Fowler stands and delivers

Robbie Fowler has opened his account for Perth Glory, nailing an injury-time penalty to give his side a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Sunday evening.

Robbie Fowler has opened his account for Perth Glory, nailing an injury-time penalty to give his side a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Sunday evening.

In a dramatic and entertaining encounter, the struggling Heart stunned the league leaders in the fourth minute as Gerald Sibon drove home an early penalty after Alex Terra was fouled by Naum Sekulovski in the box.

The Glory responded through a bizarre Michael Marrone own goal, but Heart re-took the lead through Nick Kalmar's clinical strike and looked like holding onto the advantage as they stared down one Glory attack after another in the second period.

But just when it appeared Heart had weathered the storm, Glory debutant Michael Baird was brought down by a Kliment Taseski challenge in the box, allowing the man known as God to step up and drive home a deserved equaliser during the third minute of added time.

"We never stopped working and I'm very proud of the boys," Glory skipper Jacob Burns said after the game.

"We had a fantastic result here (at AAMI Park) against Victory, so that bred a bit of confidence in the camp. We were happy to come back here, we knew we were in for a tough game and credit to the boys they stuck to the job."

The result maintains Perth's unbeaten record this season, taking the Glory back to the top of the Hyundai A-League table as they leapfrog, second-placed Adelaide, while the Heart remain in last position.

Playing at their home ground for just the second time this season, Melbourne was intent on putting up a show for their fans as they attacked with intent from the outset.

As early as the second minute, Glory goalkeeper Tando Velaphi was called into action to smother the ball in front of the speedy Terra after he was released by a quality diagonal ball from Sibon.

Perth didn't heed the warning and two minutes later, Sibon was at it again, punting the ball straight up the middle of the park for Terra to burst through on goal, only to be brought down by a slight tough from Sekulovski in the area.

The touch was enough for debutant referee Kurt Ams, who pointed to the spot for Sibon to deliver a quality penalty, the Hearts' first goal in front of their home fans.

Stunned into action, the Glory mounted a few attacks of their own as the impressive Todd Howarth drove a shot over the bar in the eighth minute before the visitors restored parity 19 minutes in.

Some nice passing play had released Fowler on the right, but the striker's curling left-footed cross glanced off the head of Heart defender Brendan Hamill before ricocheting into goal off Marrone's chest.

Despite drawing level, the Glory couldn't drive home the attack and instead went behind again nine minutes before the break when Marrone earned a free kick just outside the penalty area on the right-hand side.

Although the free kick was met by a cluster of bodies close to goal, an off-balance Jacob Burns attempted to clear but only managed to poke the ball into space for Kalmar to drive it into the back of the net through a crowd of players.

Not to be disheartened the Glory produced a stirring second-half performance as they went about looking for their second equaliser of the game.

Five minutes after the break, Branko Jelic just couldn't quite get his head to Howarth's cross from the left, while the Serbian striker mis-controlled a headed attempt six minutes later from Steven McGarry's assist.

In the 71st minute, Fowler was denied what would have been a sizzling opening goal for Perth by an incredible reflex save by Clint Bolton, while the Heart stopper had to be at his best again nine minutes later to block a goalbound effort from Sekulovski with his feet.

But two minutes into added time, Glory substitute Baird, cleared to play by FIFA just 42 hours earlier was brought down by Taseski, allowing Fowler to step up and do what he does best.

Melbourne Heart: 2 (SIBON 4- (pen), KALMAR 37-) Perth Glory: 2 (MARRONE 19- (own goal), FOWLER 90+3 (pen)) Sunday, 29 August 2010 AAMI Park, Melbourne Referee: Kurt Ams

Melbourne Heart line-up: 1. Clint BOLTON, 2. Michael MARRONE (21. Kliment TASESKI 65-), 3. Brendan HAMILL, 4.Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Matt THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM, 9. Gerald SIBON (19. Eli BABALJ 61-), 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 11. ALEX TERRA (24. Aziz BEHICH 80-), 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Dean HEFFERNAN

Substitutes not used:12. Peter ZOIS (gk) Yellow Cards:SRHOJ 52-, THOMPSON 82-, HEFFERNAN 88-, HAMILL 89- Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory line-up: 1. Tando VELAPHI, 2. Josh MITCHELL, 3. Jamie COYNE, 7. Jacob BURNS (C), 9.Robbie FOWLER, 11. Branko JELIC10 (Michael BAIRD 61-), 12. Scott NEVILLE, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI (Anthony SKORICH 87-).

Substitutes not used: 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 24. Josh RISDON Yellow Cards:SEKULOVSKI 4- Red cards: Nil