The PGFC Academy First Team produced a stunning late comeback to earn a 3-3 draw against Andy Keogh's Inglewood United at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Saturday, scoring twice in the final 13 minutes to snatch a potentially vital point.
It started well for the youngsters, with Henry Hore scoring the opener just before half time, but the hosts hit back after the break and raced out to 3-1 lead courtesy of goals from Ellis Healing, Brian Farrell and Kenny Keogh.
But just as Glory's 12-game unbeaten run looked set to end, Hore added a second ten minutes from time and Michael Domfeh then completed the comeback by finding the net in the third minute of stoppage time.
Head Coach John Gibson was understandably delighted by the way his side fought back, but warned that his table-topping charges still have plenty of work to do.
“What a great comeback from us today," he said. "We are always proud of the group and the never-say-die attitude they possess. It’s not the first time this year we have responded like this; as a group we always discuss ‘what if this happens?'.
“But what a fantastic learning experience. To come to Inglewood in some atrocious weather conditions against a good, experienced team and respond like we did was tremendous.
“We took the lead, we had a few more opportunities to capitalize with the wind in the first half, but in the second half against the wind, it was always going to be tough. We went behind, but somehow managed to earn a valuable point.
“We know we have challenges ahead of us, but we will be prepared and positive. We face an in-form Armadale team down at Alfred Skeet Reserve next, which is bound to be another tough game.”
Hore, meanwhile, felt that the Academy side should have made more of their first-half superiority.
“We were angry at ourselves for not taking our chances first half, conceding some silly goals and allowing a 1-0 lead to slip," he said. "However, we showed great character and spirit to come back.
“It could be a crucial point that we achieved today, but now we need to focus on next week and get the three points.”
It was a lively opening to the game, with Glory having the better chances. Firstly, Domfeh's shot crashed off the woodwork and moments later, former Inglewood midfielder Chok Dau was sent in on goal, only to be denied by home 'keeper Alex Dunn.
But the visitors' pressure was finally rewarded on 37 minutes when Hore's inswinging corner flew straight into the net.
It was a different story after the break with Inglewood very much on the front foot and they duly restored parity nine minutes in through substitute Healing.
Moments later, Lee, who will fly out with the Australia Under-18 squad for the SBS Cup International Youth Tournament later this month, produced a stunning save to keep out Brian Farrell's crisp volley.
There was little the Glory 'keeper could do on 70 minutes when the home side hit the front, however, Alex Salmon's cross from the left finding Woodall who crashed home a diving header.
Inglewood, who had beaten Glory in the reverse fixture, then added a third three minutes later when Healing's cross from the right picked out Keogh who rose highest to head past Lee.
With their backs very much to the wall, Gibson's side responded superbly, Hore reducing the arrears on 80 minutes and Domfeh then firing home from close-range to make it 3-3 right at the death.
And the in-form marksman felt that a draw was the least his side deserved.
"It was a good game of football considering the conditions," he said, "and I thought both teams came out to play and I'm sure it was a great spectacle to watch.
"It was a bittersweet result, however. Although the boys showed good grit to come back from 3-1 down, poor finishing in the first half put us in a unnecessary position in the first place.
"It was a great feeling to score in the dying moments of the game, especially in relation to the title race and it now takes me one goal behind Jamie Maclaren’s record for the youth team.
"But all personal ambitions aside, it is back to business with a tricky game at my former club Armadale on Saturday, where we will look to take home the three points."
In Saturday's other results, meanwhile, the Under-18s and Under-20s enjoyed respective 5-3 and 2-1 wins.
All three teams will be in action at Alfred Skeet Reserve next Saturday, with the Under-18s getting things underway at 11am, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm and the First Team at 3pm.
Inglewood United 3 (Healing 54', Woodall 70', Keogh 73') Perth Glory 3 (Hore 37', 80', Domfeh 90+3')
Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistant Referees: Josh Mannella, Sorousha Moayer
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 7 Kenny KEOGH (C) (12 Feisal ZAW 81’), 8 Jason BARRERA, 9 Alex SALMON (10 Ashley ROSINDALE 90’), 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie MURPHY (11 Ellis HEALING 46’), 17 Rikki SMITH, 19 Connor BECSI, 23 Brian WOODALL
Substitutes not used: 6 Miki VUJACIC, 13 Federico ACHILLI
Yellow cards: Keogh 48’, Smith 65’
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Nic MCDONALD, 3 Sam RIAK, 4 Daniel WALSH, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Zayd FARAH (14 Callum TIMMINS 63'), 7 Chok DAU (C), 8 Henry HORE, 9 Michael DOMFEH, 10 Michael MCDOUGALL (12 Jack LEECH 81’), 11 Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY (13 Trent OSTLER 81’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 15 Jordan ABRAHAMS,
Yellow cards: Annis 48’, Domfeh 53’