Glory Youth go so close

A second-half brace from Tommy Amphlett wasn't enough to get Perth over the line as the Glory narrowly missed out on claiming the National Youth League minor premiership in a 3-2 loss to Newcastle on Saturday evening.

A second-half brace from Tommy Amphlett wasn't enough to get Perth over the line as the Glory narrowly missed out on claiming the National Youth League minor premiership in a 3-2 loss to Newcastle on Saturday evening.

With Central Coast drawing 0-0 with Sydney earlier in the afternoon, the door was ajar for the second-placed Glory to overtake the Mariners and claim the minor premiership if they defeated the Jets.

But despite starting the game in a positive fashion, a Glory side missing most of its first-choice midfield, fell three goals behind by half-time as Newcastle took advantage of some mistakes in defence.

The hosts responded in style after the break, though, as impressive young striker Amphlett scored twice in the second half, before coming agonisingly close to adding the third during injury time.

The result means the Glory finishes the season in second position on the National Youth League table, one point behind minor premiers Central Coast.

Perth started brightly, producing some good movement through the middle although the Glory couldn't quite penetrate a Newcastle back four that was defending deeply.

The visitors opened the scoring against the run of play in the 17th minute as Fabian Iacovelli's cross picked out Jarrad Ross, the forward driving the ball home.

And it just got worse for the Glory two minutes later as a mis-placed pass from Josh Risdon exposed what had been a solid Perth defence, allowing the feisty Iacovelli to run onto the ball and fire home the second.

Just after the half hour a stunning move by the Glory almost paid dividends as playmaker Hayden Doyle, deputising at centre-back for Steven Hesketh, delivered a long ball to Amphlett on the left, the striker evading the defence to send in a cross for Anthony Skorich to head at goal.

But Skorich didn't quite get enough on his header and the chance went begging, the Jets making the Glory pay further as Howard Fondyke's attempted clearance of an innocuous cross looped over goalkeeper Alex Pearson and into his own net a minute before the break.

In the 67th minute, Pearson did well to get down low and smother the ball in front of the onrushing Ross, the Glory stopper's efforts not going to waste as Amphlett pulled one back just a minute later through a quality long-range strike.

Second-half substitute Sebit Oyet had also looked impressive for Perth down the right flank as he used his pace to expose some tired Newcastle legs, the midfielder playing his hand in the second as the Glory scored again with 15 minutes left.

Oyet's cross was expertly controlled by Mario Marcinko, who teed the ball up for Amphlett to slam home his second from 15 metres.

The Glory were dominating by this stage, but they couldn't turn their possession into a third goal as Marcinko nodded over the bar from a good position in the 83rd minute.

Newcastle came close to adding a fourth two minutes later as Pearson did well to palm away Jesse Pinto's goalbound strike.

But the Glory almost snatched a point deep into injury time as Amphlett got on the end of a Ludovic Boi corner, only to have Jets goalkeeper Robbie Kolak bravely leap over the ball at the striker's feet.

National Youth League 2009/10 - Round 27

Perth Glory 2 (AMPHLETT 68, 75) Newcastle Jets 3 (ROSS 17', IACOVELLI 19', FONDYKE 44OG')

Saturday 6 March, 2010 at Clipsal Stadium, Perth Crowd: 150

Referee: Steven Gregory Assistant Referees: Tim Mihevic, Trent Fleskins Fourth official: Josh Mihevic

Perth Glory Squad: 10. Tommy AMPHLETT, 11. Ludovic BOI, 20. Tim DOYLE (gk), 21. Hayden DOYLE, 6. Howard FONDYKE, 4. Sam MITCHINSON, 1. Alex PEARSON (gk), 2. Ryan PEARSON, 5. Joshua RISDON, 15. Anthony SKORICH (9. Mario MARCINKO 57'), 13. Stephen WALMSLEY (8. Sebit OYET 57'), 7. Hanafi GHAZALI (12. Reece VITTIGLIA 46')

Substitutes not used: Timothy Doyle (gk) Yellow cards: Skorich, Fondyke, Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets Squad:Dylan MURPHY, 5. Scott BALDERSON, 4, Damian BROSQUE (9. Adrian KARAKOLEVSKI 50'), 2. Jon GRIFFITHS, 14. Mario SIMIC (11. James VIRGILI 57'), 13. Fabian IACOVELLI, 10. Jesse PINTO, , 6. Taylor REGAN (c), 12. Jarrad ROSS, 3. Matt SIM, 8. Brodie MOOY, 1 Robbie KOLAK (gk), 20. James FOGARTY

Substitutes not used: Will ANGEL, James FOGARTY Yellow cards: Balderson, Mooy, Ross Red cards: Nil