Perth Glory have won a pulsating 5 goal thriller against the Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium tonight.
Goals from Steven McGarry, Nick Ward and Chris Harold secured a thrilling 3-2 victory for Perth Glory over the Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
Having recovered from Tiago Calvano-s early opener to take a 2-1 lead, the hosts were then pegged back by a rare goal from the returning Josh Mitchell, before substitute Chris Harold bagged the winner five minutes from time.
The tone was set for a pulsating first-half as early as the 6th minute when the Jets broke their 406-minute goal drought in Perth courtesy of a rare strike from defender Calvano.
Former Glory man Mitchell headed back across goal from a right-wing corner and his Brazilian centre-back partner was the first to react, bundling the ball past Danny Vukovic from close range.
A melee then ensued on the edge of the visitors- box when Dean Heffernan was sent tumbling by Calvano before a fired-up Glory restored parity on 11 minutes.
Scott Jamieson-s corner from the left was headed out of the box by the busy Calvano, but Steven McGarry was on hand to hammer a superb low shot past visitors- keeper Mark Birighitti to bag his fifth goal for the club and his first this season
Nick Ward, meanwhile, was becoming steadily more influential in his role just behind lone striker Billy Mehmet and seven minutes before the break, his moment arrived.
Again Jamieson was involved in the build-up, this time released down the left by another sublime piece of skill from Liam Miller.
The left-back whipped a teasing ball across the face of goal and although Heffernan-s initial diving header was brilliantly parried by Birighitti, Ward was on hand to steer home from close range.
It was the 27-year-old-s first goal for his hometown club since February 2006 when he found the net in a 3-1 victory, ironically, over the same opponents.
And the versatile midfielder almost sent his side into the sheds 3-1 up, climbing above his marker to get a decent headed contact onto a Jamieson free-kick only to be foiled by another fine save from Birighitti.
Perth Glory 2-1 Newcastle Jets
Jets- coach Gary van Egmond had looked furious when heading down from his perch in the grandstand to address his team during the break and whatever message he tried to get across to his charges, it worked.
Heskey had cut a largely anonymous figure in the first period, but as he became more influential, so the visitors edged their way steadily back into the contest.
In the 64th minute, the marquee man-s clever pass created a shooting opportunity for James Brown whose angled drive fizzed narrowly wide of Vukovic-s right post, then moments later, he somehow squandered a gilt-edged chance to tie things up.
Scott Neville capped a slaloming run by driving in a fierce low cross which the 34-year-old striker could only scuff straight at a relieved Vukovic from point-blank range.
The former England striker-s blushes were spared on 70 minutes, however, when he rose well to nod down another deep cross from Neville and Mitchell swept the loose ball home from ten metres out to set up a thrilling final quarter.
A Ryan Griffiths cross from the left should then have been converted by Heskey who completely missed his shot with the goal at his mercy and Glory took full advantage by scoring what proved to be the winner two minutes later.
Liam Miller-s corner from the left eluded Birighitti and fell for Harold who gleefully lashed the ball home from inside the six-yard box to send the Shed into raptures.
There was still time for Harold and James Brown to go close at either end before referee Alan Milliner brought the curtain down on a clash that had kept a near-capacity crowd of 9293 enthralled from the first minute to the last.
Perth Glory: 1.Danny Vukovic (GK), 3.Bas van den Brink, 4.Billy Mehmet, 6.Nick Ward (17.Chris Harold 77-), 8.Dean Heffernan, 10.Liam Miller, 13.Travis Dodd, 14.Steven McGarry (18.Jesse Makarounas 74-), 19.Josh Risdon, 21.Scott Jamieson, 23.Michael Thwaite
Substitutes not used: 11.Adrian Zahra, 30 Lewis Italiano (GK)
Scorers: McGarry 11-, Ward 38-, Harold 85-
Yellow cards: Risdon 43-, Thwaite 52-, Ward 59-, Jamieson 65-
Newcastle Jets: 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), 2. Scott NEVILLE, 3. Tiago CALVANO (18. Jacob PEPPER 91-), 4. Josh MITCHELL, 7. James BROWN (10. Bernardo RIBEIRO 77-), 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9. Emile HESKEY, 15. Craig GOODWIN, 16. Jobe WHEELHOUSE (c), 17. James VIRGILI, 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS
Substitutes not used: 14. Taylor REGAN, 33. Matt NASH (GK)
Scorers: Calvano 6-
Yellow cards: Mitchell 8-, Griffiths 35-, Calvano 44-, Virgili 79-