Bafford brace seals battling point

NPL 2020 - Glory v Perth SC  - Bryce Bafford scores

Bryce Bafford scored twice as the PGFC Academy First Team came back from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw with Perth SC in a thrilling clash at 1620 Capital Stadium on Saturday.

Both sides came into what was the final game of the regular season vying for a place in the Semi-Finals and it was the visitors who were in control at the break courtesy of close-range efforts from Jordan De Leo and former Glory man Yacoub Mustafa.

But Richard Garcia’s side produced an impressive second-half comeback, Bafford halving the arrears just before the hour-mark by forcing home a cross from Nick Walsh and then converting from the spot to make it 2-2.

And while the youngsters were unable to grab the late winner they required to make the Finals, there were plenty of positives to be taken from both their performance on the day and the season overall.

The goalmouth action began early, with Michael Domfeh firing just wide for the visitors inside the opening three minutes before Giordano Colli and Charlie Leech were both denied by Ryan Montgomery at the other end.

Glory were then handed the perfect opportunity to take the lead when Josh Rawlins was brought down in the box by Bojan Radinovic, but Colli’s subsequent spot-kick struck the post.

And the hosts were left to rue that miss when De Leo scrambled the ball home to put Perth SC in front on 30 minutes and Mustafa doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time.

Having created chances throughout the opening period, Glory continued in the same vein at the start of the second and were rewarded ten minutes in when Walsh delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left and Bafford swept the ball past Montgomery.

Perth SC then went close to restoring their two-goal advantage, Cameron Cook producing a fine save to foil Domfeh before Bafford was kept out by Montgomery at the other end.

The Glory frontman was not to be denied with 15 minutes left, however, calmly rolling the ball home from the spot after substitute Aidan Edwards had been impeded in the are by De Leo.

That equaliser set up a frantic finale in which both sides went close to claiming all three points from a game that kept the 1620 Capital Stadium crowd enthralled from the first minute to the last.

Earlier in the day, meanwhile, Glory’s Under-18s claimed the league title after cruising to a 5-1 win.

PGFC Academy Under-18s with league trophy

Toby Snook helped himself to four of the goals, taking out the league’s Golden Boot Award in the process, with Roy Rahamim adding the fifth for Steven McGarry’s side.

Glory’s Under-16s also received their league championship trophy having claimed the title last midweek.

PGFC Academy Under-16s with league trophy

But the Under-20s were unable to stay in the chase for more silverware as they lost 2-1 and just missed out on a top-four finish.

Match Details

Perth Glory 2 (Bafford 55′, 75′ (pen)) Perth SC 2 (De Leo 30′, Mustafa 44′)

Half-time 0-2

Referee: Matthew Southern

Perth Glory: 1.Cameron COOK, 2.Mason TATAFU, 3.Nick WALSH, 6.Aiki TSUKAMOTO, 7.Albert FULLARD (17.Jacob MUIR 54′), 8.Chris DONNELL (18.Jayden LEADER 85′), 9.Bryce BAFFORD, 10.Giordano COLLI, 11.Charlie LEECH (16.Aidan EDWARDS 54′), 15.Aidan COYNE, 22.Josh RAWLINS

Substitutes not used: 12.Lewis TUCKER, 20.Kade WHITE

Yellow Cards: Colli, Coyne

Red Cards: None

Perth SC: 1.Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2.Alex SILLA, 3.Jordan DE LEO, 6.Nic MACDONALD, 7.Aleks JOVIC, 8.Paul ZIMARINO (14.Jewad REZAI 58′),  10.Michael DOMFEH, 15.Sasa NJEGIC (17.Aiden FORMSTON 71′), 16.Kieran COLWELL, 19.Bojan RADINOVIC, 22.Yagoub MUSTAFA 

Substitutes not used: 9.Gustavo CATARCIONE, 12.Daniel MACKENZIE, 23.Adrian SINAGRA 

Yellow Cards: Silla, De Leo, Colwell

Red Cards: None

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)