Stirling Lions 0-4 Perth Glory (Half-time 0-2)
Wednesday 4th September 2013
Referee: David Bruce
Assistant Referees: Joshua Nixon and Stuart Muldoon
Goals from Ljubo Milicevic, Ryan Edwards, Jamie Maclaren and Adrian Zahra guided Glory to a deserved 4-0 win over Stirling Lions on Wednesday night, but the State League Premier Division leaders provided their A-League counterparts with a stern test at Macedonia Park.
Glory Head Coach Alistair Edwards declared himself pleased with another hard-fought pre-season run-out and was quick to praise the performance of the hosts.
"You can see why Stirling are top of the league," he said.
"They gave us a really good game and we were really pleased with the overall performance of our guys this evening.
"It was great to see Jamie (Maclaren) and Ryan (Edwards) get their first goals for the club and I thought the way they combined was tremendous.
"Adrian Zahra was also very good.
"We've been working with him on his decision-making and when to take players on and he took that into the game tonight.
"Overall I was very pleased with the way we controlled a lot of the game against a very good opposition and in terms of the event as a whole, it was great to see so many people out here tonight helping to raise money for such a good cause.
"Now we can start our preparations for the two games against Melbourne Heart next week.
"It'll be the first time we've played A-League opposition and I'm sure the fans will come out in droves to see those games and of course to see Harry Kewell in action."
Ahead of kick-off, retiring former Stirling goalkeeper Cory Hugo and his young son James took centre stage during an emotional presentation.
Having seen his 2-year-old bravely battle a brain tumour, Hugo senior was behind the game being used as a fundraiser for Princess Margaret Hospital where James spent some five weeks on the neuro ward.
And to mark the occasion, which was also Hugo's final appearance before hanging up his gloves, Glory goalkeeping coach Neil Young presented him with a Glory goalkeeping shirt, while Danny De Silva handed over a personalised Glory shirt to little James.
Once the players got down to business, it was the Lions who settled more quickly, with Phil Arnold and Rory Grant causing the Glory defence some early headaches down the left flank.
As the half wore on, however, Edwards' men began to find their groove and opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark as Milicevic rose highest to power home a superbly-delivered free-kick from Steven McGarry.
Four minutes later Glory doubled their advantage courtesy of a fine solo effort from Ryan Edwards who slalomed past several despairing defenders before calmly finding the bottom corner of the net.
Playing in the number ten role, the Reading loanee linked up very effectively with frontman Maclaren and was unfortunate not to bag his second of the night when his dipping 20-metre strike crashed back off the crossbar early in the second-half.
Scott Jamieson was next to try his luck as the Lions started to tire in the final quarter, firing narrowly wide from just inside the box, but Glory were not to be denied moments later when the lively Zahra bisected the home defence with a pinpoint through ball and Maclaren claimed the goal his performance deserved.
Home 'keeper Hugo then departed to a rousing reception from the crowd of around 1000 and his side looked like keeping Glory to three until Zahra got away down the right on 87 minutes and capped a hugely-impressive display by crashing a ferocious shot into the roof of the net.
Perth Glory Line Up: 1. Danny Vukovic, 4. Ryan Edwards (18. Danny De Silva 78'), 7. Jacob Burns (6. Cameron Edwards 65'), 8. Ryo Nagai, 10. Jamie Maclaren, 11. Adrian Zahra, 12. Ljubo Milicevic, 14. Steven McGarry (3. Brandon O'Neill 72'), 19. Josh Risdon, 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Michael Thwaite (5. Steve Pantelidis)
Substitutes not used:, 20. Jack Duncan, 22. Ndumba Makeche
Scorers: Milicevic 31', Ryan Edwards 35', Maclaren 71', Zahra 87'