A penalty from Perth Glory skipper Joe Knowles has given them a 1-0 win against Stirling Lions in Week 11 of the PS4 NPLWA at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
Knowles kept his nerve to seal victory in the 88th minute, after midfielder Sean Troup had been brought down in the penalty area.
It was the second win of the season for the Glory youngster, who bounced back well from last week’s heavy defeat at Balcatta, and Coach John Gibson was full of praise for his players.
“What a great performance from the lads today, against a very good Stirling side,” he said.
“Today we wanted a positive reaction individually and collectively. We wanted to take the negatives and positives of the last week of football, whether it be the Malaysia trip or the result of last week against Balcatta.
“The reaction was magnificent and we wanted to play for the full 95 minutes which we did. Post-game the squad was ecstatic with the performance but remained balanced that they have a big few weeks coming up.'
“We showed some good maturity today and scored late but didn’t concede late, which was nice - plus just rewards for a player group, who have had a busy schedule in recent weeks.”
Gibson also spoke about the return of Jack Iredale to senior football, the youngster playing his first game back and keeper Riley Stephenson who made his senior NPL debut.
“It was good to see Jack play today - he's following a loading plan for his body - he's already played for the U20s for 4-5 weeks, we are pretty low key with - he's doing ok,” he explained.
“Also a big congrats to Riley Stephenson on making his senior debut - he did well and kept a clean sheet.”
The home side pressed forward early, but the Glory defence stood firm, and Calvin Whitney got back with a good block to deny Daniel Micevski shot on 10 minutes.
Glory then went close themselves on the quarter hour, Nikola Talimdzioski cutting in from the left, but his shot was well saved by Lions keeper John Perkins, who reacted well to block Dejan Spaseski’s follow up shot.
Clear cut chances were few and far between, but the Glory did have a couple of opportunities. Daniel Stynes headed straight at Perkins from Talimdzioski’s cross, before Talimdzioski’s curling free kick whistled past the post.
Perkins came to the home sides rescue again in first half stoppage time, Stynes lost his marker on the edge of the penalty area, and his shot on the turn was well saved by the Stirling custodian, but at the break it was scoreless.
Both sides had chances early in the second half, as the game opened up. Gian Albano played in Stynes but the youngsters shot failed to beat Perkins.
Then on the hour former Glory midfielder Blamo Qua Qua was brought down, and Miki Vujacic’s free kick was headed inches wide by Jason Rubidge.
It was end to end football and the Stirling went close to the opener on 71 minutes, Daniel Micevski’s header crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.
Glory hit back five minutes later, Troup finding Spaseski, whose shot curls the wrong side of the upright.
Then in the 87th minute Troup was upended in the penalty area by David Micevski and referee Nico Hoyle pointed straight to the spot.
Knowles stepped up and buried into the bottom right corner of the net to give the Glory youngsters the lead.
Stirling pressed late but Glory hung on and debutant keeper Riley Stephenson kept a clean sheet to guide the Glory to victory.
Stirling Lions 0
Perth Glory 1 (Knowles 88’)
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Referee: Nico Hoyle
Assistant Referees: Brian McDonald and Darren Quinlan
Stirling Lions: GK John PERKINS, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 4 Blamo QUA QUA, 7 Miki VUJACIC, 6 Brodie MARTIN (13 William KESSEL 44’), 8 David SESAY (9 Lukas DE LIMA 86’), 10 Daniel MICEVSKI, 11 David MICEVSKI, 12 Jason RUBIDGE (3 Ben CAMPBELL 78’), 15 Shane CASSIDY, 17 Teeboy KAMARA
Subs not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 5 Graham DORAN
Yellow Cards: Teeboy 31’, Pugliese 40’, Vujacic 53’, Micevski 88’
Perth Glory: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Gian ALBANO, 3 Ben JOHNS (14 Cameron MURRAY 74’), 4 Jack IREDALE (15 Scott ROBERTSON 46’), 5 Ross MILLARD, 6 Calvin WHITNEY, 7 Sean TROUP, 8 Dejan SPASESKI (13 Jacob MUSTAFA 86’), 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Daniel STYNES, 11 Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI,
Subs not used: RGK Jackson LEE, 12 Chok DAU
Yellow Cards: Iredale 18’, Stephenson 20’, Whitney 31’, Robertson 53’