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Adelaide and Central Coast play out 1-1 draw

Adelaide United managed to hold the Central Coast Mariners to a 1-1 draw despite conceding a first-half penalty. The Reds found themselves behind in the 39th minute when Nik Mrdja converted from the spot but equalised through captain Travis Dodd to grab a point in front of just over 10,000 fans at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide United: 1 (Travis Dodd '43) Central Coast Mariners: 1 (Nik Mrdja (p) '39) Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium Crowd: 10,156

Both sides were playing an attacking brand early on but neither team had a clear shot on goal until Central Coast's Nik Mrdja missed a chance and then Dean Heffernan got on the end of a corner but his shot from close range in the 19th minute was knocked away by Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.

Ten minutes later, the Reds were peppering the goals and came close to taking the lead when Cassio found space outside the area but his shot was knocked to safety by Mariners gloveman Danny Vukovic.

The Reds and the Mariners were both lacking belief in the final third but the Mariners were given a glimmer of hope when they were awarded a penalty when Cassio made a clumsy challenge on Pedj Bojic six minutes before the break. Mrdja duly converted for his fifth goal of the season, sending Galekovic the wrong way.

But the Reds quickly got themselves back on level terms when skipper Travis Dodd equalised four minutes later, giving his side some reward for a first half where they had more of the play.

Just before the hour-mark after the second half had resumed, Adelaide vice-captain Lucas Pantelis' free-kick from outside the area went agonisingly close to finding the back of the net but luckily for the visitors, Vukovic wasn't called on to make a save.

A few minutes later, the opposing shot-stopper was called on to make a handy save when Mrdja played in Bradley Porter but Galekovic kept his side in the game with some more brilliance. Porter was close again in the 71st minute as the Mariners pushed for a winner but once again it was Galekovic who thwarted the visitors.

Neither side were able to grab that elusive winner as the match came to a close and had to settle for a draw with the point sending the Mariners to seventh but Adelaide could not pull themselves off the bottom of the table.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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