Glory's golden run continues

Perth Glory’s surge towards a home final continued on Monday night as they again turned on the style to secure a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Gold Coast United.

Perth Glory-s surge towards a home final continued on Monday night as they again turned on the style to secure a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Gold Coast United.

Steven McGarry, Liam Miller and Travis Dodd were the men on target for Ian Ferguson-s side, with the luckless Adama Traore also contributing an own goal as the hosts established a new club record by extending their unbeaten streak to eight games.

In an utterly dominant display, the men in purple also struck the woodwork twice, while at the other end, goalkeeper Danny Vukovic was forced into just one meaningful save over the course of the ninety minutes.

Although the first-half would gradually develop into an unrelenting siege of the Gold Coast goal, however, there was little sign of that in the early exchanges which were keenly-contested and a touch scrappy. Indeed with the combative Jonas Salley very much to the fore in central midfield and Chris Harold and Ben Halloran lively on the break, the Queenslanders initially threatened to cause a boilover.

Once Glory hit their straps, however, those hopes were crushed under wave after wave of pressure as the home side came close to replicating the superb attacking performance they produced in their previous home game against Melbourne Victory.

With Mile Sterjovski and Travis Dodd running riot down the flanks and Steven McGarry again shining in the number ten role, United swiftly found themselves on the ropes with their three-man defence stretched to breaking point.

Jacob Burns struck an upright with a fierce drive and a last-ditch Michael Thwaite block foiled McGarry, but the opener Glory-s pressure warranted duly arrived on 18 minutes. Sterjovski-s corner was flicked on by Steve Pantelidis who had rumbled up from the back for the set-piece and McGarry got above his marker at the far post to nod home his third goal in the last five games and his fourth of the season.

Ante Rozic then flashed a header over the bar and Peter Jungschlager tested Danny Vukovic out from long range as the visitors briefly threatened a comeback, but normal service was resumed as half-time approached as Glory carved out another string of excellent chances.

McGarry and Shane Smeltz were proving a real handful for Gold Coast-s overworked defence and could have put the home side out of sight before the break. Salley went full length to block a goalbound effort from the Scot, while the Kiwi struck the post with a low drive before being denied by a fine sprawling save from United ‘keeper Chris O-Connor having again been played in by Sterjovski.

Half-time

Perth Glory 1-0 Gold Coast United

The respite of half-time proved all too brief for Miron Bleiberg-s side as Glory immediately carried on where they had left off, probing down the flanks through Dodd and Sterjovski and wreaking havoc in the middle where McGarry was irresistible. The seemingly inevitable second goal took only eight minutes to arrive as United failed to clear a teasing cross from Dodd, allowing the onrushing Miller to calmly side-foot his second goal in as many games past the exposed O-Connor.

That goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the visitors and they were back on the canvas again on 67 minutes as Dodd capped a stunning return from injury by adding a third. O-Connor produced a superb one-handed save to keep out another thumping drive from Burns, but from the resulting corner Sterjovski picked out Dodd at the near post and the former Adelaide climbed highest to power a header into the roof of the net.

Chris Harold managed to waste a glorious opportunity to claim a consolation for the visitors with some ten minutes left, firing wide having been sent racing clear by the hard-working Kristian Rees and Glory immediately rubbed salt into the wound as a rapid breakaway culminated in Miller whipping in a dangerous cross which Traore could only nod past his own ‘keeper under pressure from substitute Billy Mehmet.

“We-re going to win the league” was the joyous chant booming out from the Shed at the final whistle and although Ferguson will be keen to keep his charges- feet very much on the ground, on this form they will take some stopping.

Hyundai A-League Week 18 Monday 6th February 2012 Perth Glory: 4 (McGarry 18-, Miller 53-, Dodd 67-, Traore o.g 84-) Gold Coast United : 0 nib Stadium Attendance: 7681

Referee: Alan Milliner

Perth Glory:1.Danny Vukovic (GK), 3.Bas van den Brink, 4.Billy Mehmet, 5.Steve Pantelidis, 7.Jacob Burns (8.Adam Hughes 77-), 9.Shane Smeltz (4.Billy Mehmet 72-), 10.Liam Miller, 13.Travis Dodd, 14.Steven McGarry, 19. Josh Risdon, 21.Mile Sterjovski, 35. Dean Heffernan (27.Andrezinho 85-)

Substitutes not used: 30. Lewis Italiano (GK), Scorers: McGarry 18-, Miller 53-, Dodd 67-, Traore o.g 84- Yellow cards: Pantelidis 31-, Heffernan 58-, Hughes 81-

Gold Coast United: 40.Chris O-Connor (GK), 3.Michael Thwaite (c), 5.Kristian Rees, 13.Ante Rozic, 14.Ben Halloran, 15.Adama Traore, 16.Maceo Rigters, 17.Chris Harold (7.Golgol Mebrahtu 79-), 22.Peter Jungschlager (21.Daniel Severino 46-), 23.Dylan McGowan (2.Josh Brillante 60-), 24.Jonas Salley

Substitutes not used: 30.Brendan White (GK) Yellow cards: Thwaite 55-, Halloran 87-