Glory battle back to claim point

The PGFC Academy First Team produced an impressive second-half fightback to claim a 1-1 draw in Saturday's NPL WA clash with Armadale at E&D Litis Stadium.

The visitors took an early lead through Ryan Haslett, but a smart finish from Liam Murray levelled things up mid-way through the second half and the hosts went close to bagging a winner on several occasions in the final quarter.

The point was enough to lift the youngsters up to fourth place after the top three sides were all beaten and Head Coach Richard Garcia drew plenty of positives from the display, especially after the break.

"I was pleased with the performance from the boys today,” he said.

"Yes, we would have liked the three points, but we had a lot of players in the side that haven’t played a lot of first team football and we lacked that experience against a bullish Armadale side. 

"Our first half was disappointing; we went into our shells a little under their aggressive approach and conceding an early goal didn’t help.

"But I thought in the second half we came out and showed what we are capable of and there was only one team in it.

"On another day, we would have gone on to win it comfortably, but it wasn’t to be today."

It certainly wasn’t the start Glory were after as they found themselves behind with only five minutes on the clock. 

Joshua Cortes won the ball in midfield and picked out Haslett who raced into the penalty area before firing into the bottom corner of the net.

Armadale went close again on 20 minutes when a long ball from goalkeeper Sam Hutchings was flicked on and Haslett raced through, but Zayd Farah was on hand to clear the danger.

Glory, meanwhile, had their first sight on goal two minutes later after a short corner caught Armadale napping and the ball was played back to Jack Leech on the edge of the penalty area who fired his first-time shot over the top.

Garcia's side opened the second half brightly and went close to the equaliser five minutes in. Leech slipped the ball through to Murray who outstripped his marker, but his shot on the run crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.

Moments later Ethan Brooks was denied by Hutchings after easing his way past two defenders and the Armadale 'keeper was then called into action again to foil Josh Rawlings.

Having had a penalty claim turned down when Brooks fell under the challenge of Danny Richman and seen Rawlings' half-volley curl wide, Glory's frustration was starting to grow, but the breakthrough finally arrived 17 minutes from time.

Second-half substitute Gomo Dukuly sent Brooks into the box and he squared the ball to Murray who lost his marker before finishing from close range.

Having seized the initiative, the home side pushed strongly for the winner, with Dukuly striking the woodwork and Trent Ostler, Leech and Murray all going close, while at the other end, Armadale almost nicked a goal when Josh Cortes burst through only to be foiled by Jackson Lee.

But despite the late flurry of chances, both sides were ultimately forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

In Saturday's other games, meanwhile, the the Under-18s went down 2-0, but the Under-20s continued their impressive form with a comprehensive 5-0 win.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 (Murray 72’) Armadale 1 (Haslett')

Half-Time: 0-1

Referee: Julian Serra

Assistant referees: Jess Byrd, Liam Barclay

Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2. Zayd FARAH, 3. Joshua RAWLINS, 4. Luke BODNAR, 5. Alessandro CIRCATI, 6. Josh SAMSON, 7. Ethan BROOKS, 8. Jack LEECH, 9. Ciaran BRAMWELL (24. Gomo DUKULY 54’), 10.. Liam MURRAY, 11. Abias BUKURU (21. Trent OSTLER 79’)

Substitutes not used: RGK Nicolas SPECA, 12. Jordan ABRAHAMS, 23. Nick WALSH

Yellow cards: None

Red cards: None

Armadale: GK Sam HUTCHINGS, 2. Josh KUSER, 4. Nathan COSTELLO, 5. Ali NAZARY, 7. Joshua CORTES, 8. Michael LAWSON, 9. Uriel MACIAS (11. Chad NILSON 84’), 10. Sam GARCES, 12. Dannie RICHMAN, 13. Blake ADAMS, 22. Ryan HASLETT (21. Abdul OSMAN 90+3’)

Substitutes not used: RGK Blake HENSHALL, 15. Shannon HO, 16. Brad GREIPL

Yellow cards: None

Red cards: None

Picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy

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