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2019-20 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Ben Halloran (12', 41')
  • George Blackwood (45'+2')
  • Craig Noone (16')
  • Harrison Delbridge (76')

Adelaide United down Melbourne City thanks to Ben Halloran brace

A Ben Halloran brace propelled Adelaide United to a valuable 3-1 win against Melbourne City in Saturday night's A-League game.

Halloran's teammate George Blackwood also scored at Coopers Stadium as fifth-placed Adelaide drew level on points with fourth-placed Wellington Phoenix.

City's Craig Noone scored in a lacklustre showing from the visitors, compounded by a red card to Harrison Delbridge. But Noone also gifted Halloran's first goal with a defensive blunder.

In the 12th minute, Noone shanked an attempted clearance from a scrambled corner - the ball fell invitingly to Halloran who hammered into the net with a first-time driven left-footer from 10 metres.

Noone made amends just two minutes later when he too produced a low, driven left-footer which found the net from about the same distance to equalise. Noone pounced after teammate Scott Galloway burst along the left flank and crossed, with Adelaide captain Michael Jakobsen's header failing to clear the defensive lines and falling into the Englishman's path.

The tide turned Adelaide's way just before half-time when Halloran, then Blackwood, converted sweetly-struck headers in a six-minute span. In the 41st minute, a swinging Riley McGree corner deflected off Blackwood and City defender Curtis Good towards Halloran at the far post, who headed his fifth goal in the league this season. Minutes later, a charging Blackwood latched onto a Nathan Konstandopoulos corner with the crispest of close-range headers, which gave City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis no chance of stopping.

Adelaide pressed for a fourth goal just three minutes into the second half when McGree, in time and space just 12 metres from goal, blasted over the crossbar. Halloran then blew a hat-trick chance in the 61st minute when he shot across the goal-face from a tight angle before McGree, five minutes later, narrowly missed a long-range bomb.

City's night worsened in the 75th minute when defender Delbridge was sent off for studs-up contact on Adelaide's Nikola Mileusnic. Delbridge was initially yellow-carded after the front-on, sliding collision but referee Alex King, on video review, opted for a straight red.