Ingham strike fires Glory to victory

Glory moved to within a point of the top four as Dane Ingham marked his first start for the club with a superb strike that sealed a 1-0 victory over Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.

Full match highlights

In their first game back since the Hyundai A-League season resumed, Tony Popovic's men dominated for long periods, with Bruno Fornaroli and new skipper Neil Kilkenny very much to the fore and they were unfortunate not to win by more than a single goal.

The victory, Glory's sixth in their last seven meetings with the Mariners, was rarely in doubt once Ingham broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute and the quality of the New Zealander's finish belied the fact that it was his first A-League goal since he found the net, ironically against Glory, in February 2017.

In addition to Ingham's milestone, the game was also notable for Liam Reddy chalking up his 300th A-League appearance,  Gabriel and Kristian Popovic being handed their starting debuts for the club, Vince Lia and Carlo Armiento both making their bows in purple off the bench and Popovic senior overseeing his 50th game A-League game as Glory boss.

And the Head Coach was understandably pleased with the performance and result.

Popa's post-match presser in full

"If you have a look at the game as a whole, I thought we had a lot of opportunities," he said.

"We didn't put them away and credit to Central Coast... they gave it everything they had, but the players stood firm and it was a real sign of character the way they dealt with those last ten minutes.

"We were very happy that we were able to give some players an opportunity today.

"There were a lot of young players out there who did a great job and they were really well supported by our senior players.

"It's a start and obviously we have many games to go, but the adjustments that we made show just how versatile the players are."

The opening exchanges were predictably cagey as both sides eased their way back into competitive action and it wasn't until the 18th minutes that either goal was seriously threatened, Fornaroli turning cleverly just inside the box and firing a low shot narrowly wide of the target.

Fornaroli continued to trouble the home defence as the first-half wore on and tried his luck again just short of the half-hour, this time curling a shot in from the corner of the box which flew over the bar.

Glory were not to be denied moments later, however, Ingham finding a pocket of space after being picked out by Kilkenny on the edge of the box and unleashing a fierce drive which beat Mark Birighitti all ends up on its way into the top corner.

Fornaroli duly continued his personal quest for a goal early in the second half, drawing a sprawling save from Birighitti with a well-struck free-kick before Jacob Melling cleared Ivan Franjic's follow-up effort off the line.

The Mariners responded in kind almost immediately, former Glory man Daniel De Silva forcing Reddy into meaningful action for the first time in the game with a long-range shot.

That effort prompted the first period of pressure that Central Coast had managed to exert and yet it was still the WA side who came closest to scoring, Birighitti foiling Armiento at close-range after the substitute had been played in on goal by another sublime ball from Kilkenny.

The pattern was repeated in the final minutes, with Alex Grant and Juande forced into some alert defending to keep Alen Stajcic's side at bay before a Glory breakaway resulted in substitute James Meredith being denied by another smart stop from Birighitti.

Match Details

Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season

Perth Glory 1 (Ingham 32') Central Coast Mariners 0 

Half-Time: 1-0

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Referee: Alex King

Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick

Assistant Referee 2: Ryan Gallagher

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT,  5.Ivan FRANJIC (8.James MEREDITH 77'), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 13.Osama MALIK, 20.Jake BRIMMER (25.Carlo ARMIENTO 77'), 23.Dane INGHAM, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC (18.Nick D'AGOSTINO 72'), 29.Kristian POPOVIC (22.Vince LIA 61'), 88.Neil KILKENNY (C)

Substitutes not used: 3.Jacob TRATT, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 50.Daniel MARGUSH (gk)

Yellow Cards: Franjic, K.Popovic

Red Cards: None

Central Coast Mariners: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) (C), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY (7.Milan ÐURIĆ 68'), 9.Jordan MURRAY (19.Matt SIMON 68'), 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Daniel DE SILVA (30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ 56'), 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Sam SILVERA (44.Alou KUOL 85'), 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 22.Jacob MELLING (26.Joshua NISBET 56')

Substitutes not used: 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 

Yellow Cards: Stensness

Red Cards: None

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