Perth Glory's under 20’s academy side have won through to the Football West Belt Up State League Reserves Cup Final after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against ECU Joondalup in Monday’s Semi-Final at Alfred Skeet Reserve.
Liam Murray gave ECU the lead on 17 minutes, but the Glory youngsters hit back three minutes later, with Gomo Dukuly scoring. It Just as it looked like it would be going to penalties, Perth gained the lead in the 93rd minute, in controversial circumstances.
A ball over the top was caught by the ECU defender, as the flag was up for offside, but the referee didn’t blow his whistle. It was deemed handball, and up stepped skipper Aiden Edwards, whose stunning long-range free-kick sent the U20's through to the final.
Edwards said it was a great win for the side and to score the winner was amazing. “We’ve worked really hard this season and to reach the final makes all that work worthwhile,” he said.
“I had a very good feeling when I hit the free-kick, it caught the keeper by surprise and then I was swamped by my teammates.
“I thought we deserved the win, they (ECU) are a strong physical side, but I thought we deserved it, and we’re all delighted to win this one.”
For Jack Leech it is a great feeling to reach the Final. “It’s the best feeling ever to reach a final, and to do it with virtually the last kick of the game the boys are buzzing,” he said.
“You could see from the reaction when we scored the winner what it meant to the players, but credit to all the players, we dug deep right to the end and we got the win.”
Glory will face Sorrento in the final on the 14th of July after they saw off Quinns FC 3-1.
ECU Joondalup Under 20’s 1 (Liam Murray 17’)
Perth Glory Under 20’s 2 (Dukuly 20’ Edwards 93’)
Half time: 1-1
Referee: Brendan Skinner
ECU Joondalup Under 20’s: GK Sam REILY, 2 Ewan FAWCETT, 3 Ciaran SALINGER, 4 Harry EDWARDS, 5 Nicholas KOEFLER, 7 Ethan BROOKS, 8 Jack CARROLL, 10 Liam FYFE, 11 Liam MURRAY, 14 Logan MCISAAC, 18 Callum SPEED
Subs: RGK George JACKSON, 9 Ben HINSHELWOOD, 12 James BRUCE, 17 Dylan LEONARD
Perth Glory Under 20’s: GK Nic SPECA, 2 Harry QUIGLEY, 3 David WALSH, 4 Nic MCDONALD, 5 Tiogo DE SOUZA, 6 Jack LEECH, 7 Abias BUKURU, 8 Zayd FARAH, 9 Gomo DUKULY, 10 Aiden EDWARDS, 11 Sasa NJEGIC
Subs: 12 Josh SAMSON, 13 Cam MCCLEAN, 14 Jordan ABRAHAMS, 15 Kian MCGUIGAN, 16 Charlie LEECH