Glory soar after shooting down Jets

Perth Glory has catapulted to the top of the Hyundai A-League after notching their second consecutive win on the road with a 1-0 result against Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night.

Perth Glory has catapulted to the top of the Hyundai A-League after notching their second consecutive win on the road with a 1-0 result against Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night.

A converted penalty from Glory marquee Mile Sterjovski in the 81st minute was the only goal of a tense match and ensured Perth won back-to-back away games for the first time in four years.

Bringing home six points from their past two matches on the road has reinforced Perth-s credentials as genuine title contenders this season however Coach Dave Mitchell said there was still plenty of improvement to come from his side.

“We ground out the result tonight,” Mitchell said.

“We defended stoutly in the second half and got the goal late on which won us the game.

“We-re strong at home and if we can pick up points like that away and continue to win at home then I-ll be very happy.

“We-re not getting carried away. There is still a lot of things we need to rectify but we-ll enjoy the win and certainly go back and continue to work hard ahead of our next challenge.

“We have two home games now and hopefully we can get a great crowd at ME Bank Stadium to support the team and enjoy some quality football from Perth Glory,” Mitchell said.

Neither side was able to wrest total control in the first half although it was Newcastle who tested Glory goalkeeper Tando Velaphi on several occasions, most notably through some nice interplay between Kaz Patafta and Jin-Hyung Song.

Velaphi, back into the sides after missing last weeks win against Brisbane with a concussion, was at his sharpest to deny Song just after the opening whistle. The Korean with sight of goal but the young Glory keeper closed the space and took the forceful shot on his chest.

Branko Jelic having the best of Perth-s chances after half an hour had elapsed. The in-form marksman trying his luck from long range and stinging the gloves of Jets custodian Ben Kennedy but unable to resister his fifth goal of the season.

The visitors were breathing a sigh of relief after 41 minutes when Jets striker Labinot Haliti turned to find space at the top of the box and fired on target but his shot rebounded off the upright and to safety for Perth.

The second half saw Newcastle continue push hard for the breakthrough and Perth were forced defend deep but Mitchell made several tactical changes, most notably Jelic rested and Sterjovski moved up-front, and in the end it paid dividends for the Glory.

A brilliant through ball from an enterprising Victor Sikora released Sterjovski who outpaced the Jets defence forcing Newcastle keeper Ben Kennedy to approach and he brought down the Socceroo inside the area.

Sterjovski stepped up to the spot and found the back of the net albeit from a rebound off the underside of the bar but it was enough to give Perth the lead and their second win against Newcastle this season.

Perth are equal the top of the table with 13 points from the opening eight rounds and in a perfect position to consolidate with consecutive matches at home starting with a clash against the Fury at ME Bank Stadium next Saturday.

Hyundai A-League 2009/10 - Rd 8 Newcastle Jets 0 Perth Glory 1 (Mile Sterjovski (pen) 81-) Friday, 25 September 2009 at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle

Referee: Matthew Breeze Crowd: 4738

Newcastle Jets: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3.Adam D-APUZZO, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7.Jin-Hyung SONG, 8.Matt THOMPSON (c), 10.Donny DE GROOT (19.Jason NAIDOVSKI 63-), 11.Tarek ELRICH, 17.Fabio VIGNAROLI, 22.Kaz PATAFTA (2.Angelo COSTANZO 83-), 25.Labinot HALITI (26.Ali ABBAS 71-)

Substitutes not used: 20.Neil YOUNG (gk) Yellow Cards: Ben Kennedy 80-, Matt Thompson 81- Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA (23.Andrija JUKIC 92-), 10.Wayne SRHOJ (12.Scott NEVILLE 71-), 11.Branko JELIC (17.Todd HOWARTH 46-), 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI

Substitutes not used: 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk) Yellow Cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil