Second-half goals from Chris Harold and Joel Chianese steered Glory to a 2-0 victory over Perth SC in a competitive pre-season friendly at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday evening.
Head Coach Tony Popovic opted to start seven PGFC Academy First Team players and they acquitted themselves well against the runaway NPL WA leaders in a lively contest which saw plenty of chances created at either end.
Harold eventually made the breakthrough soon after the break with a close-range header, before Chianese’s neat finish doubled Glory’s lead nine minutes from time and Popovic was left pleased with what he’d seen, especially from the youngsters.
“It was a good hit-out,” he said.
“Perth SC put on a good game for us which is what we expected.
“In the first 60 or so minutes, we only had one player out there who was over the age of 21 and Perth SC are a big test in terms of the NPL.
“So for our youngsters to fight really hard and not concede was very good to see.
“A lot of our youngsters got valuable minutes in against a very good opponent and there were glimpses of them doing some good actions.
“They can’t maybe sustain that repetitively just at the moment, but that comes with time and training and when their bodies get physically bigger and stronger.
“Overall, it was valuable experience for them against the side that has been the best in the NPL so far this year and they matched it well with them and will take a lot out of it.”
The visitors began brightly and created the first chance of the night on seven minutes when Kristian Popovic capped a mazy run into the box by teeing up Nick D’Agostino who saw his snap-shot blocked by Dejan Aleksic in the home goal.
Next to threaten for the men in grey was Harold who managed to round Aleksic after latching on to a through-ball from the impressive Luke Bodnar, only to find himself forced too wide to get any power into his subsequent shot.
Having survived those early scares, Perth SC grew steadily into the game as the first half progressed and Tando Velaphi had to produce two fine saves to keep out Bojan Radinovic’s curling effort and Gustavo Catarcione’s close-range header.
Eight minutes into the second half, however, it was Glory who hit the front.
Substitute Jake Brimmer delivered the deep corner, Brandon Wilson nodded the ball goalward and Harold flicked home from six metres out.
The goal sparked a frenetic period of the game as Paul Zimarino forced Tando Velaphi into another impressive save after rifling in a shot from the edge of the box.
And Aleksic then matched his opposite number moments later, denying Ethan Brooks and Brimmer in quick succession.
The introduction of eight players from the bench on the hour-mark did little to disrupt the visitors’ momentum as Chianese saw his angled effort drift centimetres wide of the far post.
The former Sydney FC man was not to be denied nine minutes from time, however, neatly clipping home a slide-rule pass from fellow-substitute Neil Kilkenny.
Glory continued to press right to the end and only another smart save from Aleksic prevented Brimmer’s free-kick from creeping into the bottom corner.
Perth SC 0 Perth Glory 2 (Harold 53′, Chianese 81′)
Perth SC: 24.Dejan ALEKSIC (GK), 2.Alex SILLA (16.Tommy COYLE 70′), 4.Thomas SOUTHGATE (21.Nick MESSINA 85′), 5.Nicolo SABATINI (8.Shep CHIVAMBE 70′), 6.Harley ORR (17.Frank FURFARO 57′), 7.Alexsander JOVIC (11.Jason PETRIE 77′), 9.Gustavo CATARCIONE (20.Paul ZIMARINO 57′), 12.Jordan DE LEO (22.Oscar HEANEY 85′), 14.Kristian SANTICH (3.Andreas THEODOSIADES 63′), 18.Michael DOMFEH (10.Luke GARAS 77′), 19.Bojan RADINOVIC (15.Orton RAUMATI 82′)
Substitutes not used: 1.Francis SOALE (GK)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 1.Tando VELAPHI (c) (30.Jackson LEE 60′), 2.Daniel WALSH (3.Jacob TRATT 60′), 6.Luke BODNAR (20.Jake BRIMMER 46′), 9.Trent OSTLER (7.Joel CHIANESE 60′), 11.Ethan BROOKS (22.Riley WARLAND 60′), 14.Chris HAROLD (10.Bruno FORNAROLI 60′), 15.Brandon WILSON (88.Neil KILKENNY 60′), 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO (26.Gabriel POPOVIC 46′), 21.Zayd FARAH (16.Tomislav MRCELA 60′), 24.Nick WALSH (4.Shane LOWRY 60′), 29.Kristian POPOVIC 90′)
Substitutes not used: 23.Liam MURRAY
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Photo courtesy of Tom McCarthy