Joel Chianese scored within a minute of starting his second spell with the club as Glory fought out a 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets at Coffs Harbour International Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Introduced from the bench on the hour-mark, the Premiership-winning attacker made an immediate impact as he rounded off some impressive approach work from Bruno Fornaroli and Andy Keogh by poking home at the far post.
Glory’s lead lasted just six minutes, however, as Kosuke Ota brought Apostolos Stamatelopoulos down in the box and Roy O’Donovan made no mistake from the spot.
Only some dogged defensive work from the home side prevented Glory from turning their concerted late pressure into a second goal and Head Coach Richard Garcia felt that his charges were unfortunate not to come away with the win.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t get the three points,” he said, “but it’s been a tough journey and the boys dug in towards the back end and got closer and closer to picking them off, but no joy.
“I definitely thought we were working it around a lot more and it possibly didn’t fall for us at the right times.
“You’d like to go away with three points all the time… but it’s a point on the road, which is always good and now we go back and we focus on Sunday’s game back at home.
“It’s nice to have a home game… and being in front of our home fans will give the boys a lift when they’re feeling fatigued.”
Glory made a bright start at the picturesque regional venue, with home ‘keeper Lewis Italiano blocking a low shot from Carlo Armiento within the opening 35 seconds and then producing an even better save to push a fierce Bruno Fornaroli strike over the crossbar.
As the half wore on, the Jets began to carve out some opportunities of their own, notably when Roy O’Donovan played Jason Hoffman in, but under pressure from Darryl Lachman, Ota and Liam Reddy, the Newcastle veteran was unable to get a shot in on target.
O’Donovan then went close himself, nodding against the post after Connor O’Toole’s deep cross had been helped on by Ramy Najjarine and shortly before the break, Reddy was called into action for the first time to keep out a powerful header from Lachlan Jackson.
The men in white, however, began the second half as strongly as they had the first and deservedly hit the front 15 minutes in.
It was the lively Fornaroli who found Keogh with a clever ball and Glory’s record A-League scorer crossed to the far post where Chianese stretched to claim his 15th goal for the club.
At that stage, Garcia’s side looked on track to record what would have been their 13th away win over the Jets, but instead they were swiftly pegged back from the penalty spot.
Stamatelopoulos’ strong run into the box was ended illegally by Ota and O’Donovan emphatically dispatched the resulting penalty.
The final 20 minutes saw Chris Ikonomidis make a welcome return to the fray after 437 days out with a knee ligament injury and he looked likely to end up on the winning side as Glory piled on the late pressure.
Fornaroli twice went agonisingly close to restoring his side’s lead with curling efforts from the edge of the box and Keogh also threatened via a thumping volley which fizzed centimetres wide of the post.
But the hosts dug deep to ride out the storm and ensure that Glory would leave with just one point rather than the three their performance arguably warranted.
Newcastle Jets 1 (O’Donovan (pen) 67′) Perth Glory 1 (Chianese 61′)
C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
Referee: Shaun Evans
Newcastle Jets: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN (17.Valentino YUEL 46′), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Ramy NAJJARINE (14.Ali ABBAS 89′), 16.Matt MILLAR, 21.Luka PRŠO, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 32.Angus THURGATE, 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c)
Substitutes not used: 8.Liridon KRASNIQI, 20.Syahrian ABIMANYU, 23.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 28.Blake ARCHBOLD, 51.Jordan LENNON
Yellow Cards: Stamatelopoulos, Millar
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 8.Kosuke OTA, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Andy KEOGH, 19.Callum TIMMINS (15.Brandon WILSON 60′), 20.Carlo ARMIENTO (7.Chris IKONOMIDIS 70′), 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 38.Ciaran BRAMWELL (11.Joel CHIANESE 60′), 88.Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 13.Luke BODNAR, 22.Josh RAWLINS, 37.Riley WARLAND
Yellow Cards: Fornaroli, Timmins
Red Cards: None