Glory produced another spirited performance in their penultimate home game of the season, only to be edged out 1-0 by top-four hopefuls Melbourne Victory.
Annalie Longo bagged what proved to be the winner for the visitors just after the hour-mark, but Glory created their fair of chances in an evenly-contested encounter, with Caitlin Doeglas twice denied by Victory ‘keeper Gabriela Garton when sent clean through on goal.
And Head Coach Alex Epakis was again encouraged by much of his side’s display against vastly more experienced opponents.
“While we didn’t get the result we wanted,” he said, “we certainly had some wins in terms of delivering a playing style that represents what we want to do and building on our performance last week against Canberra.
“It was another positive step in the right direction in where we want to go and how we want our team to play.
“Our young players today, against the most experienced team in the competition, can be so proud of their efforts.
“You don’t always get what you deserve and I said pre-match that we deserved to get something, well, we’re still walking away empty-handed in terms of points, but we’re walking away full of experience from that result knowing that we can continue to compete with some strong teams despite our inexperience at this stage.
“It sets us up well for the next three games.”
After an opening 20 minutes largely devoid of goalmouth action, it was Glory who created the first chance of the night, Garton foiling Doeglas in a one-on-one situation after the pacy striker had been played in by Hana Lowry.
Victory responded in kind with a decent opportunity of their own moments later, Kyra Cooney-Cross’s free-kick being headed narrowly wide by Amy Jackson, before Doeglas was again denied by Garton at the other end.
Home ‘keeper Lily Alfeld was called into action for the first time in the 35th minute, getting down low to her left to keep out a strike from Cooney-Cross and as the game continued to flow from end to end, the lively Doeglas forced another save from Garton.
As half-time approached, it was Victory who looked the more likely to break the deadlock, but despite forcing a flurry of corners, they were unable to find their way through a resolute Glory rearguard in which Isabella Wallhead was a standout on what was her starting debut.
Having weathered that storm, the hosts began the second half brightly, with Doeglas firing over after being released down the left by Lowry, but they were hit with a sucker-punch on 62 minutes as Victory struck on the break.
Cooney-Cross showed great pace to force her way into the box via the left channel and when she cut the ball back, Longo was left with the simplest of tap-in finishes.
Deborah-Anne De La Harpe and substitute Katarina Jukic both tried their luck as Glory attempted to find an equaliser in the final quarter and Lowry also went close, driving in a low effort which drifted centimetres wide of the far post with Garton beaten.
But they were ultimately unable to find a way through and were instead left to target Friday’s home clash with Melbourne City for that elusive first win of the season.
Perth Glory 0 Melbourne Victory 1 (Longo 62′)
Dorrien Gardens, Perth
Referee: Rebecca Durcau
Perth Glory: 1.Lily ALFELD (GK), 4.Natasha RIGBY (C), 5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 7.Elizabeth ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Malia STEINMETZ (23.Katarina JUKIC 66′), 10.Alexia MORENO (17.Marianna TABAIN 66′), 12.Sarah MORGAN (6.Tijan MCKENNA 62′), 13.Jamie-Lee GALE (11.Patricia CHARALAMBOUS 75′), 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD
Substitutes not used: 20.Rebecca BENNETT (GK),
Yellow Cards: Jukic
Red Cards: None
Melbourne Victory: 1.Gabby GARTON (gk), 3.Claudia BUNGE, 7.Kyra COONEY-CROSS, 8.Angela BEARD, 10.Annalie LONGO, 11.Lisa DE VANNA (17.Maja MARKOVSKI 76′), 13.Polly DORAN, 14.Melina AYRES (4.Natalie MARTINEAU 88′), 15.Amy JACKSON, 18.Kayla MORRISON, 30.MelindaJ BARBIERI (2.Tiffany ELIADIS 76′)
Substitutes not used: 5.Gabrielle MARZANO, 20.Mel MAIZELS (gk),
Yellow Cards: De Vanna
Red Cards: None