Adelaide's SANFL side has fallen by one point to Sturt at Peter Motley Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The SANFL Crows came from 14 points behind at three quarter time to hit the lead midway through the last term before Double Blue Ashley Johnson booted his fourth goal to hand his side the lead and a 12.12 (84) to 13.5 (83) win.
“It was a good game of footy and we were unfortunately on the wrong end of it,” Crows SANFL coach Michael Godden said post-game.
“During the second half we had 60% of the ball in our forward half, so we gave ourselves a chance and Sturt let us back in it with their kicking.
“I loved our fight, there were moments in the game where it could have got away from us, but the guys dug in, kept to the system and as much as it hurts it is another day of positivity.”
Josh Worrell had 22 disposals, while young midfielders Chayce Jones and Ronin O’Connor (10 tackles) were solid with 20 touches each.
Experienced Crow Daniel Jackson and captain Matthew Wright led from the front, with Jackson finding 21 disposals and two goals and Wright booting four majors.
Playing in a half back role in recent weeks, Jones started the match well with nine touches in the opening term, as the Crows got off to a flying start with three of the first four goals.
Coming off a seven-goal, 19-disposal, 12-mark game against Central District in Round 4, Billy Frampton was in good marking form once again, finishing with five for the day - along with a goal.
Adelaide booted three of the first four goals in the match but Sturt fought back to finish the first quarter just three points down.
The Double Blues started the second term how it ended the first, kicking the opening goal before Jackson booted a much needed settling goal for the Crows against the run of play.
The second term went goal for goal but two late from Sturt, including one after the siren from Tom Lewis, gave them a six-point lead at the major break.
Jones and Worrell both had 15 disposals to half time.
Adelaide continued to fight its way into the match in the third and found another goal against the flow when Wright booted his second major.
At the 15-minute mark of the third term it was one goal apiece and Sturt led by eight points, but it quickly extended its lead to a match-high 20 points with goals to Johnson (third) and Josh Patullo (second).
Wright again found a way to keep his side in the hunt, booting his third major at the 22-minute mark following a 25m penalty.
Trailing by 14 points at three-quarter-time, the Crows trimmed the margin to six points when O’Connor goaled in a congested forward line, before Wright caught a Double Blues defender holding the ball in the goal square for his fourth goal to level the scores.
Two minutes later Sturt hit the lead again through an Evans goal, but James Mathews again brought the teams level again with a long snap in front of a packed supporters hill, 11.10 (76) to 12.4 (76).
Crows SANFL debutant Mitchell Marini put the Crows in front with nine minutes to go with a spectacular goal from the boundary line.
A Lachie Mathews dive on the goal line to rush through a Sturt goal attempt and a Wright chase down tackle in the forward half showed the Crows desperation to pull off the come from behind win.
But with four minutes to play he sent a wayward set shot towards the goals to bring the Double Blues to within five points, and then had another go two minutes later and nailed the goal.
Adelaide locked the ball in its forward half in the closing stages but couldn’t register another score.
The Crows will face Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval next Saturday at 3.35pm, ahead of the AFL Showdown.
Adelaide 3.2, 7.2, 9.2, 13.5 (83)
Sturt 3.5, 7.8, 10.10, 12.12 (84)
Goals: Wright 4, Jackson 2, J. Mathews 2, Boyle, Fogarty, Frampton, Marini, O’Connor
Best: Jackson, O’Connor, Jones, Wright, Worrell, Strachan, Fogarty