Heart, Gold Coast share spoils

Melbourne Heart is back in sixth on the Hyundai A-League ladder, but their grip on the spot is tenuous at best following a 1-1 draw with Gold Coast at AAMI Park on Wednesday night.

Melbourne Heart is back in sixth on the Hyundai A-League ladder, but their grip on the spot is tenuous at best following a 1-1 draw with Gold Coast at AAMI Park on Wednesday night.

For the home side it was a missed opportunity, though the point gained moved Heart ahead of Newcastle to 32 points, but the Jets (31 points) do have two games in hand.

The home side enjoyed superior field position and possession, but Alex Terra-s 17th minute goal for Heart was cancelled out by Bruce Djite five minutes from half-time.

Heart coach John van 't Schip admitted that a draw was a fair result, but said his side blew a chance to press their playoff aspirations.

"I prefer to see it as two points dropped because we had to win, we wanted to win this game to keep the pressure on our rivals on the ladder," van 't Schip said.

"It was a game we wanted to win, but after looking at the whole game, the 1-1 was okay."

Certainly the affable Dutchman was delighted with goalkeeper Clint Bolton, whose brilliant reflexes prevented the visitors from leaving with all three points.

In stoppage time alone, Bolton blunted a trio of Gold Coast attempts, two from star United striker Shane Smeltz and a last-gasp shot from substitute Andrew Barisic.

Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg touched upon those misses when he reflected upon the result after the match.

"I would have been pleased if my side finished the game with a goal, to be fair I think both coaches were brave enough to play attacking players and each one needed to win for his own agenda," Bleiberg said.

"They had a good moment, we had a good moment - I spoke with Johnny briefly after the game and we agreed that's one of those games no-one deserved to lose."

It would have been highway robbery if United had won as Heart were certainly excellent value for their point, having gone 1-0 up through the Brazilian-s second goal in as many matches.

Mercurial Dutchman Gerald Sibon, who like Terra was elevated into the starting line-up by coach van 't Schip, produced an incisive header to catch the Gold Coast defence square.

Terra was denied by United custodian Glen Moss at his first attempt, but kept his composure to tuck the ball away into an empty net in his second.

Heart's goal was cancelled out by Djite's sixth of the season which came totally against the run of play.

Djite pounced on a measured pass from Bas van den Brink then jinked into the box before driving the ball past Bolton into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

But both players finished the game on the bench, with Terra icing a hamstring after coming off in the 78th minute, while Djite appeared to jar his knee just five minutes before time.

Former Qantas Socceroo striker John Aloisi came off the bench to be involved in Heart's best chance of the second-half, which brought out a good save from Moss.

The New Zealand stopper was one of Gold Coast's outstanding performers along with van den Brink and Djite.

Heart were best served by Sibon, Terra, Bolton and skipper Simon Colosimo, who played the full 90 minutes in his first game back from a calf injury.

Heart now have to back up for Saturday's Derby showdown against Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium, while Gold Coast play host to Newcastle Jets at Skilled Park.

Melbourne Heart 1 (Alex Terra 17) Gold Coast 1 (Bruce Djite 40) Crowd: 5187