The PGFC Academy First Team produced yet another stellar performance to earn an historic first ever win over Bayswater City on Saturday, downing the reigning NPL WA Champions 3-1 at Frank Drago Reserve.
Michael Domfeh gave the visitors the lead at half time, before former Glory youth forward Gian Albano levelled from the penalty spot ten minutes after the break.
But Glory hit back swiftly, with second-half substitute Daniel Stynes restoring their lead from the spot on the hour-mark and Henry Hore then making the points safe seven minutes frrom time.
The victory moved John Gibson’s side five points clear at the top of the table and the coach was understandably delighted for his players.
“It’s pretty cool to come to the home of the Champions and beat them for the first time; nice history,” he said.
“We knew we had to be resilient when they challenged us after half time and we showed our standard character to hit back straight away after conceding the equaliser.”
Gibson went on to confirm that his young players are relishing the challenge of first-team football and he singled out goalscorer Domfeh for special praise.
“Our group is tight and playing with a great team spirit at the moment," he said. "Our approach and mentality is always aggressive and intense. The growth and development of the whole group is pleasing, but we still have major improvements within us.
“We don’t generally single out guys, but we are really pleased for 'Big Mike'. He’s our Paulo Wanchope up front, he is awkward, powerful, gangly and a constant threat to opponents. He gives us something different and even more pleasing is that he has improved dramatically.
“Overall, we are doing ok. We’ve had a few good results, but haven’t achieved anything yet. Now we need to step it up again and drive our mentality and our standards even higher.”
Domfeh himself, meanwhile, felt that Glory's mental strength was a key factor in their victory.
“It was a great mature performance by the boys," he said, "with everyone putting in a tremendous effort for the full 90-plus minutes to come away with the three points.
“It was a tough physical game and in periods, quite scrappy. But I believe our athleticism and quality in key moments of the game was the difference.
“Bayswater has been a formidable side for many years, winning several finals and titles, so it shows how far the boys and the program has come to win against them for the first time in the club's history, especially considering the high stakes of the game.
"Having gone five points clear at the top, giving ourselves some breathing room, we now press on harder, taking each game as it comes, with the aim to have done the business come Round 26.”
The early exchanges of the game were shaded by City, but it was Glory who broke the deadlock with 32 minutes on the clock.
Chok Dau raced down the right and his cross picked out Yacoub Mustafa, with the ball then falling kindly to Domfeh who fired home from close-range.
Ten minutes into the second half, however, the hosts were level.
Luke Salmon was brought down by Luke Bodnar, referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot and Albano's effort found the net despite Jackson Lee getting a hand to it.
Undaunted, Glory hit back almost immediately, also from the spot.
Stynes had only been introduced from the bench two minutes earlier when he was brought down and after dusting himself off, he calmly beat Devon Spence in the home goal.
Bayswater rallied again, with David Stokoe and Paul Lloyd both going close, but with Chris Coyne's men pushing forward, they left gaps at the back and Glory duly capitalised on 83 minutes.
Hore received the ball, cut inside his marker and raced to the edge of the box before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net.
To complete a memorable day for the PGFC Academy, the Under-20s and Under-18s also emerged with maximum points courtesy of respective 3-2 and 2-1 wins.
All three sides return to NPLWA action on Saturday 21st July when they visit Percy Doyle Reserve to tackle Sorrento.
But ahead of that, the Under-20s take on Sorrento in the State League Reserves Cup Final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday.
Kick off is at 12.15pm, so do get along and give the lads your support if you can.
Bayswater City 1 (Albano 55’ pen) Perth Glory 3 (Domfeh 32’, Stynes 62’ (pen), Hore 83’)
Half time 0-1
Referee: David Bruce
Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 5 Adam HARRIS, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 10 Jason MIRCO (4 Arran MAPLESTONE 83’), 12 David STOKOE, 13 Trent KAY (C), 15 Jordan POKLER (19 Luka NINKOVIC 68’), 17 Gian ALBANO, 18 Brent GRIFFITHS (8 Paul MCCARTHY 37’), 22 Luke SALMON, 26 Paul LLOYD
Substitutes not used: RGK Luke HUTCHINSON, 24 Jake SARDELIC
Yellow cards: Harris 45’
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luke BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Daniel WALSH, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Zayd FARRAH (13 Callum TIMMINS 60’), 7 Chok DAU (12 Daniel STYNES 60’), 8 Henry HORE, 9 Michael DOMFEH (15 Trent OSTLER 82’), 10 Michael MCDOUGALL, 11 Yacoub MUSTAFA
Substitutes not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 14.Nic MCDONALD
Yellow cards: Bodnar 52’, Scott 58’, Domfeh 82’
Photo courtesy of Tom McCarthy