired result with an equaliser after making the tactical and positional change following the Jets goal.

"We took off Dean Heffernan to take a little more risk and put an extra player in Eli Babalj up front with Rutger (Worm) on the right side, Alex (Terra) more from the left side," Van't Schip said.

"Wayne was playing a little bit more up front trying to get in some early balls and win the second ball because we couldn't really manage to break them down so we had the luck of the goal."

"It was a good run from Michael (Marrone) and good ball through, and I think it was a fall as well, so maybe normally it would be something like a red card if the goal had not gone in, but we were lucky the goal went in."

Van't Schip also paid special tribute to goalkeeper Clint Bolton, who made a string of impressive saves to keep Melbourne in the contest.

"Clint was really great - glad to have him in the goal. He made some good saves and made his presence (felt)," he said.

The Heart's next assignment takes them to Adelaide for next Friday night's Round 3 opening clash against the Reds.