Five-star Glory power past Armadale


The PGFC Academy First Team produced a stunning performance to beat league-leaders Armadale 5-0 in Saturday’s Football West NPL clash at Alfred Skeet Reserve.

First-half goals from Gabriel Popovic and Jacob Italiano set up the win, with Popovic adding his second after the break, before Henry Hore and Nick Walsh also got on the scoresheet.

The result propelled Glory up to second on the ladder with three rounds played and Head Coach Richard Garcia was naturally delighted with his charges’ display.

“It was a good all-round team performance today and one we must build on,” he said.

“We were on the front foot from the first whistle and were clinical in front of goal against a side who had won their first two games without conceding a goal.

“Some of our lead up play today was really good and the work-rate of all the players, even those who came off the bench. was pleasing.

“But we need to maintain that standard and we now focus on a trip to ECU Joondalup next week.”

Coming off their first win of the season against Balcatta last weekend, Glory were on the front foot early and Armadale keeper Sam Hutchings produced a number of saves to deny them.

But their pressure was finally rewarded after 27 minutes.

Daniel Stynes made space out wide before sending in a deep cross and after Hutchings spilled the ball, Popovic was on hand to fire home the rebound.

Glory were dictating terms and it came as no surprise when they doubled their lead just before half time with a great team goal.

Italiano started the move, playing Stynes in behind the Armadale defence. He picked out Walter Scott, who squared the ball to Italiano and the young attacker applied a clinical finish to bag his second goal in as many games.

Jacob Italiano v Armadale

The home side opened the second half well, with South Sudan international Friday Zico asking questions after being introduced from the bench, but Glory successfully soaked up the early pressure, gradually regained control and added a third goal on the hour-mark.

This time Italiano turned provider, beating his man and out wide and standing up a cross to the far post which Popovic headed home.

It was soon 4-0, skipper Hore picking the ball up in the middle of the park and running at an overworked Armadale defence before calmly beating the advancing Hutchings.

The home side went close moments later when Adriano Jelenovic raced clear on goal, but Glory ‘keeper Jackson Lee stood tall to deny the striker.

And Armadale’s day then went from bad to worse when former Glory defender Nathan Costello was shown a straight red card by referee Shane Skinner after bringing down Italiano.

Glory made them pay from the resulting free kick as Stynes’ set piece was turned home by Walsh to wrap up a fantastic performance.

It was another successful day for the rest of the PGFC Academy NPL teams, with Steven McGarry’s Under-18s and Michael Garcia’s Under-20s both winning 4-1.

Joe Hobson (2), Tyler Vecchio and Mathieu Fellaife found the net for the Under-18s, while the goals for the Under-20s came from Luke Salmon (3) and Charlie Leech. 

Next up for all three teams is a trip to the ECU Football Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup on Saturday 6 April.

Match Details

Armadale 0 Perth Glory 5 (G Popovic 27′ 58′, Italiano 43′, Hore 60′ Walsh 71′)

Half-time: 0-2

Referee: Shane Skinner

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2 Josh KUSER, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Ali NAZARY,  6 Joel SANDERSON (10 Sam GARCES 58′), 7 Joshua CORTES (23 Friday ZICO 45′), 9 Billy QUINNCROFT, 11 Adriano JELENOVIC, 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 13 Blake ADAMS, 19 Harry EVANS (8 Michael LAWSON 72’)

Substitutes not used: RGK Blake HENSHELL, 22 Ryan HASLETT

Yellow cards: Evans 20’, Quinncroft 49’, Friday Zico 85’

Red cards: Nathan Costello 70’

Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Zayd FARAH, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Jacob MUIR (14 Gomo DUKULY 76′), 5 Nick WALSH, 6 Kristian POPOVIC (15 Jack LEECH 76′), 7 Ethan BROOKS (13 Daniel WALSH 72′), 8 Henry HORE, 9 Gabriel POPOVIC, 10 Daniel STYNES, 11 Jacob ITALIANO
Substitutes not used: RGK Nicholas SPECCA, 12 Aiden EDWARDS

Yellow cards: Stynes 45’

Red cards: Nil


Photographs courtesy of Tom McCarthy