Stunning strike decides contest

Tim Brown’s contender for goal of the season consigned Glory to a 1-0 defeat in Sunday’s clash with Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium.

Tim Brown-s contender for goal of the season consigned Glory to a 1-0 defeat in Sunday-s clash with Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium.

“Losing an early goal wasn-t good. We defended well but just couldn-t get the ball in the net,” Perth Glory interim coach Ian Ferguson said.

Another home game, another blistering start, but unfortunately for Glory, it was the visitors who hit the front in spectacular style before many fans had even found their seats. With only 42 seconds on the clock, a long clearance from Phoenix goalkeeper Mark Paston made its way to Chris Greenacre via Leo Bertos, the Englishman laid it into the path of Brown and from just outside the area, the All Whites international crashed an unstoppable pile-driver past the helpless Tando Velaphi into the roof of the net.

The home side could have been forgiven for being stunned by such an early setback, but to their credit, they immediately set about forcing their way back into the contest and came agonisingly close to restoring parity within three minutes. Howard Fondyke split the Phoenix defence with a perfectly-weighted through ball that allowed Michael Baird to race clear on goal, but Paston was equally sharp off his line and made a fine sprawling block as the former Queensland Roar striker tried to dink the ball over him.

The goalmouth drama then proceeded to dry up slightly as both sides settled into the game, but there was still plenty to for the fans to enjoy as Tommy Amphlett and Manny Muscat engaged in an intriguing duel down Glory-s right flank and Jacob Burns and Fondyke went to toe to toe with central midfield counterparts Simon Elliott and Brown.

Phoenix danger-man Paul Ifill, meanwhile, was kept pretty quiet during the opening exchanges, although he did waste a fine chance to double his side-s advantage on 20 minutes, taking his shot too early after latching onto an under-hit back pass from Brent Griffiths and failing to trouble Velaphi.

Moments later Glory were dealt a blow as Scott Neville was forced to limp from the fray. The in-form defender came off second best after a thundering challenge on Vince Lia, picking up a yellow card for his troubles before being replaced by Jamie Harnwell. The club-s record appearance holder slotted in alongside Andy Todd at the heart of the defence, with Brent Griffiths moving to left back and Jamie Coyne moving to the right and almost made an immediate impact at the other end, rising high to meet an inswinging Burns free-kick only to be foiled by Paston-s punch.

Glory went on to finish the half strongly, Baird heading wide after again being picked out by the lively Fondyke with a deep cross, but Ricki Herbert-s men just managed to hold on and take their precious lead into the sheds.

The home side were grateful to Velaphi with the second-half barely two minutes old, as he pulled off a fine reflex save to deny Ifill, before Glory responded in kind at the other end, Sterjovski firing over from just inside the box and Baird seeing a goal-bound effort blocked by Ben Sigmund.

With the Shed upping the volume levels, Ian Ferguson-s men began to dominate in terms of both possession and territory and created another golden chance on 68 minutes. A neat exchange of passes between Sterjovski, substitute Robbie Fowler and Burns culminated in the latter playing the overlapping Coyne in on goal, but Paston was again out smartly to make a brave block at the defender-s feet.

Burns- tenacity was a driving force behind Glory-s increasingly desperate search for an equalizer, but unfortunately for the club skipper, his enthusiasm got the better of him with ten minutes left as he received his marching orders following a tangle with Phoenix substitute Daniel.

The home side made light of their numerical disadvantage to keep pressing right to the death, but with Andrew Durante and Sigmund immovable objects at the heart of their defence, the visitors held firm, ran the clock down and ensured that the points would be winging their way back across the Tasman.

Hyundai A-League Round 13
Perth Glory 0 Wellington Phoenix 1
Sunday, 7 November nib Stadium, Perth
Local kick-off: 4.00pm local (7.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant referees: Josh Manella and Joe Fusari
Fourth official: Matthew Cheeseman
Attendance: 6676

Perth Glory: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3. Jamie COYNE, 4. Andy TODD, , 7.Jacob BURNS, 10. Michael BAIRD (9.Robbie FOWLER 61-), 12.Scott NEVILLE (5. Jamie HARNWELL 32-), 13. Tommy AMPHLETT (16. Adriano PELLEGRINO 74-), 15. Howard FONDYKE, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 18. Brent GRIFFITHS, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI

Substitutes not used: 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk),

Yellow cards: Neville 30-, Burns 32-, Griffiths 64-, Todd 92-

Red cards: Burns 80-

Wellington Phoenix: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS (21. Marco ROJAS 92-), 8. Paul IFILL (23. Dylan MACALLISTER 72-), 9. Chris GREENACRE (11. DANIEL 69-), 15. Jade NORTH, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 26. Simon ELLIOTT

Substitutes not used: 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk),

Scorers: Brown 1-

Yellow cards: Lia 34-, Brown 44-, Elliott 68-, Muscat 70-

Red cards: Nil