It was a scrappy 1-all draw with very few highlights, but for fans of the Western Sydney Wanderers, it mattered little.
After all, Sunday’s trial match at Penrith Stadium took them one step closer to the return of the football season.
And the fact that 7,000 fans turned up for a pre-season match in hot conditions – in the same week that ticketed memberships for the upcoming season sold out – showed that their loyal fan base is only getting more supportive.
An own goal from Nigel Boogaard and an equaliser from Sergio Cirio ensured a share of the spoils in a match where the Wanderers’ high pressing line and swift counter-attacks troubled any plans Adelaide might have held.
It was positive signs early for the Wanderers as a Tahj Minniecon attacking raid bore fruit when his cross into the Adelaide box forced Reds’ defender Nigel Boogaard to put the ball into his own net.
Adelaide replied strongly with Ante Covic forced into a fantastic diving save as he tipped a curling Sergio Cirio shot off target.
Wanderers created the best chances of the match on the break and should have been ahead when some Aaron Mooy magic set-up Tomi Juric with the help of Minniecon.
Receiving the ball in tight space, Mooy attracted the attention of a number of defenders before releasing Minniecon who flicked the ball on to find Juric in a one-on-one with Euegene Galekovic.
The Wanderers new signing did well and looked certain to score before a great reaction save from Galekovic saw the ball parried for a corner.
Minniecon was a constant force until being substituted at half time with his continued runs and clever balls, showing time and again why he is one of the most exciting players in the Hyundai A-League when fit.
Adelaide was back on level terms two minutes into the second half when Sergio Cirio somehow got the ball past an outstretched Covic.
The injection of Shinji Ono, Mark Bridge and Youssouf Hersi soon afterwards almost payed immediate dividends with the trio creating a number of chances between them.
Hersi in particular was a danger to Adelaide’s defence and was unfortunate not to have put Wanderers ahead when his low shot to the corner was saved by a diving Paul Izzo.
As the pre-season continues, the Wanderers next play Melbourne Victory in Tasmania on Sunday at Kingston Twin Ovals in Hobart.