GCU hold off Glory

Gold Coast United have claimed an important 2-1 win over the struggling Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Sunday night.

Gold Coast United have claimed an important 2-1 win over the struggling Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Sunday night.

The victory keeps GCU in the hunt for a top-two position, although to dislodge Central Coast they would need to win both their remaining matches and hope the Mariners lose both of theirs.

Gold Coast played consistently through the game to score a goal in each half, both of which came from the penalty spot.

The Glory lifted in the second half and retiring veteran Jamie Harnwell helped Adam Taggart get the hosts back in the match, but it was no more than a consolation goal.

Perth fielded a depleted team with Mile Sterjovski joining the absentee list, while Harnwell played his 256th and last game for the club. Gold Coast were also without some of their players with Sebastiaan van den Brink deemed not fit with a sprained ankle and Joel Porter still suffering a hip injury.

Jacob Burns and Adriano Pellegrino worked the ball up the middle of the pitch to give Perth the chance to score first, but United's defence ensured there were few chances.

Taggart made a run towards the net with Dino Djulbic by his side, but his slow shot was too easy for Gold Coasts keeper Glen Moss to step out and get the ball out of trouble.

United finally got their first direct chance for a goal from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute. Harnwell was yellow carded after he felled Golgol Mebrahu in the penalty area and Shane Smeltz had no troubles dispatching the spot kick.

The Glory then stepped up their aggression with Pellegrino doing his best to level the scores only to see his fizzing shot skid wide. Steven McGarry tried to deliver to Robbie Fowler, but the former England international missed the ball as his slid towards the goals leaving the home side down by one at the break.

Early in the second half McGarry went for the leveller, but didn't have the accuracy and then a second attempt skimmed the left post.

But it was Gold Coast who scored next when Glory defender Josh Mitchell brought Adama Traore down in the area and Smeltz once again found the back of the net to double his side's lead.

The Glory couldn't catch a break with Naum Sekulovski carried off the pitch with a right leg injury.

Coach Ian Ferguson brought on some fresh faces late in the second half and it appeared to galvanise the home side with Tommy Amphlett almost instantly scoring as he made Moss work hard to keep the Glory off the scoresheet.

In the 75th minute Harnwell headed the ball to Taggart who slotted into an empty net to ensure a grandstand finish.

But there was no fairytale for the hosts as Gold Coast held on to a deserved victory.

Harnwell was clearly disappointed after the loss and said the team needs to change how they play if they want to win games next season.

"We weren't good enough, we weren't getting the second balls, weren't keeping the ball weren't doing anything and that unfortunately just summed up the majority of our season for us, so it's an issue the club's got to work out," Harnwell said.

"It's something that they're going to have to change, but it's not my concern anymore I suppose. I'm not going to tell them things but it's been disappointing."

Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg thought his team were in control of the game, but admitted to have a few anxious moments towards the end of the match.

"I think that probably up until the goal that Perth scored, Gold coast were the better side organised and in control," he said.

"After the goal, Perth did some few subs and put some fresh blood, some young blood and the momentum of the game changed because once they scored they got the crowd behind them."

"They put us under pressure and they were close to the equaliser, it would have been a bit unfair from my point of view that we controlled the game at probably more than two thirds of the game and then we have to settle for a draw but that's how it's happened in football many times."

Perth Glory 1 (Taggart 75') Gold Coast United 2 (Smeltz 33p, 56p)