Ten-man Melbourne Heart have held off a fast-finishing Brisbane Roar in a 3-2 thriller at AAMI Park on Sunday
|By DEJAN KALINIC
Melbourne Heart have moved into the top six after holding on for an entertaining 3-2 win over the Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Sunday.
The Heart recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since February 2012 after goals from David Williams, Josip Tadic and Fred.
Referee Alan Milliner sent Williams off in the 67th minute but the Heart held on despite Besart Berisha's late brace.
It was their second win over the Roar this season, following on from the 4-1 belting they handed the reigning champions in November last year.
While the Heart will finish the weekend in sixth, Mike Mulvey's Roar are seventh as their poor form on the road this campaign continued.
The visitors started strongly and needed until just the fifth minute to test Heart goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.
Thomas Broich floated a corner to the back post, with Redmayne palming away Erik Paartalu's header.
John Aloisi's men were pegged back deep in their own half early but opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Williams.
Fred started the move with a pass releasing Jonatan Germano, who played a ball into the feet of Richard Garcia.
Garcia's wonderful pass found Williams down the left and the winger tucked his finish into the bottom corner for his third goal of the campaign.
Both teams struggled in the attacking third after the goal, with last season's golden boot winner Berisha unusually deployed on the left for much of the first half.
The hosts doubled their advantage in controversial circumstances 10 minutes before half-time.
Michael Marrone skipped down the right and past a Paartalu challenge before sliding a pass through to Tadic, who took his tally of goals for the season to five with a neat finish.
However replays showed the Croatian forward was well offside and the goal should have been ruled out.
The Roar continued to have much of the possession, which Heart willingly gave up, and Redmayne got down low to save a side-footed Paartalu effort on 39 minutes.
Tadic went close to adding his second and the Heart's third just seconds after the break, but his attempted lob from close range landed on the roof of the net.
The Heart got their third in the 53rd minute, with the move starting from a Redmayne goal-kick.
Williams shielded the ball well for Aziz Behich to burst clear down an open left flank and his cross fell to Fred, who tapped past a helpless Theo.
The Roar were given some chance of a comeback on 67 minutes when Williams was sent off for a needless sliding challenge on Ivan Franjic.
Matt Smith headed a good chance wide moments later, before the Roar were awarded a penalty after Fred fouled Halloran.
Berisha stepped up and put the spot-kick into the bottom corner in the 74th minute, sending Redmayne the wrong way.
The Albanian forward was at it again two minutes later, pulling a second back with a smart finish after Broich's pass.
And despite five minutes of additional time during which Nichols headed inches over, the Heart held on in front of a nervous home crowd to secure all three points.