It may only be a pre-season competition, but Perth Glory made a little bit of history in their first ever QBE Night Series game at Dalmatinac Park on Sunday evening. The Glory youngsters, who have been in the local Premier Division for two years, beat 2015 PS4 NPLWA Champions Bayswater City 2-1 in the opening Group A game of the tournament.
The victory was the club's first against the glamour club in local football and they had to come from behind to gain victory. Jack Jones gave City the lead early in the second half, but Hagi Gligor levelled from the penalty spot with 18 minutes remaining. It looked like the points would be shared but Kosta Petratos fired home with five minutes remaining to give the Glory youngsters the full three points.
It was an even game in the first half with clear cut chances few and far between, but the Glory youngsters held their own against the reigning NPLWA champions.
Jamal Reiners had the best chance for Glory, racing clear of the Bayswater defence, but Fraser Greenwood stood tall to deny him.
Greenwood had to be alert again before the break, denying Joe Knowles, whose darting run had taken him clear.
It all changed four minutes into the second half when Bayswater opened the scoring. Former Glory midfielder Todd Howarth’s corner was met by Jones, whose header beat Jerrad Tyson.
Glory applied plenty of attacking pressure after the opener, and on 72 minutes they levelled. Knowles used his pace to burst into the box and was brought down, and Gligor stepped up to convert the resulting penalty kick to level.
It was game on again and the Glory youngsters looked the fresher side, so it wasn’t a surprise when they took the lead on 85 minutes. Some great approach work ended with Petratos, and the teenager finished clinically to score his first goal for the club after signing last month to seal victory.
Glory coach John Gibson was happy with the way his side went about their business against a very good Bayswater team.
“We conceded a sloppy goal early in the second half, but the attitude and self-belief of the group was outstanding,” he said.
“We remain very balanced with the group maintaining their standards and expectations. We understand it’s very early in the season, but overall it was a pleasing performance against a quality side.”
Striker Nikola Talimdzioski praised his team mates after the final whistle.
“We overran them in the end, after missing numerous chances. We were rewarded for the hard work we put in and came away with the well-deserved three points.”
The youngsters are in action again next weekend, when they take on the reigning Night Series winners Floreat Athena at Dalmatinac Park on Saturday evening at 8pm.
Bayswater City – GK Fraser Greenwood, 4 Jamie Coyne, 6 Todd Howarth, 8 Jack Jones, 9 Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, 10 David Heagney, 11 Borbor Sam, 13 Trent Kay (c), 15 Brian Farrell, 17 Jamie Murphy, 20 Sam Mitchinson
Subs: RGK Alessandro Birighitti, 14 Alex Wild, 19 Gilmar Giron, 22 Nathan Costello, 23 Andrija Jukic
Perth Glory: GK Jarrad Tyson (GK), 2 Henry Durr, 3 Jacob Collard (c), 4 Hayden Stevens, 5 Ross Millard, 6 Hagi Gligor, 7 Jamal Reiners, 8 Calvin Whitney, 9 Joe Knowles, 10 Kosta Petratos, 11 Nikola Talimdzioski
Subs: Joel Driscoll (GK), 12 Sam McKearnen, 13 Cal Timmins, 14 Sean Troup, 15 Alex Tanevski