Reds, Heart share spoils

Adelaide United and Melbourne Heart have played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Adelaide United and Melbourne Heart have played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Melbourne defender Brendan Hamill had put the Heart ahead early in the second half with a fierce drive from 25 yards, only for Adelaide substitute Spase Dilevski to equalise in the 76th minute with a close-range finish.

The draw ensured Heart are still winless this season, Adelaide have gone three consecutive matches without tasting victory and kept both sides entrenched at the wrong end of the table.

The first half began slowly with neither side willing to take risks, Adelaide in particular looked happy to retain possession and be patient in their build up going forward.

The Reds looked the more likely to break the deadlock, however, and almost did so through returning striker Bruce Djite on six minutes.

The 24-year-old was released into the box following Sergio van Dijk's intelligent flick on from a throw-in and hit a strong shot that looked destined for the net, only for it to take a deflection and go wide.

The half was continuing in dour fashion before it sprung to life following Melbourne's first opportunity of the game which kick-started a frenetic five minutes of play.

In the 21st minute Adelaide captain Jon Mckain missed Mate Dugandzic's through ball to Alex Terra and that allowed the Brazillian to turn and feed Aziz Behich who was steaming into the box from the left wing, but the 20-year-old put his shot wide.

It was Adelaide's turn next, missing two chances, both to Djite, in the space of two minutes before creating what was arguably the best opportunity of the half for either side.

On 25 minutes McKain got on the end of a deep corner from Iain Ramsay with a strong header that was just cleared off the line by Melbourne midfielder Behich on the far post.

The second half began much like the first, until Heart defender Hamill produced an individual piece of brilliance on 50 minutes to give his side the lead.

Hamill won the ball off Djite in the middle of the park and then embarked on a strong run, shrugging off would-be tacklers before scoring with a strong 25-yard shot that skidded along the deck into the bottom left-hand corner.

The goal lifted Melbourne who then began attacking Adelaide with confidence and fluency, however the Reds remained sturdy and repelled the Heart.

It seemed to work for the Reds who almost equalised on 71 minutes had Dario Vidosic not missed an open goal from a tight angle after Heart keeper Clint Bolton had punched a cross right into the path of the marquee star.

The revamped pressure from Adelaide soon took its toll on the Heart, who saw their vice-captain Simon Colosimo sent off for a second bookable offence after he dragged down Reds substitute Andy Slory on the edge of the box in the 76th minute.

The resulting free-kick saw United grab the equaliser through Dilevski, who tapped the ball in after Bolton denied Cassio's curling shot with a diving save.

Adelaide should have snatched the win in the added minutes of time through a series of late chances.

Slory, who was booed by the Adelaide crowd upon his introduction to the game, rounded Bolton in the 91st minute but the former Sydney FC keeper recovered well to knock the ball away from the Dutchman's feet.

Slory was again involved moments later whipping in a teasing cross that Vidosic failed to connect with, before Ramsey hit a blistering shot just over the bar with seconds left.

Adelaide United 1 (Dilevski 76) Melbourne Heart 1 (Hamill 50) 10,294 at Hindmarsh Stadium