New recruit Daniel McBreen was once again Perth Glory’s goal scoring hero as Dave Mitchell’s men downed Central Coast Mariners 3-1 to clinch a third successive victory.
New recruit Daniel McBreen was once again Perth Glory-s goal scoring hero as Dave Mitchell-s men downed Central Coast Mariners 3-1 to clinch a third successive victory.
Andrija Jukic bagged the third, his first senior goal for the club, as Glory climbed to fourth place on the ladder and all but secured a maiden finals appearance.
“I think it would be a Houdini act if they (Brisbane) got in from here.
“I think once we cement ourselves (in the six) we-ll go for fourth spot and if we get it, no one will want to place us that-s for sure,” Mitchell said.
The win was even more impressive given Tando Velaphi, skipper Jacob Burns and Mile Sterjovski were all unavailable through injury.
“It-s a credit to Tony Sage. He said what do you need to make the squad better and we-ve gone out and targeted certain players.
“I think the depth we now have in the squad is the best it-s been since I-ve been coach.”
Aleks Vrteski deputised for Velaphi between the posts, while Adriano Pellegrino got the nod to partner Steve McGarry in the midfield engine room and Scott Neville was given the opportunity to utilise his pace down the right flank.
Any concerns that the enforced changes might disrupt the home side were dismissed within 48 seconds of the start as Daniel McBreen continued his fine run of form by opening the scoring with a goal that was a testament to his persistence and tenacity. A long ball from the back looked like a lost cause as it fell at the feet of Mariners defender Chris Doig, but the former Northampton man stumbled under McBreen-s pressure and Glory-s new recruit needed no second invitation to nip in and clip the ball past the stranded Danny Vukovic.
The visitors were visibly rattled by the early goal, but clearly remained in a generous mood as they gifted the home side another goal some twelve minutes later. This time it was Andrew Clark who was caught in possession deep in his own box by Scott Neville who calmly delayed his square ball across the box until McBreen arrived and side-footed home his fourth goal in four games.
It must have been a bitter-sweet moment for Mariners boss Lawrie McKinna who saw the man that will spearhead his side-s attack next term effectively destroy this season-s finals hopes.
The Mariners did finally manage to create a couple of chances of their own as the half progressed, skipper Alex Wikinson forcing a fine one-handed save from Vrteski after climbing well to meet a John Hutchinson corner and Pedj Bojic flashing a 25 metre free-kick narrowly wide, but just as they looked capable of forcing themselves back into the contest, Glory bagged a third goal in first-half stoppage time.
In a well-rehearsed training ground move, Todd Howarth pulled a corner to the top of the box to pick out Andy Todd who had rumbled forward from the back. The Englishman showed fine technique to volley goalward where Andrija Jukic produced a glancing header that wrong-footed Vukovic and earned the in-form midfielder his first ever senior goal.
Mariners boss Lawrie McKinna had little choice but to throw caution to the wind at the start of the second period and he duly introduced Adam Kwasnik at the expense of Clark. The move produced an instant result as the substitute reduced the arrears on 49 minutes, scrambling the ball home from close range after Nik Mrdja had headed Brad Porter-s cross against the post.
Glory, however, were still menacing on the break and came close to adding a fourth on several occasions. Jukic almost grabbed his second as full-time loomed, seeing his blistering 20 metre effort sizzle past Vukovic-s left post and moments later substitute Jamie Harnwell also went close after fine approach work by fellow replacement Scott Bulloch.
The home side then almost capped the victory in spectacular style as the game moved into stoppage time. The tireless Scott Neville picked up possession on the edge of his own box, played a neat one-two with Jukic and embarked on a lung-busting run that took him to within 20 metres of the Mariners goal. The Shed roared their approval as the young defender prepared to pull the trigger, but a cluster of Central Coast defenders managed to get across and foil what would have been one of the goals of the season.
Hyundai A-League 2009/10 – Round 25
Perth Glory: 3MCBREEN 1-, 13-, JUKIC 45+1
Central Coast Mariners: 1KWASNIK 49
Sunday 31 January 2010 at ME Bank Stadium, Perth
Assistant Referees:Michael Nugus, Josh Manella
Fourth official:David Costello
Perth Glory:20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 2.Danny McBreen (5. Jamie HARNWELL 78-), 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH (13.Scott BULLOCH 62-), 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC (10.Wayne SRHOJ 89-)
Substitutes not used: 30. Alex PEARSON (gk)
Yellow cards:C.Coyne, Todd, Harnwell
Red cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners: 20. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 2. Matthew CROWELL, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON (22. Nicky TRAVIS), 9. Nik MRDJA, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY (25.Mitchell MALLIA, 15. Andrew CLARK (23. Adam KWASNIK 46-)., 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (C), 19. Matt SIMON
Substitutes not used: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK),
Red cards: Nil