Brave Glory go down fighting

A heroic Perth Glory have gone down 2-1 to the Central Coast Mariners in another controversial game at nib Stadium.

A heroic Perth Glory have gone down 2-1 to the Central Coast Mariners in another controversial game at nib Stadium.

Glory finished the game with 9 men after Jamie Harnwell and Adriano Pellegrino were both red carded.

“I don-t want to waste my time talking about them (the referees).

“Maybe they should be red carded," Perth Glory interim head coach Ian Ferguson said.

The opening quarter of the game may have been a little cagey as the two sides tested each other out, but it exploded into life on 22 minutes when Daniel McBreen put the high-flying visitors in front.

New Zealand international Brian McGlinchey swung in a corner from the left, local product Trent Sainsbury got above his marker to head goalward and former Glory loanee McBreen reacted first to glance a close-range header past Tando Velaphi.

It was the first meaningful chance that the men from Gosford had created, but they wasted no time in carving out another, doubling their advantage within sixty seconds. Sainsbury was again involved, sweeping a low ball across the face of goal from the right channel which was side-footed home by the onrushing Matt Simon.

Stunned into silence by the visitors- quick-fire two-goal salvo, the home fans were left reeling again three minutes later as the Mariners were handed an opportunity to make it 3-0 from the penalty spot. Andy Todd was adjudged to have upended McBreen just centimetres inside the box, but Velaphi came to his side-s rescue, producing a stunning save low to his right to keep out Simon-s well-struck spot kick.

The drama then continued unabated as just short of the hour mark, the home side were reduced to ten men when Jamie Harnwell incurred the wrath of late replacement referee Jarred Gillett. The long-serving Glory utility man was adjudged to have elbowed Matt Simon in the face as the two challenged for a high ball on the halfway line and the referee showed no hesitation in producing a straight red. At 2-0 and a man down, Glory-s cause looked all but lost, but Ian Ferguson-s men showed the kind of resilience that has characterised their performances in recent weeks to force their way back into the contest.

Seven minutes before the break Scott Neville delivered a pinpoint deep cross from the right, Mile Sterjovski flicked it on and Todd Howarth timed his run perfectly to arrive at the far post and rifle home his second goal in as many games. Clearly buoyed by their lifeline, the home side then came close to restoring parity in first-half stoppage time, as Rostyn Griffiths was forced into a desperate lunging block to keep out a goalbound effort from Sterjovski who had again been teed up by Neville.

The interval was probably as welcomed by the fans as it was by the players after a drama-packed first period and the opening exchanges of the second half were a little low-key in comparison.

Not until the 57th minute was either goal seriously threatened and the Mariners again found Velaphi in superb touch, parrying an initial shot powered in by McGlinchey and then staying alert to claim a follow-up header from McBreen. Glory then responded in kind, with Sterjovski and Fowler combining to create an opportunity for the lively Amphlett, only for Chris Doig to deflect the young winger-s ferocious angled shot wide of the post with goalkeeper Matthew Ryan seemingly beaten.

Ten minutes later Amphlett again came close to grabbing the leveller that Glory-s tenacity arguably warranted, firing narrowly wide after Robbie Fowler had nodded a searching Pellegrino cross back across the top of the box.

Making light of their one-man disadvantage, Glory continued to force the visitors onto the back foot and on 83 minutes Neville almost capped another impressive display with a goal, unleashing a 20 metre rocket that fizzed just over Ryan-s crossbar.

By this stage Victor Sikora had come off the bench to make a welcome return to competitive action and he was soon joined by youngster Adam Taggart as Glory threw men forward in a desperate bid to snatch a late share of the spoils.

The two substitutes both looked lively as the Mariners struggled to hold onto their lead and Taggart had a chance to put his name up in lights with three minutes remaining, but steered a half-chance straight at a relieved Ryan in the visitors- goal.

The final act of a dramatic encounter saw Taggart get a shot away on the turn, but again Ryan was equal to it, producing a scrambling save to his right and as the Mariners broke, Pellegrino brought down substitute Michael Baird and became the second Glory player to be given his marching orders.

Hyundai A-League Week 23 - midweek

Perth Glory 1 Central Coast Mariners 2 nib Stadium, Wednesday 19th January 2011 Attendance: 6793 Referee: Jarred Gillett

Perth Glory: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Josh MITCHELL, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 9.Robbie FOWLER (8.Victor SIKORA 76-), 12.Scott NEVILLE (15.Howard FONDYKE 90-+4), 13.Tommy AMPHLETT, 14.Steven McGARRY (26. Adam TAGGART 84-), 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI

Substitutes not used: 20.Alex PEARSON (gk),

Scorers: Howarth 38-

Yellow cards: McGarry 18-, Velaphi 26-, Pellegrino 58-

Red cards: Harnwell 28-, Pellegrino 90- (+3)

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (22. Mustafa AMINI 58-), 11.Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON (13. Michael BAIRD 73-)

Substitutes not used: 12. Matthew LEWIS, 30. Paul HENDERSON.

Scorers: McBreen 22-, Simon 23-

Yellow cards: Bojic 15-, Bozanic 49-

Red cards: nil