Grand Final beckons for Glory U18s

Perth Glory Under 18’s have reached the West Australian Top Four Cup Grand Final after a 4-2 win against Subiaco at Inglewood Stadium on Wednesday evening.

But the news wasn’t so good for the Under 20’s who were beaten in a penalty shoot-out by Armadale on Tuesday evening.

With 18’s Coach Callum Salmon away, Dave Butterfield took the youngsters and he said it was good all-round performance.

“The boys again put in a really balanced performance against a well-organised Subiaco side,” he said.

“The work ethic and desire without the ball last night in both halves was a highlight.

"We also were a bit more clinical in front of goal early which took some pressure off us defensively and provided a platform for us to build on.

“We played some really positive attacking football which John Gibson and myself were really pleased with.”

The youngsters made the perfect start and were ahead early, Liam Murray cut in from the right and finished clinically.

It was 2-0 on the quarter hour, when Aiden Edwards was sent in behind the Subiaco defence, and finished with aplomb.

Glory were dominating and just before half time they made it 3-0, Murray losing his marker in the box to score after some brilliant lead up play.

Subiaco lifted after the break and Mathew Clark fired home from close-range on the hour, and ten minutes later they reduced the margin again Harri Patten-Williams heading home from a corner.

Glory custodian Liam Levy then produced a stunning save from Asher Nelson shot and moments later the Glory scored the decisive fourth.

With Subiaco pushing men forward and long ball over the top sent Adam Zimarino clear and he finishes superbly to seal victory, and put them in the Grand Final on Saturday morning against Stirling Lions at Dorrien Gardens.

“Saturday we will again be tested by a good Stirling side,"  Butterfield said.

"But with a bit of luck, clinical finishing and a desire to repeat Wednesday night’s performance hopefully we will make it difficult for them and finish the season on a high,”

“Again as Cal has mentioned throughout, credit to the players for all the hard work that they have put in throughout the season.”

On Tuesday evening the under 20’s found themselves a goal down very early, with Danny Hodgson scoring in the first minute. Moments later, Armadale doubled their advantage as Emmanuel Wordu scored at the back post.

But Glory hit back Ben Johns headed home from a corner, before Johns added his second from the penalty spot after Jaxon Temata was brought down in the penalty area.

Both sides had good chances in the second half, but both keepers were in outstanding form. First Michael Craggs did well to deny Chok Dau, before Stefan King produced a great save in stoppage time to send the game to a penalty shoot-out.

It was a tense affair, but it ended in heartbreak for the Glory, going down 7-6, and coach Bobby Despotovski said it was unfortunate.

“Penalty shoot-out is a lottery, but we had a chance to win but unfortunately we have missed the winning penalty and from that point we are always going to lose,” the club legend said.

“It was devastating for the lads, but good learning curve for them. We’ve had great season, we set out to be in the top four, and we have done that, so anything pass that was bonus for us.

“We are all so proud of the lads for what they have done and achieved this season.”