Gutsy fightback secures deserved point


American duo Crystal Thomas and Morgan Andrews both scored their first goals for the club as Glory fought back from two down to secure a dramatic 2-2 draw with Adelaide United in Friday evening’s Round 8 clash at the Marden Sports Complex.


Despite dominating for the opening half-hour, Bobby Despotovski’s side found themselves trailing 2-0 at the break courtesy of quick-fire efforts from Chelsie Dawber and Mary Fowler.

Thomas, however, duly halved the arrears shortly after the break with a fine individual effort and the 25-year-old also had a hand in her side’s stoppage-time equaliser.

It was her tenacity in the box that drew a foul from Dylan Holmes, with Andrews calmly finding the net from the resulting penalty to earn the women in white a well-deserved share of the spoils.

The result sees the WA side remain in eighth spot on the Westfield W-League ladder with five games of the regular season left to play and Despotovski felt that his side were good value for their point.

“We definitely deserved something out of the game in my opinion,” he said.

“Our story from last week continued in the first half when we struggled to score despite creating numerous chances.

“We played well, created chances, but didn’t score and when you do that, you’re running the risk of conceding which was exactly what happened.

“They [Adelaide] had two shots on target in the first half and scored with both of them.

“At half-time I told the girls how well they had played – they delivered on everything we asked them to do, except putting the ball in the net.

“In the second half we changed some tired legs, Crystal’s goal got us back into it and we pushed right to the end.

“I’m just so pleased for the girls that they got something out of the game having worked so tirelessly.”

Glory made light of the hot conditions in the South Australian capital to start brightly and came close to breaking the deadlock three times in quick succession within the opening 15 minutes.

The visitors’ first chance was gifted to them by Emily Hodgson who would have put Natasha Rigby’s cross through her own net had it not been for an acrobatic save from Sarah Willacy.

From the resulting corner, Leticia McKenna struck the crossbar with a looping header and moments later, Katarina Jukic’s shot drew a low save from the overworked home ‘keeper.

Then, in the 14th minute, Willacy produced an impressive double save to parry Andrews’ initial strike and claim the follow-up header from Celia.

As the half wore on, Adelaide gradually settled and went close through skipper Amber Brooks after the Glory defence had struggled to clear Kahlia Hogg’s free-kick.

But it still came as a surprise when Dawber handed them the lead seven minutes before the break.

Capitalising upon a cheap turnover in midfield, the 19-year-old powered her way into a shooting position and calmly clipped the ball past the advancing Eliza Campbell.

And on the stroke of half-time, things went from bad to worse for Glory as Dawber turned provider, finding Fowler on the edge of the box who picked out the bottom corner with a pinpoint finish.

The visitors desperately needed to pull one back early in the second half and did exactly that courtesy of Thomas who showed great pace to get away down the right, before cutting inside and bending a fine, left-footed effort into the roof of Willacy’s net.

An excellent save from Campbell prevented Mallory Weber from restoring Adelaide’s two-goal advantage almost immediately and as Glory threw bodies forward, the Reds came close to picking them off on the break, with Charlotte Grant and substitute Lais Araujo both failing to convert decent opportunities.

In the last minute of normal time, it looked as if Glory’s final chance had come and gone when Andrews fired straight at Willacy from just inside the box.

But the former US Under-23 international was not to be denied moments later as she kept her nerve to convert from the spot and secure her side a battling point.

Match Details

Adelaide United 2 (Dawber 38′, Fowler 45′) Perth Glory 2 (Thomas 52′, Andrews (pen) 90+3′)

Half-time: 2-0

Marden Sports Complex. Marden

Referee: Kate Jacewicz 

Adelaide United: 1.Sarah WILLACY (gk), 2.Emily Hodgson, 3.Kahlia HOGG, 4.Mallory WEBER (12.Isabel HODGSON 82′), 5.Charlotte GRANT (6.Georgia CAMPAGNALE 90+1′), 9.Mary FOWLER, 10.Chelsie DAWBER (18.Lais ARAUJO  69′), 11.Laura JOHNS, 14.Julia ASHLEY, 16.Dylan HOLMES, 22.Amber BROOKS (c)

Substitutes not used: 20.Evelyn GOLDSMITH (gk)

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 5.Shannon MAY, 6.Arianna ROMERO, 7.CELIA, 8.Morgan ANDREWS, 9.Crystal THOMAS, 11.Leticia MCKENNA (19.Hana LOWRY 72′), 24.Natasha RIGBY (c) (16.Isabella WALLHEAD 46′), 28.Katarina JUKIC (14.Caitlin DOEGLAS 54′)

Substitutes not used: 21.Morgan AQUINO (gk)

Yellow Cards: Thomas

Red Cards: None