First half blitz too much for Glory Youngsters


After starting the PS4NPLWA season with two closely fought games, the young Perth Glory side was well beaten by Balcatta 4-0 in Round 4 at Ashfield Reserve at the weekend.

Balcatta exerted all their might registering four goals in the first half through Hanafi Ghazali and Luccas Mello both scoring doubles, to put the game out of the hands of John Gibson’s side.

“We pride ourselves on our performances but today was pretty poor by our own standards”, Gibson said post-match. 

“We didn’t help ourselves by conceding four extremely soft goals today, and you give any team in any league four goals in 35 minutes you make it pretty difficult for yourselves.

Gibson said the players will re-group, but they will have to do it quickly as they take on the reigning Championship next weekend. 

“We analyze, review, move forward quickly and look forward to next week’s game. Plenty of learning from every game we play and plenty of fantastic challenges always – it’s positively relentless,” he said.

“We also take positives from the game – we handed NPL debuts to Stef King (99) and Riley Warland (02). Riley was very good – fearless and composed for a young one.”

It was the worst possible start for Gibson’s side and they found themselves behind after only four minutes.

There looked little danger when Ghazali received the ball in the middle of the park, but his long ball into the penalty area was blown goalwards by the wind and caught Stef King off his line, and the ball somewhat fortuitously dropped under the bar to give Balcatta the lead.

Glory looked to hit back through Kosta Petratos who tried his luck from long-range on a number of occasions but he couldn’t beat Balcatta keeper Domenico Savoldelli.

At the 14th minute, Balcatta doubled its advantage, Mello’s stunning shot flew into the net giving King no chance.

Balcatta then won a penalty on the half hour, and King guessed the right way to save but referee Nico Hoyle deemed the keeper had come off his line, and Mello made no mistake with the re-taken penalty.

It was 4-0 five minutes later. 

The Glory youngsters pressed after half time, and they were defensively sound and held Balcatta to very few chances.

Petratos was again dangerous going forward, and he fired narrowly wide on the hour, and Jack Iredale’s free kick deflected off the wall and just wide of the target.

Before Michael McDougall then found space in the penalty area but his shot flashed wide of the target.

Iredale said they intended to put it right next week.

“Obviously we’re all very disappointed in the result. We as a group know that a performance like that isn’t acceptable for a group as good as we have,” he said.

“The challenge for the lads now is to put our heads down and work super hard this week and rectify it as best we can with a solid performance next weekend. As disappointed as we are we can’t dwell on what’s happened. All we can do now is come out strong next week.”

In the other games on the day Callum Salmon’s under 18’s ran out 3-1 winners against Balcatta with Adam Zimarino scoring a brace and Orton Raumati the other.

With Richard Garcia in the Glory A-League side against Melbourne Victory, Anthony Cochrane was in charge of the under 20’s, and they were also in the winner’s circle after Ethan Brooks, Cameron Murray, Sasa Nejgic and Jaxon Temata scored in their 4-0 win against Balcatta.

Balcatta 4 (Ghazali 4’, 30’, Mello 21’, 35’)
Perth Glory 0

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Venue: Ashfield Reserve
Referee: Nico Hoyle
Assistant referees: Brendan Skinner and Frank Laval

Perth Glory: GK Stef KING, 2 Bayley MONTGOMERY-BROWN, 4 Jack IREDALE, 5 Walter SCOTT, 6 Sam RIAK (14 Callum DOBBS, 57), 7 Yacoub MUSTAFA (13 Riley WARLAND, 55), 8 Callum TIMMINS (12 Jack LEECH, 35), 9 Michael MCDOUGAL, 10 Daniel STYNES (C), 16 Luca BODNAR, 17 Kosta PETRATOS – Subs not used: 15 Bleron WARLAND

Yellow cards: King 28’, Mustafa 55’, Warland 55’, Montgomery-Brown 74’, Iredale 87’

Balcatta: GK Domenico SAVOLDELLI, 2 Hanafi GHAZALI, 3 Justin ONEK, 4 Calum O’CONNELL, 5 Kieron STALLARD, 6 Jonathan CORNESS, 9 Luccas MELLO (19 Jaedon EWEN, 78), 11 Feisal ZAW (14 Carmelo GUFFRE, 90+2), 12 Kurt KOUAKOU, 20 Paddy QUINN (C), 23 Ismael BANGURA (16 Nathan SULLY, 51) – Subs not used: 13 David KAI.

Yellow Cards: Nil