Young duo spark Reds

Acting Adelaide United captain Lucas Pantelis labelled the Reds' thrilling 3-2 win over the Melbourne Heart's as the 'Iain Ramsay and Matthew Leckie Show' after the young speedsters terrorised the visitors' defence at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Acting Adelaide United captain Lucas Pantelis labelled the Reds' thrilling 3-2 win over the Melbourne Heart's as the 'Iain Ramsay and Matthew Leckie Show' after the young speedsters terrorised the visitors' defence at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Ramsay bagged a brace, his first career goals in the A-League, and was only promoted to the staring XI when Sergio van Dijk withdrew with a calf injury after failing to complete the warm up.

Leckie opened the scoring inside the opening two minutes using his explosive speed to pounce on a poor back-pass from former team-mate Michael Marrone, while Michael Beauchamp slipped at the crucial moment.

Pantelis singled out the fleet-footed wingers, before applauding the overall team effort and performance in grinding out the win after the visitors had twice equalised.

"For me, today was the Iain Ramsay show and the Matthew Leckie show," he said.

"Those two boys played very well tonight, but in saying that the whole team really fought hard. Melbourne Heart to their credit kept coming at us but to our boys we've got to keep our heads up very, very high because we kept going and got the win."

"This is a massive win for us, it's a stepping stone for the next couple of weeks. We've got two tough away games coming up so it's a massive confidence booster for the team."

The diminutive midfielder acknowledged United's victory was made more significant given the number of injuries to key members in the Reds' outfit.

Captain Travis Dodd, Nigel Boogard, Robert Cornthwaite, Lloyd Owusu and Fabian Barbiero are all sidelined with injury and Pantelis said the Reds' win was testament to the depth and character of the squad.

"We're not hiding the fact that there are a lot of key players out at the moment," he said.

"That's the character we have in the whole squad. Regardless of who is out there we just look to give 100 percent. To have a makeshift midfield to a degree, and a makeshift attacking line to a degree as well it's very positive."

"It just goes to show football is not about the first XI, it's the whole 20, 22-man squad that we have together. There's a mixture of youth and older guys and experienced ones and it's something that is very positive for the club."

United coach Rini Coolen admitted he was almost certain van Dijk was going to be ruled out for the clash despite giving the Dutch-born striker until the very last minute to prove his fitness.

Coolen conceded with the Reds' already depleted squad he could ill-afford to have his No. 1 striker sidelined for an extended period.

"It wasn't a surprise to me that van Dijk couldn't play. I seriously thought he couldn't but we tried in the warm up. I already made up my mind before the game, I was almost sure he couldn't start," he said.

"He already did a little bit of warming up before the team and that was positive. But at the end of the team warm up he didn't feel strong enough, and we took the decision not to do it. We can't lose him for six or seven weeks."