With our game against Melbourne City scheduled for Friday night, it’s an early visit to Retro Corner this week and we’ve headed back to 2012 to bring you this classic shot.
Melbourne Heart, as they were then known, provided the opposition in what was Glory’s first ever Hyundai A-League home final and hopes were high that Ian Ferguson’s men would have too much for the visitors who had limped into the finals after failing to win any of their last four regular-season games.
Nevertheless, there were still some nagging doubts in the minds of many home fans, based largely on the fact that Heart had won at nib Stadium in Round 11.
And those doubts gradually began to multiply as despite dominating for long periods and creating by far the better chances, Glory were unable to break the deadlock before the break.
The hour-mark then came and went and you could almost smell the anxiety start to grow among the home fans.
But cometh the hour (and a bit), cometh Shane Smeltz.
The Kiwi frontman had been having one of those games where you barely noticed that he was even on the field, but when the Heart defence failed to clear a Josh Risdon free-kick and the ball fell kindly at his feet, he provided his trademark clinical finish.
“Who else but Shane Smeltz?” exclaimed the late Mike Cockerill in his commentary for Fox Sports, while Ferguson threatened some damage to his slightly snug suit trousers when he leapt a good six inches off the bench and delivered a heartfelt fist-pump in celebration.
Five minutes later, there was another explosion of joy as Smeltz doubled the lead, Clint Bolton in the Heart goal failing to prevent his header from crossing the line after it had rebounded off the inside of the post.
Glory’s finals progress was clearly assured at this point, but Smeltz hadn’t quite finished and two minutes into stoppage-time, he again beat Bolton, this time having been played in cleverly by Liam Miller.
Over to the Shed he went to celebrate, allowing a wildly excited Danny Vukovic time to dash the full length of the pitch and join in.
That’s how we remember it, but what are your recollections of one of our finest A-League performances?
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