A stunning second half from Perth Glory has given them a 3-2 win against Balcatta in week 20 of the PS4 National Premier League WA at Inglewood Stadium.
The Glory youngsters found themselves 1-0 down at the break with Steve Sokol scoring, but Nikola Talimdzioski levelled before Michael McDougall bagged a brace, either side of Balcatta’s skipper James Sammut’s strike to give the youngsters a well-deserved three points.
McDougall was outstanding, the 17-year-old double taking his goal tally to five for the season, and he said they deserved their victory. “I thought the win was very well deserved as we dominated the game from the start to finish,” he said.
“We kept our intensity for the entire 90 minutes and although we went into half time 1-0 down, we continued to fight and kept up our intensity and we were rewarded in the second half.”
The young striker, who played two seasons at Balcatta, knew it would be a tough game, but said the win gives them confidence going into next week’s game against Sorrento. “It was an extremely difficult game as they (Balcatta) never gave up and fought to the very end,” he said.
“The performance and the win has given us all a huge boost, and now we have to look to our next game against Sorrento and keep up our good work and get the right result next week.”
Glory assistant Coach Jacob Burns was full of praise for McDougall and the rest of the side after the win, and said they have stepped up in recent weeks due to injuries. “His (McDougall) opportunity has come not only through his hard work and endeavour but we’ve had a number of injuries this season,” he said.
“This has given players from our successful under 20’s side the opportunity to step up and show us what they can do and none of them have let us down.
“Michael has come into the first team and scored goals and effected games and he’s just one of a number of players who have come in and performed really well.”
Despite the win Burns said the youngsters still need to improve in certain areas of their game. “We still want to improve, but the endeavour and commitment of the guys is second to none,” he said.
“Yes it was good to get a result, and it’s a great reward for the players, but there are still areas that we need to be better in.”
The opening half the Glory totally dominated, but failed to take their chances. The best fell to McDougall after he was sent clear by Ross Millard, but the lively striker’s shot drifted wide of the target.
But the Glory were hit with a sucker punch on 25 minutes, when Balcatta hit the front.
Gustavo Catarcione held off his marker in the middle of the park, before playing in Sokol, who finished with aplomb past Jordan Franken.
The Glory pressed at the end of the half, but couldn’t break down a tight Balcatta defence, and they went into the sheds 1-0 down.
Whatever the Glory coaching staff said at the break had an immediate impact, and they were level nine minutes in.
A clumsy challenge on the edge of the box earned them a free kick, and Talimdzioski curled the resulting set piece up and over the wall and into the top corner of the net to give Clint Davies no chance.
It was the perfect start, and it wasn’t long before the Glory hit the front, with a stunning individual goal from McDougall on the hour.
The young striker picked the ball up in his own half and set off on a mazy run which took him past three Balcatta defenders, before finishing clinically past Davies.
But their lead only last six minutes. Catarcione was the provider again, the striker releasing Balcatta skipper James Sammut, and the former Perth Glory Youth midfielder finished low past Franken.
It was a bitter blow to the Glory but they continued to take the game to the visitors, and Dejan Spaseski’s low shot was well saved by Davies, before Calvin Whitney’s shot from distance whistled just over the crossbar.
But with fifteen minutes remaining the Glory’s pressure was rewarded with the lead again. Balcatta failed to clear their lines and McDougall punished them with a neat finish into the bottom corner of the net.
Balcatta pushed late looking for the equaliser, but the Glory stood firm, led superbly by skipper Nathan Costello.
The visitors had a late penalty claim turned down when Catarcione’s cross hit the arm of a Glory defender, but referee Matt Southern was well positioned and waved away their protests.
It was a hard fought win for the Glory, and it was a good day all-round with the Under 18’s and 20’s also both winning.
Callum Salmon’s Under 18’s beat Balcatta 8-2, with Callum Timmins, Jacob Italiano, Luc Bodnar and Walter Scott all outstanding.
While Bobby Despotovski’s Under 20’s bounced back from two defeats to beat Balcatta 4-1, with Brodie Langan netting a brace, with Alex Taneski and Jnanadev Purcell scoring the others.
Perth Glory 3 (Talimdzioski 54’, McDougall 61’ 75’)
Balcatta 2 (Sokol 25’, Sammut 66)
Referee: Matt Southern
Assistant Referees: Scott Cairns and Tim Keeble
Perth Glory FC: GK Jordan FRANKEN, 2 Gian ALBANO, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Ali GHOLAMI, 6 Calvin WHITNEY, 7 Waliedin ISMAIL (12 Matthew NTOUMEMOPOLOUS 72’), 8 Dejan SPASEKI, 9 Michael MCDOUGALL, 10 Sam MACKEARNAN, 11Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI
Subs not used: 13 Jesse LAZZARO, 14 Alex TANESKI, 15 Hayden STEVENS, 20 Riley STEPHENSON
Yellow Cards: Whitney 34’, Ntoumemopolous
Red Cards: nil
Balcatta SC: GK Clint DAVIES, 6 Ross DIAMOND, 7 James SUMMUT, 8 Simon LEDUN (9 Slade RULE 78’), 11 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 12 Scott JOHNSTON, 14 Steve SOKOL (16 Jackson AMOSA 78’), 15 Carmelo GIUFFRE, 17 Kieren COLWELL, 18. Shazalee RAMLEE, 23 Marc ZAGAMI (50 Blamo QUAQUA 73’)
Subs not used: 21 Daniel PASSARELL, 5 Joel Martin
Yellow Cards: Zagami 21’, Colwell 31’, Diamond 61’, Johnston 68’, Catarcione 71’, Summut 85’
Red Cards: Nil