Mariners, Reds draw

The Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United have played out a scoreless draw in their round 13 Hyundai A-League encounter at Canberra Stadium.

The Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United have played out a scoreless draw in their round 13 Hyundai A-League encounter at Canberra Stadium.

The first half lacked the intensity expected of two teams needing to win to stay in touch with the top four, but both sides upped the ante ten minutes into the second half.

Adelaide had a penalty appeal rejected in the 82nd minute when Mathew Leckie was brought down in a Dean Heffernan tackle, but proceedings quickly turned in their favour when the Mariners had Crowell sent off for his second bookable offence.

They were not able to take advantage of the send off though, with an Alemao header and Fabian Barbiero coming close, but Danny Vukovic was up to the task in goals.

There were a few genuine chances in the first half but neither team was able to capitalise.

The Mariners nearly had the ideal start, a through ball had midfielder Pedj Bojic one on one with United keeper Eugene Galekovic but he was only able to manage a fumbled shot along the ground.

Travis Dodd was playing like a man with point to prove. Early on he put a dangerous cross through the middle of the box which was unlucky not to find an oncoming attacker. He came within inches of scoring the game's first goal after he toyed with Nigel Boogard on the left side of the box and sent a right foot shot curling just wide of the far post.

Kristian Sarkies also game close to putting Adelaide ahead with a long range attempt that was just shy of the cross bar.

Matt Simon also game agonising close to scoring late in the first half, the fist of Galekovic just getting the ball before he could take advantage of his unmarked position two metres from goal.

It took until the 55th minute for the game's first two shots on target, both were attributed to Mariners midfielder Matthew Crowell within minutes and both took good saves by Galekovic to be kept out.

John Hutchinson also nearly headed in a Dean Heffernan cross as the Mariners took their attack up a notch, with Nicky Travis also going close when he turned to shoot in the 64th minute.

Mathew Leckie had a good opportunity for Adelaide with a darting run through sliding defenders that led to a solid shot, albeit off target.

Central Coast had the best chance to break the deadlock in the 73rd minute, Hutchison took the ball at the top of the box, put it to Simon on his left and he found Adam Kwasnik at the goalmouth whose shot forced an excellent diving save from Galekovic.

Mariners Coach Lawrie McKinna felt his side deserved the win, despite losing a player for the final ten minutes.

"The first was good but the second half we got better, we dominated chances, possession, played some very good football and created some really good chances that me should-ve took," McKinna said.

"Disappointing that we let two points go again."

Reds coach Aurelio Vidmar also thought his team would have been deserved victors.

"I thought it was a pretty good game of football both sides, certainly two teams had a lot of endeavour to try to win the game, even right to the death," Vidmar said.

"I thought we probably could-ve come away with three points tonight."

Central Coast 0 Adelaide 0

At Canberra Stadium Crowd 5,437