The Central Coast Mariners looked down and out trailing 2-0 to Melbourne Heart, until two dubious penalty decisions gifted last years champions their second draw of the season.
Heart were dominant in the opening ten minutes of play with Dugandzic being involved in all the chances the side created.
On both occasions Dugandzic set up Williams only for Mariners pair, Sainsbury and Hutchinson, to block both shots respectively.
But it was last years Champions who were controlling the flow of play and their first chance came on the 25th minute mark when the ever so impressive Mitch Duke fired a stinging shot at the Heart goal only for Redamyne to see it deflect of his arm and spin around the post.
The corner resulted in Redmayne yet again scrambling to cover a Trent Sainsbury header as it ricocheted of the crossbar.
Melbourne Heart looked certain to grab the lead when David Williams played Iain Ramsey in the box, only to realise that the ball had hit the side netting. Much to the chagrin of the fans.
After an entertaining goalless first half, the second half didn’t take long to get into action when Melbourne Heart opened the scoring eight minutes in with David Williams capitalising on a Justin Pasfield error. A dipping shot by Golgol Mebrahtu caused the Mariners keeper all sorts of problems and Williams was there to capitalise.
Seven minutes after his first goal David Williams was again on target to grab his second goal of the game. Mehbratu was yet again involved in the build up play, this time playing Iain Ramsay in down the left and the former Adelaide United winger delivered a superb low cut-back cross for Williams to calmly tuck away.
Heart had the chance to kill the Mariners off when Golgol Mebrahtu’s thunderbolt shot was saved by Justin Pasfield.
With 20 minutes left to play the Mariners were gifted a lifeline when referee Ben Williams awarded a dubious penalty after adjudging Patrick Kisnorbo for having his hand on Mariners striker Matt Simon’s shoulder after the ball was delivered from the corner kick. Marcos Flores stepped up and calmly slotted it home giving the Mariners a glimpse of getting back into the match.
The Heart defence was finding it very difficult to keep up with the pace of Mariners striker Mitch Duke and were punished just five minutes after their first goal when a cross from Duke was deemed to have touched the outstretched arm of Patrick Gerhardt. Ben Williams didn’t have second thoughts about awarding a less contentious penalty. Marcos Flores again stepped up and sent Heart keeper Andrew Redmayne the wrong way to make it 2-2.
With seven minutes left David Williams thought he had his hat-trick after again being played by Iain Ramsey but Justin Pasfield somehow got his foot in the way to keep the scores at 2-2.
Melbourne Heart’s best chances did come through the flanks with Iain Ramsey looking very dangerous.
Dutchman Rob Wielaert again marshalled the defence well and no doubt he Heart will look stronger once the likes of Harry Kewell and Michael Mifsud return.
It may feel as if it was 3 points but there is a major sign of improvement from John Aloisi’s side.
Melbourne Heart FC:
1. Andrew Redmayne (gk), 3. Robbie Wielart (c), 7. Iain Ramsay, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 14. Golgol Mebrahtu, 15. David Williams, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman, 23. Mate Dugandzic, 24. Patrick Kisnorbo, 25. Andrea Migliorini (6. Patrick Gerhardt +75′)
Substitutes not used: 19. Benjamin Garuccio, 20. Tando Velaphi (gk), 21. Stefan Mauk, 22. Nicholas Kalmar
Coach: John Aloisi
Yellow Cards: Williams 76′, Kisnorbo 80′
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners FC:
1. Justin Pasfield (gk), 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Marcel Seip, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 8. Nick Montgomery, 9. Mitchell Duke, 10. Marcos Flores, 11. Nick Fitzgerald (14. Michael McGlinchey + 60′), 15. Storm Roux, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 21. Mile Sterjovski (19. Matt Simon + 60′)
Substitutes not used: 5. Zachary Anderson, 12. Liam Reddy (gk), 17. Anthony Caceres
Coach: Graham Arnold
Yellow Cards: Matt Simon 90+1′
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Ben Williams 8/10
Assistants: George Lakrindis, Jonathan Barreiro, 4th Official: Alex Azcurra