Perth Glory has fought out an entertaining 0-0 draw against the Stirling Lions in week seven of the PS4 National Premier League WA at Ashfield Reserve.
Both sides played out a tense last 20 minutes which saw many chances created, but both keepers weren’t going to be beaten as the teams shared the spoils.
Glory head coach John Gibson said his players were outstanding all game and showed how far the young group had come this season.
“We thought we were super today, they (Stirling) are a good side with some quality players and we thought we matched them every step of the way, and the attitude and work rate by the whole group was magnificent,” he said.
“Knowlesy (Joe Knowles) was dangerous for the first 45 minutes, this after just getting off a plane from Adelaide, after being with the A-League side, while the whole squad gave everything and we are really proud of them today.
“But we are disappointed because we could've been rewarded with more if we are more ruthless and cleaner in the front third.”
“That’s our first clean sheet of the season, particularly to the backend of the game where we scrambled and showed tremendous desperation in the frantic last 10 minutes of the game.
“The back four superbly lead by Jack Iredale, plus the whole team's mentality to defend, ambush, get pressure on the ball was fantastic.
Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell was outstanding and he said it was good to get a clean sheet.
“It was a great game defensively, and in a game that had so many chances I don't know how it stayed 0-0,” he said.
“It was a great reward for the boys to get a clean sheet and something that we have deserved a few times this year. Hopefully we can kick on from the result and keep moving up the ladder.”
Glory opened brightly and Lions keeper John Perkins pushed Joe Knowles’ snap shot around the post early, before Iredale’s back post header was cleared off the line.
Jack Leech effort from the edge of the penalty flashed over the top, before Miki Vujacic’s curling free kick did likewise at the other end.
The Lions were struggling to break down a tight Glory defence well-marshalled by Iredale and Luka Bodnar, and at the break it was scoreless.
The Glory made a change at the break with Knowles replaced by Bayley Montgomery-Brown, and he went close early, but his shot on the run was well blocked by the Stirling defender.
It was a real arm-wrestle with both sides pushing for the opening goal and both went close as the game opened up.
First Leech’s shot fell kindly for Iredale, but the central defender shot on the turn flashed over the top, before Vujacic’s shot from the edge of the penalty area drifted the wrong side of the post.
Montgomery-Brown thought he had found it moments later, after he found room in the penalty area, but his shot was cleared by some desperate Stirling defending.
It was end-to-end football with the crowd on the edge of their seats and Moses Kalau went close for Stirling but his volley was saved well by Thurtell.
Then moments later, skipper Daniel Stynes saw his shot cleared off the line, and Michael McDougall snap shot was well saved by Perkins.
Perkins then denied Montgomery-Brown as the Glory piled on the pressure, but the introduction of former Glory midfielder David Micevski gave the visitors a lift.
Thurtell saved well from David Micevski’s set piece, before standing tall to deny him again moments later.
The Glory had one last chance to claim all three points, when Kosta Petratos’ low cross looked like finding Stynes for a tap in at the back post, but a last ditch tackle denied him and after a pulsating game the whistle sounded and the points were shared.
In other results on the day Callum Salmon’s under 18’s ran out 7-1 winners against Stirling. They led 6-0 at the break with Adam Zimarino scoring four, Trent Ostler and Ciaran Bramwell the others, and Tommy Coyle added the seventh.
“We were excellent first half, best half of football we've played for a long time. Ruthless and great with/without ball,” Salmon said.
“It was a great team performance, the boys’ ae playing very well, very pleasing and we roll onto the next training session.”
The under 20’s fought out a 2-2 draw with Stirling, with Abias Bukuru and Ethan Brooks on target, for Richard Garcia and Anthony Cochrane’s side.
Perth Glory 0
Stirling Lions 0
Perth Glory: GK Jordan Thurtell, 2 Riley Warland, 3 Luca Bodnar, 4 Jack Iredale, 5 Ollie Annis (12 Cam Murray 45’), 6 Jack Leech, 7 Michael McDougall, 8 Sam Riak (13 Jamal Reiners 64’), 10 Daniel Stynes, 11 Kosta Petratos, 15 Joseph Knowles (9 Bayley Montgomery-Brown 46’)
Subs not used: RGK Stef King, 16 Joseph Marino
Yellow Cards: Stynes 37’, McDougall 81’
Stirling Lions: GK John Perkins, 2 Michael Pugliese, 4 Blamo Qua Qua, 6 Dejan Spaseski, 7 Miki Vujacic (17 Darren O Riordan 78’), 10 Daniel Micevski, 12 Jason Rubidge (8 Steve Sokol 68’) 14 Lukas De Lima (11 David Micevski 81’), 15 Shane Cassidy, 16 Mathaing Mathiang, 18 Moses Kalau
Subs not used: RGK Lance Alavakis, 3 Alex Suleski
Yellow Cards: O Riordan 90+1’
Referee: Matthew Southern