Retro Corner – Finals on my mind…


It may have been Friday for the Easybeats, but it is of course finals that every Glory member and fan has on their mind at the moment.

So we let that steer the ship when it came to picking out a subject for this week’s Retro Corner.

In the end, we went for the 1998/99 Elimination Final second leg which drew a bumper crowd of over 25,000 to the WACA and provided those fans with a night many would never forget. 

To set the scene, Bernd Stange’s men had finished third in the regular season, meaning they would have the advantage of playing the second leg of their Elimination Final at home.

Adelaide City would provide the opposition having ended up in sixth spot and a glance at their squad throws up plenty of familiar names.

There was a certain Jason Petkovic in goal, Damian Mori up front and Brad Hassell and Travis Dodd were also both on the Zebras’ books at that time.

A hard-fought first leg ended 0-0, leaving the tie finely poised, but cometh the hour, cometh two men whose names will forever be etched into club folklore; Jamie Harnwell and Bobby Despotovski.

With less than 20 minutes left, Glory found themselves trailing to Mori’s free-kick and the party was in very serious danger of falling flat.

But Harnwell was rolled forward from centre-back as Stange opted to go more direct in search of an equaliser and the local product duly obliged, nodding home Rob Trajkovski’s cross to set up a grandstand finish.

Then, with 90-plus minutes on the clock, the denouement.

With the fans lifting the volume to a level not heard at the WACA since Lillee and Thompson were terrorising England’s batsmen in the 70s, Troy Halpin’s corner was cleared only as far as Craig Deans.

He returned the ball into the mixer, Harnwell rose highest to head across the face of goal and there he was, as always, Bobby on the spot, applying the close-range finish.

And then? Scenes, absolute scenes!

The club’s subsequent adventures in the finals that year are a story for another day, so in the meantime, we’d love to get your memories of this remarkable clash.

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