Glory’s season ends in Newcastle

Perth Glory’s season has finished on a disappointing note, losing 4-0 to Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Thursday night.

Perth Glory’s season has finished on a disappointing note, losing 4-0 to Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Thursday night.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic however, as after the Jets went ahead through Labinot Haliti in the 13th minute, the Western Australian side dominated the rest of the first half and were unlucky not to draw level on several occasions.

But when Jeremy Brockie broke quickly and fired home the second in the 55th minute, it gave the Jets just the lift they needed before substitute Sasho Petrovski came on to drill two goals in two minutes, one of those coming from the penalty spot.

There was still time for Glory to fashion a late chance through Robbie Fowler’s deft pass to Branko Jelic, but Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy produced a brilliant save to maintain the clean sheet.

While the result wasn’t what Perth wanted in their final game of the campaign, it did prove a very positive one for Newcastle as they kept alive their finals chances and set up a sizzling last round of the Hyundai A-League season.

Going into this game, Newcastle were six points behind Wellington with a -7 goal difference compared to the Phoenix’s -4. But this result has seen the Jets improve their goal difference to -3 and, now just three points behind the NZ side, if they happen to beat Central Coast in the final round, in conjunction with Wellington losing at home to North Queensland, then Newcastle could still qualify for the finals.

Knowing that they needed to score goals in this encounter, the Jets attacked from the outset, although Haliti butchered an early chance when he burst forward and nodded Tarek Elrich’s quality ball into the area straight at goalkeeper Tando Velaphi, who was playing his last game in Glory colours.

In the 12th minute, Glory young gun Adam Taggart released Fowler close to goal with a clever pass but the former Liverpool striker was denied a shot at goal by a superb Mario Simic tackle.

The missed chance proved costly as the Jets took it down the other end and opened the scoring.

Ali Abbas chipped the ball in and Brockie intelligently chested the ball down for Haliti to drive home an unstoppable rocket that flew in off the inside of the upright.

The goal sparked the Glory in a big way as they dominated possession for the rest of the half and created numerous chances through ball after ball into the box.

In the 29th minute, Steve McGarry fired narrowly high and wide from a good position with a strike that curved wickedly in the air, before the Glory went within millimetres of equalising just after the half hour.

McGarry had released Fowler and the 35-year-old’s intelligent lob with the outside of his left boot forced a desperate clearance from the Jets defence.

But the ball still fell perfectly for Howard Fondyke to smash a stunning volley at goal, his delivery only matched by a spectacular diving save by Jets stopper Kennedy.

In the 37th minute, Scott Neville’s cross-cum-shot from a tight angle on the right caused Kennedy a few anxious moments while Perth maintained the attack until the half-time whistle as Taggart showed great composure to beat two defenders and fire a shot against the side netting.

After the break, it was Velaphi’s time to shine as he bravely smothered a shot by Haliti just as the striker was about to pull the trigger in the 50th minute.

But five minutes later, the Glory’s defence was exposed by a great pass from Simic in his own half, the Newcastle defender’s through-ball releasing Brockie who made no mistake when one-on-one with Velaphi.

Glory kept up the attack as a sensational ball from McGarry just before the hour picked out an unmarked Taggart two metres from goal, but the 17-year-old could only nod marginally wide of the upright.

And the missed chances eventually caught up with Perth as Petrovski got his chance from the spot.

Young defender Brent Griffiths inadvertently handballed a free kick from namesake Ryan Griffiths as he challenged Nikolai Topor-Stanley for the ball and Petrovski was more than happy to drive home the spot kick in the 68th minute.

And it just got worse for Griffiths 30 seconds later as the defender was surprised when he received a pass straight from the kick-off.

Full of adrenalin Petrovski charged onto the loose ball after Griffiths took a heavy first touch, the veteran striker accelerating into the box and firing home the fourth.

With nine minute remaining, Fowler showed off his quality as an intelligent pass in heavy traffic released Jelic, but Jets goalkeeper Kennedy produced a brilliant reaction save to palm Jelic’s strike around the post, ensuring the Glory’s season finished on a disappointing note.

Perth Glory 0
Newcastle United 4 (Haliti 13-, Brockie 55-, Petrovski 68-, 69-)
Thursday, 10 February 2011
Energy Australia Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Crowd: 7,286

Perth Glory: 1. Tando VELAPHI, 2. Josh MITCHELL, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 9. Robbie FOWLER, 12. Scott NEVILLE, 14. Steve MCGARRY, 15.Howard FONDYKE (13. Tommy AMPHLETT 64-), 16 Adrian PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 18.Brent GRIFFITHS, 26.Adam TAGGART (11.Branko JELIC 79-)

Substitutes not used: 25. Ryan PEARSON (gk), 24.Joshua RISDON
Yellow Cards: Griffiths 56-
Red Cards: Nil

Newcastle United: 1. Ben KENNEDY, 4.Nikolai TOPOR STANLEY (c), 11.Tarek ELRICH, 12.Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14.Labinot HALITI (13. Sasho PETROVSKI 61-), 16.Jeremy BROCKIE, 18.Marko JESIC, 19.Ali ABBAS (26.James VIRGILI 75-), 23.Ryan GRIFFTHS, 25. Samuel GALLAWAY (31. Jacob PEPPER 55-), 28.Mario SIMIC

Substitutes not used: 40. Matthew NASH (gk)

Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil