Perth Glory's dominance at the top of the Foxtel National Youth League ladder continued after a hard fought 2-1 win against Melbourne Victory at Ashfield Sports Club at the weekend.
The youngsters battled against hot and trying conditions but goals from from Todd Norris and Joe Knowles in the first half paved the way for three vital points.
After the break however, Melbourne took the game to Perth and scored early through George Howard and were unlucky not to take at least a point.
In good news for the Glory first team, Sidnei Sciola returned from his injury, playing for 30 minutes off the bench.
Glory Coach John Gibson was happy to get the win but was a little disappointed with his sides’ performance.
“We got a bit sloppy today, but fair play to Victory, they have a young squad and played really well” he said.
“We have to be better than that, but you can’t always dominate games and play good football. We bossed the game in the first half but they came into it in the second, but credit to the lads they put in a good shift in hot conditions, and we're happy with the three points today.”
It was a bright opening with both sides going close. Matt Davies’ long-range shot on the quarter hour was only parried by Lucas Spinella and Knowles’ follow up shot was deflected wide. Moments later Melbourne striker Howard burst clear and was one-on-one with Glory's keeper Jordan Thurtell, but the Glory custodian stood tall to deny the striker.
It was the home side that hit the front on 27 minutes. Riley Woodcock’s shot from the edge of the penalty area crashed off the base of the post, but Norris was on hand to fire home the rebound from six-yards.
Brandon O’Neill tested Spinella again moments later with a long-range shot, before Thurtell came to Glory's rescue again on the half hour, tipping Jordan O’Doherty’s free kick around the post.
But on 34 minutes, Glory doubled its lead. Norris made space down the right, before crossing to Knowles at the back post, who made no mistake from close-range.
Melbourne opened the second half the better and were back in the game on 51 minutes. Some great lead up play ended with a neat one-two in the penalty area, when John Maclean sent Howard clear who drove the ball past Thurtell. The visitors were on top and Maclean’s shot on the hour whistled inches wide of the target.
Glory almost added a third on 68 minutes, but Lucas Spinella produced a superb one-handed save to deny Woodcock. Melbourne had plenty of the possession, but struggled to break down a defence superbly led by skipper Jacob Collard.
"We switched off a little in the second half but I thought we fought the game out well to hang on to the three points" Collard said.
"We kept the ball well and we were in total control before half time but their early goal in the second half gave them some momentum and we had to dig deep in the trying conditions, to keep our spot at the top of the table" he said.
Perth Glory FC travels to Lambert Park to meet Sydney FC on Saturday, December 6.
You can keep up to date by following us on twitter @PerthGloryFC.
Foxtel National Youth League
Perth Glory 2 (Norris 27’, Knowles 34’)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Howard 51’)
Sunday 20th November 2014
Ashfield Sports Club
Referee: Nico Hoyle
Assistants: Tom Dowle and Josh Nixon
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
Perth Glory FC: GK Jordan THURTELL, 2 Matthew DAVIES, 3 Jacob COLLARD, 4 Jack IREDALE (13 Ali GHOLAMI 80’), 5 Jack CLISBY, 6 Mitchell OXBORROW (14 Slobodan VULIN 55’), 7 Riley WOODCOCK, 8 Brandon O’NEILL, 9 Joseph KNOWLES, 10 Cameron EDWARDS, 11 Todd NORRIS (12 Sidnei SCIOLA 60’)
Subs not used: RGK Dylan WILSON
Yellow Cards: Knowles 49’, Clisby 87’
Melbourne Victory: GK Lucas SPINELLA, 3 Milos RIDESIC (2 Damien MISKULIN 66’), 4 Thomas DENG, 5 Dylan MURNANE, 6 Jordan O’DOHERTY, 7 Christopher CRISTALDO (c) (13 Lucas DERRICK 69’), 8 Jordan BROWN, 10 Anthony DUZEL (18 Christian CAVALLO 80’), 11 John MACLEAN, 15 Brendan GONANO, 17 George HOWARD
Subs not used: RGK Fraser MACLAREN
Yellow Cards: Nil