Retro Corner – Routing the Reds!


We always like to mix it up in Retro Corner.

So while everyone else is reflecting upon the decade just gone, we’ve decided to head back a little further to find our inspiration this week.

With Adelaide United next on the agenda for the men in purple (Saturday 11 January at HBF Park, tickets HERE), we’re rewinding to one of the club’s most significant and memorable clashes with the Reds which took place in March 2004.

Let’s set the scene.

Usher has just replaced Britney Spears at number one in the ARIA singles chart with ‘Yeah!’ (featuring Lil John and Ludacris), ‘The Butterfly Effect’, featuring Ashton Kutcher, is leading the way at the movie box office and John Howard is quietly preparing to seek re-election as Prime Minister for a fourth time.

Redfern is recovering from several night of violent rioting, the Ghan has made its maiden trip from Adelaide to Darwin and Qantas has just launched Jetstar.

More importantly for those of a purple persuasion, reigning NSL Champions Glory have blitzed the league and claimed the Premiership by six points, losing only three of their 24 regular-season games.

But in the two-legged Major Semi-Final, Mich d’Avray’s side have come seriously unstuck against Parramatta Power, losing 6-2 on aggregate.

So, suddenly, the whole season boils down to an Elimination Final against an Adelaide United side that had finished third at the end of the regular season, fully 17 points adrift of Glory.

17,524 fans were on hand at Subiaco Oval for the game and could have been forgiven for being more than a little apprehensive given the confidence-shaking defeat at the hands of Parramatta.

Glory team group from 2004 Elimination Final v Adelaide United

An early goal from Bobby Despotovski settled some of those nerves, but it wasn’t until former Adelaide City legend Damian Mori struck the second shortly after the break that most could breathe easy.

Tom Pondeljak then teed Mori up for his second and Glory’s third, before duly repeated the trick to enable Despotovski to add the fourth.

And the party was already in full swing by the time Wayne Srhoj sent Nik Mrdja in on goal and he calmly made it 5-0.

Mrdja would, of course, write himself into Glory folklore a week later, but that is a story for another day.

For now, we’d love to get your memories of one of the club’s finest performances and results, so join the conversation via our Facebook page HERE or on Twitter HERE.