Heart Youth sunk by Reds

Melbourne Heart FC suffered a late blow against visiting Adelaide United in a high-tempo National Youth League clash at Epping Stadium this morning.

Melbourne Heart FC suffered a late blow against visiting Adelaide United in a high-tempo National Youth League clash at Epping Stadium this morning.

Liam Wooding won and converted the game’s only goal from the spot in an incident which saw Heart defender William Abbott sent off.

The Heart weren’t without chances throughout the game but were kept in the contest by some superb shot-stopping from keeper Alastair Bray, who produced some impressive work between the sticks after coming on at half-time.

Adelaide named a strong spine featuring 2011 golden boot winner Sergio van Dijk and sometime Qantas Socceroo Jon McKain.

Despite the experience in the Reds’ line-up, it was the Heart who produced the first chance as captain Josh Groenewald flicked up a low cross and slammed the ball straight at Reds keeper’ John Hall from a tight angle in the 17th minute.

After Heart missed chances through Ersin Kaya and Evan Batsis, van Dijk should have given Adelaide the lead on the stroke of half-time but missed the target after being released in the penalty box.

Bray had his first involvement in the game after 49 minutes when his poor throw allowed Reds winger Jake Barker-Daish an opportunity, but the Heart keeper made a terrific save to redeem his misplaced distribution.

After making another fine save to deny Awer Mabil, the Heart custodian nearly handed Adelaide the lead on 55 minutes when he fumbled a high cross in the penalty area. However van Dijk, who is renowned for his finishing, missed the target with the keeper out of position.

Despite that error, Bray continued to reel off saves denying Thomas Briscoe from long-range and then making a superb reflex stop off substitute Nikola Mileusnic’s back-post header.

The breakthrough came in the 80th minute, though, when Abbott brought down Wooding as he streamed through on goal. A red card was given to Abbott and Wooding sent Bray the wrong way from the spot.

Van Dijk nearly doubled the Reds’ lead with four minutes remaining when he speared a shot into the left upright from outside the area.

The win pushed the Reds up to fifth position on the standings while the Heart missed the opportunity to go third.

Match Details

Melbourne Heart 0
Adelaide United 1 (Wooding 81p)

Melbourne Heart : 2. Jeremy Walker (15. James Papadimitriou 62), 3. Sam Mitchinson, 4. Andrew Mullett, 5. William Abbott, 6. Joshua Groenewald (c) (12. Phillip Petreski 62), 7. Ersin Kaya, 8. Nick Kalmar 9. Evan Batsis (14. Zac Walker 62), 10. Stefan Mauk, 11. Cameron Edwards, 16. Chris Maynard (GK) (1. Alastair Bray 45)
Yellow Cards: Mitchinson 29, Edwards 53, Bray 56, Kaya 61
Red Card: Abbott 80

Adelaide United: 1. John Hall, 2. Shaun Harvey, 3. Jordan Elsey (c), 5. Scott Nagel, 7. Liam Wooding, 10. Dion Kirk (11. Nikola Mileusnic 66), 12. Allan Welsh (8. Thomas Briscoe 60), 13. Jake Barker-Daish (9. John Karatzas 66), 14. Awer Mabil, 17. Serginho Van Dijk, 19. Jonathan McKain
Yellow Cards: Harvey 30, Elsey 40, Barker-Daish 45, Wooding 84