Perth Glory FC has been defeated 1-0 by Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium.
Glory kicked off RD 4 of the Hyundai A-League with a heavily changed line-up on Sunday, after injuries to four of its key players.
Star marquee Diego Castro (calf), winger Chris Harold (hamstring), and midfielders Gyorgy Sandor (ankle) and Mitch Oxborrow did not travel forcing coach Kenny Lowe to re-shuffle his team. Striker Guyon Fernandez, who was still recovering from a light knock, was also forced to start the match on the bench.
Glory absorbed the early pressure at a rain-drenched Pirtek Stadium, but Perth muscled its way back into the game.
Michael Thwaite tried his luck with a couple of half-chances off two Nebo Marinkovic corners, while Josh Risdon lobbed the ball into the box for a promising run of play but the ball was met by former Wanderers player Antony Golec, who was off-side.
Just before the half-hour mark it was another former Wanderer, Ante Covic, who was called into action. The veteran dived low to his right to save a driving shot on goal from Dario Vidosic.
Both teams enjoyed good spells during the half but neither side could consolidate.
The Wanderers almost went ahead in the 42’ after former Glory player Scott Neville cut the ball into the box which ricocheted off Dino Djulbic and hit the crossbar.
Three minutes later and on the stroke of half-time, the Wanderers scored in what was to be the match-winner. The ball was deflected around the box off a corner, falling to the feet of Vidosic who shot the ball from the top of the penalty area, straight into the back of the net to put the home side ahead.
In the second 45’, Marc Warren made his way for striker Fernandez as Glory searched for the equalizer. And 12 minutes later Hagi Gligor, who made his first start for Perth was replaced by debutant Alex Grant.
The Wanderers started the match winless after three games and continued to press for a second goal.
Glory however refused to give in, as Nebo Marinkovic almost gave Glory fans something to cheer about as he struck a powerful kick from 35 metres out but it just missed the upright.
In the final 15’ Aryn Williams, brother of Socceroo Rhys, made his debut for Glory, replacing Diogo Ferreira in midfield.
Perth pushed ahead searching for the equaliser. In the 86’ Fernandez was brought down just outside the box which spawned a Marinkovic free-kick. However “The Specialist” was unable to convert and sent the ball just over Andrew Redmayne’s goal.
After four minutes of stoppage time, the Wanderers walked off the pitch with their first win of the season, while Glory will now prepare for the Westfield FFA Cup Final against Melbourne Victory next Saturday at AAMI Park.
Scorers: Vidosic 45’
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Warren 8’, Neville 61’, Golec 75’, Dimas 86’
Conditions: 28C, Hot and stormy
Attendance: 14,194 @ Pirtek Stadium
Perth Glory FC squad: 1. Ante COVIC, 3. Marc WARREN. 5. Antony GOLEC. 6. Dino DJULBIC. 10. Nebo MARINKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA (c), 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 15. Hagi GLIGOR, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA, 19. Josh RISDON, 23. Michael THWAITE
Substitutes: 2. Alex GRANT, 12. Jerrad TYSON, 20. Guyon FERNANDEZ, 24. Jamal REINERS, 29. Aryn WILLIAMS
Western Sydney Wanderers: 3. Scott JAMIESON, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6. Mitch NICHOLS, 8. Dimas DELGADO, 9. Federico PIOVACCARI, 10. Dario VIDOSIC, 12. Scott NEVILLE, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17 Alberto AGUILAR, 18. ANDREU, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)
Substitutes: 1. Dean BOUZANIS (gk) 11. Brendon SANTALAB, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 21. Jacob PEPPER, 22. Jonathon ASPROPOTAMITIS