Glory maintained their impressive recent form and as they turned on the style to secure a stunning 6-2 victory over Newcastle Jets in what was the club’s final game of the decade at HBF Park.
Bruno Fornaroli and Diego Castro led the way for Glory by helping themselves to two goals apiece, while Neil Kilkenny and Joel Chianese also got on the scoresheet for the hosts who ended the day in fourth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Steven Ugarkovic, meanwhile, replied for the Jets who showed plenty of attacking intent themselves during what was an enthralling encounter from start to finish.
Castro’s 15th-minute free-kick gave Glory the lead and although that was quickly cancelled out by Topor-Stanley’s header, Kilkenný’s penalty ensured that the men in purple were 2-1 up at the break.
Chianese then added a third almost immediately after the restart and despite the Jets again responding quickly through Ugarkovic, this time Glory pulled away as Fornaroli struck twice before Castro added the sixth late on.
Unsurprisingly, Head Coach Tony Popovic was delighted with both the performance and the result.
“It was a really good day for us,” he said. “Scoring six goals in front of our own fans is quite special and we continue on a good run.
“We keep improving and those chances we were creating earlier in the season are now starting to go in.
“Overall I thought we played very well.
“It’s a great way to finish this part of the season off before Christmas and I’m sure our fans will enjoy Christmas a lot more now.
“Now we need to recover well, enjoy our family time over Christmas and then get ready for a tough away game at Central Coast.
“We didn’t get too down when the results weren’t there at the start and we’re not going to get too ahead of ourselves now because of winning a few games.
“Obviously we’ll enjoy this victory, but we’ll very quickly move on to the next challenge.”
Making light of the hot conditions, Glory began brightly and took the lead in spectacular style through Castro.
Topor-Stanley’s foul on Fornaroli handed the Spaniard an enticing shooting opportunity and he needed no second invitation to take it, bending an inch-perfect effort around the wall into the bottom corner of Glen Moss’ net.
Yet Glory’s lead was to prove short-lived as a Petratos free-kick was headed back across the area via Lachlan Jackson and then Angus Thurgate, eventually reaching Topor-Stanley who nodded home from point-blank range.
Undaunted, Glory hit back swiftly, this time from the spot.
James Meredith’s surging run into the box was brought to an unceremonious end when he was tripped by the lunging Ben Kantarovski and unaffected by a lengthy VAR referral, Kilkenny calmly sent Moss the wrong way from the spot to restore his side’s advantage.
There as a minor scare for Glory on the stroke of half-time, but Liam Reddy did enough to push Jason Hoffman’s shot away as it threatened to creep in at the far post.
The action continued unabated after the re-start, with two high-quality goals within the opening six minutes.
Chianese’s powerful strike from the edge of the box initially made it 3-1 to the hosts, before their lead was again reduced to a single goal when the impressive Petratos played Ugarkovic in on goal and the midfielder applied a neat finish to claim his first goal since 2017.
3-2 then became 4-2 just short of the hour-mark, Castro’s trickery carving out a chance for Fornaroli whose low shot took a deflection off Kantarovski which left Moss totally wrong-footed as the ball crept across the line.
There was nothing fortunate about the Uruguayan’s second and Glory’s fifth, however, Chianese featuring prominently in the approach work before Fornaroli cleverly delayed his shot, dragged the ball onto his left foot and crashed it into the corner of the net.
And the cake was iced in sumptuous style eight minutes from the end when Castro cut into the box and rifled an unstoppable effort beyond Moss to claim his eighth goal in 12 appearances against the Jets.
There was still time for Meredith to have what would have been his first goal in Glory colours chalked off by the VAR for a handball in the build-up, but nothing was going to take the edge off the festivities among the home faithful which were in full swing well before the final whistle.
Perth Glory 6 (Castro 15′, 82′, Kilkenny (pen) 32′, Chianese 47′, Fornaroli 58′, 71′) Newcastle Jets 2 (Topor-Stanley 26′, Ugarkovic 51′)
Referee: Adam Kersey
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern
Fourth Official: Shane Skinner
VAR: Kate Jacewicz
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT (3.Jacob TRATT, 46′), 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 27.JUANDE (20.Jake BRIMMER 72′), 88.Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 12.Kim SOO-BEOM, 18.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Newcastle Jets: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 10.Dimi PETRATOS, 16.Matt MILLAR, 22.Lachlan JACKSON (18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS 46′), 23.Matt RIDENTON (11.Nick FITZGERALD 60′), 28.Pat LANGLOIS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Substitutes not used: 2.Bobby BURNS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk)
Yellow Cards: Jackson, Langlois
Red Cards: None