Perth Glory has fallen 2-1 to an inspired Newcastle Jets outfit which managed to break an 11-year victory drought in Perth.
While Glory grabbed an early lead through Nebojsa Marinkovic, an own-goal from Milan Smiljanic proved decisive with Newcastle claiming all three points in front of 9,202 at nib Stadium.
The match started in scinitilating fashion, which saw plenty of early chances.
Marinkovic opened the scoring in just the seventh minute with a beautiful strike into the top right corner passed Jets keeper Jack Duncan following yet another expert cutback from Chris Harold.
The Glory opener served to ramp up the attacking brand of football of both sides even further, with the visitors striking back in the 21st minute mark courtesy of Andrew Hoole. The winger’s nicely timed run onto to Devante Clut’s through ball was cooly finished, as the Jets evened the scores.
Newcastle continued to attack and were rewarded on the stroke of half-time through an unfortunate own-goal from Milan Smiljanic.
The attempted headed-clearance from the Serbian midfielder looped over Liam Reddy and into the net, as the Jets took the lead.
The second-half saw a plethora of opportunities for both sides, with Liam Reddy making a string of superb saves as Glory hunted for an equaliser.
It wasn’t to be for Perth despite the half-time introductions of youngsters Brandon Wilson and Jamal Reiners, as the Jets 2-1 win broke a decade long winless run at nib Stadium.
Despite the loss, Glory remains in fifth spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder and turns its attention to league leaders Sydney FC next Saturday night.
4′ Jets winger Andrew Nabbout tries a rocket from distance, but Liam Reddy was equal to the task as he stretched to make a fine save.
7′ Nebojsa Marinkovic opens the scoring with a superb top-corner finish passed an outstretched Jack Duncan following another glorious cutback from Chris Harold.
9′ Hoole’s excellent corner is met by a rising Daniel Mullen, but the Jets defender is unable to hit the target.
11′ Rhys Williams rose highest from Marinkovic’s corner, but his header is comfortably saved by Duncan.
15′ Hoole got in behind the Glory defence, but the attacker was denied a clear strike on goal inside the area by a brilliant challenge from Josh Risdon.
21′ Hoole equalises with a composed finish in the bottom corner after a superb defence-splitting pass from Devante Clut.
30′ Marinkovic’s first time volley from the edge of the box is straight at Duncan who collects comfortable.
33′ Clut’s strike from an acute angle inside the box is turned onto the post by Reddy following Hoole’s through ball.
42′ Hoole was in one-on-one after a great ball in behind from Wayne Brown, but the goalscorer was unable to double his tally, with his strike easily collected by Reddy.
45+1′ Milan Smiljanic’s attempted headed clearance from Nabbout’s cross loops over Reddy as the Jets take the lead on the stroke of half-time.
57′ Clut tries a volley on the turn, but Reddy positions himself well to save at the near post.
68′ Risdon rocket of a cross is met by Keogh, but it’s too quick for the striker who glances it wide.
73′ Clut is clear one-on-one, but midfielder drags his shot wide.
83′ Reddy prevents the Jets from extending their lead with a superb double save from Nabbout and Brown.
84′ Reddy was back in action agai as he collected Hoole’s strike.
86′ Marinkovic’s powerful strike is straight at Duncan as Glory searched for an equaliser.
88′ Reddy is forced into another fantastic save after Hoole’s strike from distance.
Round 10: nib Stadium
Referee: Daniel Elder
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
Perth Glory FC: 4. Shane LOWRY, 5. Rhys Williams, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (C) 9. Andy KEOGH 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14. Chris HAROLD (24. Jamal REINERS 78′), 16. Joseph MILLS, 19. Josh RISDON, 22. Adam TAGGART (23. Kosta PETRATOS, 24. Milan SMILJANIC (45′ Brandon WILSON), 33. Liam REDDY (GK)
Subs not used: 6. Dino DJULBIC, 13. Nicholas FEELY (GK)
Coach: Kenny Lowe
Yellow Cards: WILLIAMS 54′, MARINKOVIC 90+4′
Newcastle Jets: 2. Daniel MULLEN, 3. Jason HOFFMAN, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 10. Wayne BROWN (C), 13. Ivan VUJICA (16. Nicholas COWBURN 88′), 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 20. Jack DUNCAN (GK), 23. Devante CLUT (24. Kristian BRYMORA 84′), 28. John KOUTROMBIS
Coach: Mark Jones
Subs: 4. Nigel BOOGARD, 18. Lei Lei MA, 30. Pierce CLARK (GK)
Yellow Cards: VUJICA 43′
This article first appeared on perthglory.com.au on Saturday, 10 December 2016