Action aplenty as spoils shared

Young guns from Perth and Melbourne showcased the football talent being bred in each state with an enthralling National Youth League clash at ME Bank Stadium that wasn’t short on chances.

Young guns from Perth and Melbourne showcased the football talent being bred in each state with an enthralling National Youth League clash at ME Bank Stadium that wasn’t short on chances.

On a windy Sunday afternoon in WA, Glory enjoyed the better opportunities but lacked finishing power after losing last week’s hat-trick hero Reece Vittiglia to a broken arm midway through the first term.

Both sides attacked relentlessly throughout the 90 minutes but defences held firm to leave the scores locked at 0-0 when the final whistle blew. The result sees Perth fourth on the National Youth League table while Melbourne is fifth.

“Everyone worked hard but we just didn-t get the goals today,” skipper Steve Hesketh said.

“Both teams had chances but I think, especially in the second half, we had the better opportunities and everything was going our way.

“Fourth on the ladder isn-t too bad but we-d much rather be first. We-ll keep working hard to get the wins and lift ourselves up there.

“I think we can be happy with our form but at the same time we-re a little disappointed not to be able to take all three points from today,” Hesketh added.

Perth opened aggressively as returning striker Anthony Skorich set up a flowing move that saw regular senior player Scott Bulloch square the ball to Cameron Edwards who fired over when he should have done better.

Glory-s purple patch was discoloured when on 22 minutes Vittiglia was bundled over the by-line to land awkwardly on him arm and immediately clutching it in pain.

Perth was reduced to 10 men for the next few minutes as Vittiglia was attended to by club medical staff and Melbourne almost took advantage. Matthew Demo beat the offside trap but the towering striker sent his effort wide from 10 metres out before seeing another chance saved by Perth keeper Alex Pearson two minutes later.

On the half hour, Perth’s Ryan Pearson had a shot saved by Victory stopper Sebastian Mattei but that was the best of the opportunities before the break.

The second period saw both sides amp up the attack in order to claim the three points.

Ten minutes after the re-start Edwards produced a promising run into the Victory box but Mattei brilliantly smothered the ball at his feet to snuff out the opportunity.

Pearson and Bulloch continued to threaten with shots at goal but couldn’t find a clinical touch while Edwards almost broke through a short time later but was denied by a desperate clearance off the line.

Perth substitute Clayton Arnez fired a powerful effort from 25 metres over the bar during injury time, before Melbourne produced a late flurry.

Glory however had a last chance to sneak the win as the hosts in a venomous counter move however Skorich waited too long to pull the trigger and was forced to pass to a team mate who was closed down to blunt the danger.

National Youth League 2009/10 – Rd 8

Perth Glory 0
Melbourne Victory 0
Sunday 1 November at ME Bank Stadium, Perth

Referee: Steven Gregory
Assistant referees: Josh Mihevc and Tim Mihevc
Fourth official: Joe Fusari

Melbourne Victory: 1. Sebastian Mattei (gk), 7.Aziz Behic (c), 5.Diogo Ferreira, 8.Stephen Hatzikostas, 9.Matthew Demo (15.Christian Georgopoulos 57-), 2.Simon Tolli (14.Jackson Irvine 53-), 6.Matthew Theodore (12.Luke O-Dea 59-), 11.Antonio La Verde, 20.Stefaan Sardellic (gk), 3.Bradley Norton, 4.Craig Sweeney, 10. Tedros Yabio.

Substitutes Not Used: Stefaan SARDELLIC (gk)
Yellow Cards: Stephen Hatzikostas 68-, Tedros Yabio 90-
Red Cards:

Perth Glory: 1.Alex Pearson (gk), 5.Joshua Risdon (8.Clayton Arnez 46-), 4.Sam Mitchinson (13.Jack Clisby 57-), 12.Reece Vittiglia (2.Ryan Pearson 24-), 6.Dean Evans, 9.Anthony Skorich, 14.Glen Trifiro, 8.Scott Bulloch (oa), 3.Steve Hesketh (c), 13.Howard Fondyke, 7.Cameron Edwards, 20.Tim Doyle (gk)

Substitutes Not Used: Tim DOYLE (gk)
Yellow Cards: Howard Fondyke 31-, Anthony Skorich 42-.
Red Cards: