Glory cop hit from Vics

A stunning strike from Mile Sterjovski gave Perth fans plenty to cheer about but his efforts were ultimately not enough to deny Melbourne a 2-1 win at ME Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

A stunning strike from Mile Sterjovski gave Perth fans plenty to cheer about but his efforts were ultimately not enough to deny Melbourne a 2-1 win at ME Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Glory-s marquee man showed exquisite control before thundering home a spectacular shot from 23 meters but either side of that strike Victory-s talisman Carlos Hernandez was his menacing self to help propel Melbourne to their first win in the west since 2006.

Terrific in the opening 45 minutes, Perth were left to lick their wounds after dropping their guard in the second half, the result seeing the West Aussies slip one spot to fifth on congested Hyundai A-League ladder.

“The first half I think we played very well and we probably could have been a couple of goals up,” said Mitchell.

“In the second half we haven-t come out and performed the way we would have liked and subsequently paid the price for it.

“It is really disappointing, sometimes halves we play unbelievably well and other times you don-t get the rub of the green but today it wasn-t that situation. In the second half we just weren-t good enough,” said Mitchell.

The slick attacking style of Melbourne was evident from the opening whistle and after six minutes they had their opener, albeit fortuitously.

Allowed to dwell on the ball on the edge of the Glory box, Hernandez unleashed a curling effort towards the top right-hand corner of the net only for the ball to cannon into Chris Coyne and swerve viciously past a wrong-footed Tando Velaphi in the Glory goal.

Rather than take the wind out of their sails that early slice of misfortune seemed to act as a wake-up call for the home side and they immediately began to ask questions of the Victory back four.

Todd Howarth, who enjoyed a sparkling first period, flashed an early sighter narrowly wide of Glen Moss-s left-hand post before Mile Sterjovski restored parity in brilliant fashion moments later.

Glory-s Socceroos star showed delicate touch to ease away from the close attentions of Victory-s Adrian Leijer and then unleash a thundering shot past the helpless Moss and into the top corner of the net.

It was undoubtedly the best goal of the season thus far at ME Bank Stadium and it seemed to further convince Glory that for all their attacking threat, Victory were decidedly vulnerable at the back.

On the half-hour Jamie Coyne almost embarrassed Moss with a cross-shot that the swirling wind came close to diverting into the roof of the net, before Kevin Muscat headed off the line after Eugene Dadi had taken advantage of some more uncertainty in the penalty area to head a hopeful Wayne Srhoj cross goalward.

Moss did make amends on the stroke of half-time, however, producing a point-blank reflex block to deny Dadi who had managed to get a toe on another teasing low cross from the rampant Howarth.

The break was unfortunately timed for Glory who enjoyed a spell of real dominance and they failed to regain that momentum at the start of the second-half.

Victory, in contrast, upped their intensity and started to look far more purposeful in the final third. On 65 minutes substitute Nathan Elasi squandered a gilt-edged opportunity to score with his first touch as he blazed over with the goal gaping after unselfish approach play from the livewire Thompson.

The young midfielder redeemed himself moments later by supplying a fine low cross to the far post where Hernandez was on hand to slide home his second goal of the game at full stretch and restore the visitors- lead.

The combination of Howarth and Naum Sekulovski continued to present a constant threat to Victory-s backline, but marshalled by the evergreen Muscat, the visitors defended far more resolutely than they had in the first-half and restricted Glory to a handful of half-chances.

With the game threatening to drift away, Dave Mitchell went to his bench, firstly introducing promoted youth player Ludovic Boi for his senior debut and then throwing the creative Andrija Jukic into the fray as a third striker.

With Victory content to sit deep and threaten on the break, Glory found themselves confronted by a packed defence and for all their endeavour could not manage to find a way through.

A flurry of late corners saw the crowd on their feet as the visitors struggled to clear their lines, but the Victorians hung on to end Glory-s unbeaten record at home this season.

“We-re concerned with the fact that we-ve lost three in a row but we-re always in the games and we-ll certainly put pressure on any team we play,” Mitchell said.

“We-re capable of winning any game.”

The goal scored by Glory was also great news for local club Beeliar Spirit SC who was the Hyundai ‘Goals for Grassroots- side this round. As part of this great initiative Beeliar received $1000 from Hyundai.

Hyundai A-League 2009/10 - Rd 13

Perth Glory 1 (Mile Sterjovski 19-) Melbourne Victory 2 (Chris Coyne 6- (og), Carlos Hernandez 68-) Sunday, 1 November 2009 at ME Bank Stadium, Perth

Crowd: 10,035

Referee: Strebre Delovski

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE (12.Scott NEVILLE 84-), 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 14.Eugene DADI (26.Ludovic BOI 72-), 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO (23.Andrija JUKIC 81-), 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI,

Substitutes not used: 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk) Yellow Cards: Adriano Pellegrino 74- Red Cards:

Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Mate DUGANDZIC (13.Nathan ELASI 64-), 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10.Archie THOMPSON (11.NEY FABIANO 90+4-), 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ (17.Matthew FOSCHINI 75-), 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 23.Adrian LEIJER, 27.Sutee SUKSOMKIT

Substitutes not used: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), Yellow Cards: Adrian Leijer 37- Red Cards: