Glory youngsters go down in a five goal thriller

Perth Glory Youth has been edged out 2-3 by Melbourne Victory in a thrilling Foxtel National Youth League clash at Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday.

Perth Glory fought back from 0-3 down to almost snatch a point after Mitch Oxborrow fired home from the edge of the box and Stefan Valentini added a second in stoppage time in the first half.

“We were our own worst enemies with all three goals, but the boys know we need to be better than that,” said coach John Gibson.

“But credit to the boys they showed great character to hit back and we could have taken something from the game late, but at this level you can’t give someone a three goal lead and expect to get something out of it.”

Glory had success down the flanks, with defender Henry Durr and Ross Millard as the avenue to attack, and Durr said they were unlucky not to take something from the game. “We fought hard to get back into the game, and we were probably a little unlucky not to get anything out of the game, so we take positives out of the game, but we need to take our chances when we get them,” he said.

"We pressed high in the second half and we pride ourselves on character and attitude coming into matches, and we’ve spoken at training this week about improving our quality, and we have to be better in certain aspects of our game, but there we’re some good signs today.”   

Gibson had the services of Mitch Oxborrow, Hagi Gligor and Jamal Reiners in the starting line-up, but it was the visitors who stunned their hosts with three goals in as many minutes.

Stefan Nigro fired home the first on 18 minutes, before Joey Katebian scored a double; his second was a stunning volley that gave Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell no chance.

It wasn’t the start the Glory youngsters were looking for but they were back in the game on 35 minutes. The victory failed to clear their lines and Oxborrow fired home from the edge of the penalty area.

They reduced the margin again in first half stoppage time.

A mix up between keeper Lucas Spinella and defender Callum Goulding let in Valentini, who made no mistake from six-yards, to end a thrilling first half of football.

Both sides had early chances after the break. Victory striker Katebian went within inches of his hat-trick seven minutes in, but his shot curled the wrong side of the post.

Then second half Glory substitute Joe Knowles shot on the run was well saved by Spinella, low at his near post.

Glory thought they had levelled on the hour, but Valentini’s header was ruled out, with the offside flag raised.

The Victory custodian was keeping his side in the game and he thwarted Knowles again on 75 minutes.

Ross Millard sent the striker down the left, and he cut inside his marker, but his shot on the run was superbly saved by Spinella.

It was a frantic finish to the game and Victory should have wrapped it up in the final minute, but Pierce Waring blazed over from close-range after good approach work from Christian Theoharous.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time Glory almost snatched an equaliser.

Jacob Collard’s free kick deflected into the path of Valentini, and it looked like the striker would score, but the ball bounced away from him and at full stretch he fired wide of the target.

Match Details

Perth Glory 2 (Oxborrow 35’, Valentini 45’)
Melbourne Victory 3 (Nigro 18’, Katebian 20’, 21’)
Sunday 13 December 2015
Ashfield Sports Club
Referee: Tom Dowle
Assistants: Joshua Nixon and Zach Piccicacco

Perth Glory FC: GK Jordan THURTELL, 2 Henry DURR, 3 Jacob COLLARD (C), 4 Aleks SUSNJAR, 5 Ross MILLARD, 6 Mitch OXBORROW (13 Sam MCKEARNEN 46’), 7 Stefan VALENTINI, 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 10 Hagi GLIGOR (14 Cameron TEECE 62’), 11 Jamal REINERS (9 Joe KNOWLES 46’), 12 Calvin WHITNEY

Subs not used: RGK Joel DRISCOLL

Yellow Cards: Valentini 47’, Collard 81’, Durr 83’, Susnjar 90’

Melbourne Victory: GK Lucas SPINELLA, 3 Callum GOULDING, 4 Thomas DENG (13 Cameron MCGILP 4’), 5 Damien MISKULIN, 6 Stefan NIGRO, 7 Pierce WARING, 8 Anthony DUZEL, 9 Joseph KATEBIAN (C), 10 Kieran DOVER, 11 John MACLEAN (16 Christian THEOHAROUS 80’), 15 James XYDIAS

Subs not used: RGK Stephen HATZIKOURTIS, 2 Benjamin CARRIGAN

Yellow Cards: Katebian 44’, Miskulin 60’, Duzel 74’