Victory hold Fury

Melbourne Victory played out their second scoreless draw in the space of three days after sharing the points with North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday.

Melbourne Victory played out their second scoreless draw in the space of three days after sharing the points with North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday.

North Queensland made two changes to their line-up with Isaka Cernak away on Olyroos duty and Dyrone Dahl still recovering from a hamstring strain. Chris Grossman returned from suspension and Ufuk Talay was also included. The Victory made just one change with Evan Berger coming in for Diogo Ferreira, also on Olyroos Duty.

The first half was predominantly all North Queensland as the Victory defence were made to earn their pay cheques.

Carlos Hernandez signalled his attacking intentions early in just the second minute. After being fouled well outside the box, he attempted a long shot which swerved in the wind, making it tricky for Justin Pasfield to take.

In the sixth minute there was an early scare for the Victory with Grant Brebner losing possession in midfield. Osama Malik ran through before attempting to release the ball to Eugene Sseppuya who was unable to reach it.

In the 10th minute Billy Celeski and Tommy Pondeljak teamed up well to set up Hernandez on the right side of the penalty box. Hernandez-s shot hit the side netting with the angle being the telling factor.

Some loose marking by the Victory defence in the 12th minute saw Grossman switching to Williams before running onto the through ball. Grossman didn-t realise he had time and hurried the shot, as Michael Petkovic watched it trickle out for a goal kick.

In the 24th minute the Fury set up another opportunity. Williams turned Berger inside out before sending a long ball in towards the box where Grossman laid it off to Edds, but the touch on it was too heavy and Petkovic was alert to the danger rushing down low to take the ball.

North Queensland kept attacking down the right and in the 27th minute had a golden opportunity to take the lead. Williams with a quick run shot from outside the box. Sseppuya could have tapped it in, but instead chose to allow the ball through and it drifted just past Petkovic-s left post.

Grossman took on and got past Sukha in the 30th minute before taking the shot. Thankfully Vargas cut the shot off by heading it out of play before Petkovic had a chance to stop it.

The Fury continued their control of the game in the 33rd minute when Malik got inside the Victory defence before laying the ball off to an empty far post.

In the 34th minute Broxham laid it off to Pondeljak who entered the box and shot to Pasfield-s near post, but the shot-stopper palmed it away with both hands.

Victory-s best chance of the match came in the 36th minute when they won their first corner. Hernandez swung it in deep with Vargas- header beating Pasfied, but Mark Hughes was in the right spot at the right time to clear it off the line.

Some more tense moments for the Victory defence in the 37th minute when Simon Storey-s cross coming in from the right was fumbled by Petkovic. Fortunately Sukha was there to clear the danger.

In the 40th minute Chris Grossman was the first player into referee Chris Beath-s book for his challenge on Pondeljak.

In the extra minute of first-half stoppage time Celeski ran down the left and had Ricardinho inside and in the clear. However, Celeski-s pass was too heavy and that was the final action of the first half.

The second half was played out in the same manner as the first with some open play, but both teams struggling to finish off moves in their front third.

Gareth Edds was the next player booked for kicking the ball away after being flagged for off-side in the 51st minute.

Tallay created an opportunity out of nothing in the 55th minute when he decided to strike it from well outside the box. He hit it sweetly forcing Petkovic into a brilliant diving save. The corner that followed saw Malik with a free header, but he wasn-t able to get it on target.

In the 57th minute Talay was brought down by Ricardinho and he was the third player to be issued with a yellow card.

In the 65th minute the ever-present Talay tried another shot from well outside the box, but it was wide with Petkovic watching it closely. Melbourne then made their first change in the 65th minute with Geoff Kellaway coming on for Ricardinho.

Broxham sent in a brilliant cross to Celeski in the 68th minute, but his first time shot was off line and away for a goal kick. This was followed by the Fury-s first change with Sseppuya making way for Jason Spagnuolo.

The Fury won a free kick in the 78th minute. It was taken quickly and laid off to Akoto, but he got underneath it and sent the shot 20 rows back.

Panny Nikas came on for Edds in the 80th minute as the Fury looked to shake things up. He made an instant impact winning a corner within a minute of coming on. From the corner, the ball fell to Williams who chested then slammed the ball goalwards before taking a deflection off Leijer on its way out to another corner.

In the 83rd minute some desperate defending from ex-Victory player Storey saved the day for the home side. Celeski sent in a cross towards Kellaway who was expecting to meet the ball with a free header before Storey-s desperate interception with a clearing header.

Melbourne made a late change with Marvin Angulo coming on for Celeski in the 87th minute.

The Victory had a late chance in the 88th minute with Broxham setting Kellaway free. The ball sat up perfectly for him down the left side of the box. He had an unmarked Pondeljak at the far post but elected to shoot from the angle with his shot going over.

With three minutes of stoppage time both teams set out looking for a late winner. Victory ran it down in the 91st minute down the right. Angulo sent in a teasing ball towards Pondeljak who was just about to strike it, but Mark Hughes foiled the move with a stretching interception.

In the end both teams had to settle with a share of the spoils for their first ever scoreless draw in their Hyundai A-League encounters.

North Queensland Fury 0
Melbourne Victory 0