Perth Glory have held off a fast-finishing Newcastle Jets to record a courageous 1-0 victory and notch their first away win since beating the same team at the same venue in March 8th, 2013.
Chris Harold was the hero for Perth, pouncing on a Jacob Pepper mistake in the 37th minute to coolly slot it past Mark Birighitti in the Newcastle goal and ensure the majority of the 11,966 fans left Hunter Stadium disappointed.
It was a gutsy performance from Perth who had to bounce back quickly from the disappointment of their New Year’s Eve loss to Central Coast Mariners and avoid losing touch with the top six.
Fielding a squad with an average age of under 23 years old, Perth created a number of chances in the first 15 minutes after pressuring the Newcastle defence. Isaka Cernak almost managed to score the opening goal in the 4th minute following a Jets’ mistake, only for Birighitti to come off his line and take the ball from the midfielder’s feet.
Harold almost nicked ball from Birighitti’s feet moment later with the ball falling kindly to Steven McGarry, but he was unable to chip the keeper from the turnover.
Newcastle was also creating plenty of chances. Craig Goodwin managed to get past Matthew Davies in the 10th minute before firing a shot straight at Danny Vukovic however the Perth keeper was unable to hold it. Adam Taggart was there to follow up but Vukovic made a sensational second-stop to deny the Jets’ striker.
Newcastle’s best two chances after that both involved Goodwin. In the 19th minute, Taggart bustled his way through the Glory defence only for the ball to fall to Goodwin’s feet but the left-footed striker was off target and dragged his shot wide.
Goodwin was involved minutes later when his pin-point cross found Newcastle defender, Kew Jaliens, unmarked in the 18-yard box but the Dutch defender sent his header flying over the bar.
Perth’s pressure eventually paid off in the 37th minute when Harold capitalised on a Jacob Pepper mistake, taking his first touch past Taylor Regan as last man and sliding it past Birighitti. It was Harold’s second Hyundai A-League goal of the season and one which ensured Glory took the lead into half time.
Half-time: Newcastle Jets 0-1 Perth Glory
The home side came out with renewed vigour after the main break and were causing the Glory defence all types of problems.
Taggart was leading the charge up front with the former Perth Glory striker nearly levelling the scores in the 62nd minutes after turning Matty Davies on the edge of the 18-yard box, but his left-footed strike was well saved by Vukovic’s legs in the Glory goal.
Heskey’s introduction in the second half had immediate effect with the big striker straightening up all the Jets’ attacks. They were convinced they had drawn level when the former England striker’s header was poked home by Jaliens following a Newcastle corner, but replays confirmed Vukovic and Jack Clisby had combined to stop the ball from crossing the line.
The Jets were continuing to dominate possession and enjoyed a 10 minute period with an 80/20 percent possession count but were getting frustrated as the Glory team continually held tight to deny all the Jets’ attacks.
Newcastle’s best chance of the second half came via a Nathan Burns free kick following a Michael Thwaite tackle on a dangerous Taggart run just outside the box. Burns hit the free kick well before Man of the Match, Vukovic, made an outstanding save, tipping the ball around the post as it seemed destined for the top corner.
The Jets continued to push but Glory held firm to give the team a well-earned three points and Kenny Lowe his first victory as Senior Head Coach.
Hyundai A-League 2013-2014 Season – Round 13
Newcastle Jets 0 – 1 Perth Glory FC (Half-time 0-1)
Saturday, 4 January 2014
Referee: Matt Gillett
Newcastle Jets: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Taylor REGAN (7. Andrew HOOLE 80’), 4. Kew JALIENS, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA (5. Ben KANTAROVSKI 57’), 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 10. Nathan BURNS, 11. Craig GOODWIN (9. Emile HESKEY 57’), 15. Josh BRILLANTE, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 22. Adam TAGGART
Subs not used: 18. James BROWN, 20. Ben KENNEDY (GK)
Yellow Cards: 4. Kew JALIENS 54’, 7. Andrew HOOLE 84’
Perth Glory: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 4.Ryan EDWARDS, 11. Adrian ZAHRA (20. Danny DE SILVA 91’), 14.Steven McGARRY, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES (6.Cameron EDWARDS 79’), 15. Isaka CERNAK (3.Brandon O’NEILL 67’), 17. Chris HAROLD, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES, 25. Riley WOODCOCK
Subs not used: 18.Jack DUNCAN (GK), 22. Ndumba MAKECHE
Goals: 17. Chris HAROLD
Yellow Cards: 24.Matthew DAVIES 44’, 14.Steven McGARRY 65’, 3.Brandon O’NEILL 89’