Williams at the double as draw takes Glory into top six

David Williams struck twice against his former club as Glory came back from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw with ten-man Wellington Phoenix in Palmerston North.

View full match highlights HERE.

Oskar Zawada and Kosta Barbarouses both found the net inside the opening 20 minutes as the hosts adapted quickest to the wet conditions and muddy surface, before David Williams halved the arrears with a back-post header.

Phoenix then lost Tim Payne early in the second half after his foul on David Williams was upgraded from a yellow to a red card by VAR and ten minutes from time, Glory’s pressure paid off when Williams again found the net with a spectacular diving header.

The visitors were denied twice by the woodwork as they pressed for a winner in a frantic finale, but the draw was enough to take them into the top six ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games and Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich was heartened by the way his charges forced their way back into the contest.

View his full post-match media conference HERE.

“It was an interesting game and it was obviously disappointing to concede two soft early goals… they were well-worked from their [Wellington’s] point of view and I’m not taking anything away from what they do,” he said.

“But I was extremely pleased with the character and resilience the boys have shown.

“I think what’s important is that we didn’t get lucky to get back into the game; we played our way back into the game.

“We scored two goals from areas that we talked about, so there were some positives from what we did on the ball and a little bit to work on defensively.

“On the balance of the game, I think we probably should have won.

“We had the better chances and more of the possession even before they had a man sent off.”

The tone for a pulsating afternoon at Central Energy Trust Arena was set in the 11th minute when Payne’s deep cross was met by Zawada who powered home a header to claim his seventh goal of the season.

And Glory were still reeling from that early setback when Cameron Cook was unable to hang on to Lucas Mauragis’ low cross from the left and Barbarouses swept home the loose ball.

To their credit, Zadkovich’s side responded almost immediately in what was a breathless opening quarter, John Koutroumbis heading to the back post after his initial cross was blocked by Oli Sail and David Williams climbing above Callan Elliot to nod in.

The plot took yet another twist eight minutes into the second half when Payne clipped David Williams as he raced towards the box to meet a clever through-ball from Darryl Lachman.

Referee Lachlan Keevers initially showed the Phoenix midfielder a yellow, but VAR subsequently deemed that Glory had been denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity and that a red should be awarded instead.

Glory immediately upped the tempo and were rewarded for their sustained pressure ten minutes from time when substitute Jacob Dowse delivered what is fast becoming his trademark teasing cross from the left and David Williams went full length to head past Sail.

Dowse almost teed fellow-substitute Giordano Colli up for Glory’s third in the 89th minute, picking out the midfielder whose header thumped against the bar with Sail beaten.

And the Phoenix goal continued to live a charmed life in stoppage-time when Mark Beevers rose highest in a packed six-yard box to meet a Colli corner, only for his header to also find the woodwork rather than the net.

Match Details

ISUZU UTE A-League 2022/23 Season Round 14

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Zawada 11′, Barbarouses 20′) Perth Glory 2
(David Williams 22′, 80′)

Half-time: 2-1

Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North

Lachlan Keevers

Wellington Phoenix: 20. Oli SAIL (gk), 5. Steven UGARKOVIC, 6. Tim PAYNE, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 9. Oskar ZAWADA (31. Yan SASSE 89′), 10. David BALL (3. Finn SURMAN 57′), 11. Bozhidar KRAEV (8. Ben OLD 72′), 12. Lucas MAURAGIS, 14. Alex RUFER, 17. Callan ELLIOT, 21. Joshua LAWS

Substitutes not used: 13. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 19. Sam SUTTON, 24. Oskar VAN HATTUM, 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk).

Yellow Cards: Zawada

Red Cards: Payne

Perth Glory: 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 2.John KOUTROUMBIS (3.Jacob DOWSE 63′), 5.Mark BEEVERS, 7.Ryan WILLIAMS (20.Giordano COLLI 86′), 8.Mustafa AMINI (4.Luke BODNAR 77′) (c), 15.Jordan ELSEY, 16.Keegan JELACIC, 18.David WILLIAMS, 19.Zach DUNCAN (21.Antonee BURKE-GILROY 63′), 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 36.Joseph FORDE (43.Adam ZIMARINO 63′)

Substitutes not used: , 30.Pierce CLARK (gk), 37.Jacob MUIR

Yellow Cards: Duncan, Dowse, Burke-Gilroy

Red Cards: None