Points shared in lively Distance Derby

David Williams opened his account for the club with a fine header as Glory fought out a lively 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix in Friday’s Distance Derby clash at Macedonia Park.

View full match highlights HERE.

Ruben Zadkovich’s side were rewarded for a strong start when former Phoenix man Williams glanced home an inviting cross from Salim Khelifi, only for the visitors to restore parity less than ten minutes later courtesy of a composed finish from Oskar Zawada.

Both sides continued to create chances after the break, Liam Reddy denying Zawada a second goal with a fine save and counterpart Oli Sail doing likewise to keep out a Jack Clisby free-kick, before Glory substitute Luke Ivanovic saw his late header clip the top of the crossbar.

While a little disappointed that his charges had been unable to secure back-to-back home wins, Zadkovich felt there was much to like about their performance against an in-form Wellington side on what was a warm night in the West.

“I thought there were a lot of positives,” he said.

“There’s a real clear identity around the way the team is moving the ball and defending and the positive for me is that that process is clear and the performance, for the most part, was very good.

“We just lacked moments of quality and cutting edge in that final third and again, there were one or two defensive lapses, one of which we got punished for.

“So there’s an element of frustration, but there’s certainly a lot of positivity and belief around the group and we feel like, on our day, we can give any team in this competition a really good run for their money.

“On another day, we could have won tonight and last week was much the same.”

Keegan Jelacic had already gone close for Glory when Williams brought a vociferous crowd to their feet by meeting Khelifi’s cross from the right with a deftly-angled header which flashed past Sail into the corner of the net.

The hosts’ lead was to prove short-lived, however, Zawada managing to force his way through the heart of the defence and calmly place the ball past Reddy.

The Polish striker then drew a fine save from the Glory ‘keeper with a stinging volley and an enthralling first half ended with Jelacic coming close to restoring his side’s lead via a curling effort which flashed narrowly wide.

Reddy again kept Zawada at bay by parrying his shot on the turn as Phoenix hit the ground running after the restart, but as the half wore on, Glory began to look the more likely winners.

Sail was almost deceived by a swerving free-kick from Clisby, the New Zealand international eventually recovering in time to tip the ball over the bar and right at the death, Adam Zimarino’s corner found fellow-substitute Ivanovic whose header beat everyone only to strike the bar and bounce over.

Match Details

ISUZU UTE A-League 2022/23 Season Round 9

Perth Glory 1 (David Williams 22′) Wellington Phoenix 1
(Zawada 31′)

Half-time: 1-1

Macedonia Park

Referee: Casey Reibelt

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 5.Mark BEEVERS, 6.Aaron MCENEFF, 7.Ryan WILLIAMS (43.Adam ZIMARINO 86′), 8.Mustafa AMINI (c) (19.Zach DUNCAN 86′), 10.Salim KHELIFI, 14.Jack CLISBY (36.Joseph FORDE 86′), 16.Keegan JELACIC, 18.David WILLIAMS (12.Luke IVANOVIC 63′), 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 37.Jacob MUIR

Substitutes not used: 2.John KOUTROUMBIS, 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 20.Giordano COLLI, 28.Trent OSTLER

Yellow Cards: McEneff, Jelacic

Red Cards: None

Wellington Phoenix:  20. Oli SAIL (gk), 4. Scott WOOTTON, 5. Steven UGARKOVIC, 9. Oskar ZAWADA, 10. David BALL, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV (14. Alex RUFER 90+3′), 12. Lucas MAURAGIS (19. Sam SUTTON 46′), 17. Callan ELLIOT, 21. Joshua LAWS, 23. Clayton LEWIS (13. Nicholas PENNINGTON 76′) 31. Yan SASSE (7. Kosta BARBAROUSES 70′)

Substitutes not used: 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk)

Yellow Cards: Wootton, Laws, Lewis, Zawada

Red Cards: None