Dominant Glory forced to settle for point

Glory produced a dominant performance on Tuesday evening, but were ultimately forced to settle for a 0-0 draw with Central Coast Mariners at HBF Park.

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The home side produced a total of 22 shots across the 90 minutes, struck the woodwork through Giordano Colli and saw a Bruno Fornaroli penalty saved by Mark Birighitti as they did everything but score.

But while Head Coach Richard Garcia admitted his frustration at having to settle for a point, he was encouraged by the way his side set about their task.

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“It’s a positive result for the fact that we didn’t concede,” he said.

“We’ve always been creating chances against every team we’ve played and had the lion’s share of possession.

“I was happy that the guys did it for 90 minutes today and that they kept a clean sheet, but it’s two points dropped really.

“So it’s a bit of a disappointing one, but I felt there was a little bit of growth there and that the guys are still pushing in the right direction.

“Some of the football we’re playing is very, very good… and it’s just about now getting that first win.

“The guys really need that first win to then push on.”

It was actually the Mariners who created the game’s first chance in what developed into a lively first half, Beni Nkololo forcing Brad Jones into a smart save low to his right and Noah Smith then somehow failing to force home the loose ball from inside the six-yard box.

Glory’s response was a stunning, curling free-kick from Colli which beat Mark Birighitti in the Mariners goal only to crash against the junction of bar and post, but the hosts were then handed a great opportunity to hit the front moments later when Jason Cummings needlessly tripped Jack Clisby as the defender burst into the box.

And yet it was not to be as Fornaroli’s well-struck effort was saved superbly by Birighitti diving to his right and clawing the ball away.

The Perth-born ‘keeper was called into action again just before the break, this time to parry a fierce drive from Josh Rawlins and the visitors were visibly grateful to hear the half-time whistle having spent almost the entire opening 45 minutes on the back foot.

Glory were not quite as dominant in the second half, with a three-day turnaround between games inevitably leading to some tired legs, but they still created a further three excellent chances.

Birthday boy Pacifique Niyongabire was the architect of the first, racing away down the right and squaring for substitute Daniel Stynes whose side-footed effort flashed narrowly wide.

Rawlins then drew Birighitti into another reflex save, this time with a powerful header from a Colli cross and with 13 minutes left, Glory’s final effort of the night came via Fornaroli’s 25m free-kick which very nearly crept into the far corner.

Match Details

Perth Glory 0 Central Coast Mariners 0

Half-time: 0-0

HBF Park

Attendance: 3078

Referee: Alex King

Perth Glory: 1.Brad JONES (GK), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 7.Adrian SARDINERO (18.Daniel STYNES 55′), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI (C), 11.Nick FITZGERALD (21.Antonee BURKE-GILROY 68′), 14.Jack CLISBY, 19.Callum TIMMINS (6.Osama MALIK 74′), 22.Josh RAWLINS, 24.Pacifique NIYONGABIRE (38.Ciaran BRAMWELL 74′), 26.Giordano COLLI, 29.Darryl LACHMAN

Substitutes not used: 12.Cameron COOK (GK), 16.Darko STANOJEVIC, 45.Aidan EDWARDS

Yellow Cards: Rawlins, Timmins

Red Cards: None

Central Coast Mariners: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), 4.Josh NISBET, 5.Noah SMITH (7.Cy GODDARD 66′), 8.Oliver BOZANIC (C), 9.Jason CUMMINGS (46.Atem DOR JOK 66′), 11.Beni NKOLOLO, 12.Marcos URENA (33.Harry MCCARTHY 84′), 14.Kye ROWLES, 18.Jacob FARRELL, 23.Daniel HALL (35.Cameron WINDUST 79′), 28.James BAYLISS (15.Storm ROUX 84′)

Substitutes not used: 16.Max BALARD, 50.Lawrence CARUSO (GK)

Yellow Cards: Rowles

Red Cards: None