Perth Glory Youth have moved to the top of the Foxtel National Youth League table after Chris Harold scored a late goal to secure a 2-1 win against Central Coast Mariners in Tuggerah.
A first half strike from Slobodan Vulin had given the youngsters the lead at the break before Sam Perre levelled for the Mariners four minutes into the second half. But Harold, who started on the bench after recovering from injury, won it. The Glory ended the game with ten men when Vulin was sent off for a second yellow card.
Glory Coach John Gibson was full of praise for his side and happy for Harold. “We defended very well today, and hit them on the counter attack. We showed an awful lot of character and put in a lot of hard work, and it’s good to do so well away from home,” he said. “It was a great to see Chris back. He got a good 25 minutes under his belt today, and got the goal that gave us all three points.”
The home side was on top early and Anthony Kalik forced a good save from Jack Duncan, before Jake McGing header's flashed wide of the target. Joe Knowles and Borbor Sam were constant threats for the Mariners defence but it was still the home side that were creating the better chances.
On 38 minutes Matt Simon's shot crashed off the post before Kalik fired the rebound over the top. But on the stroke of half time, Glory made the break through. Vulin firied home from close-range, giving keeper Nicholas Sorras no chance, after the Mariners failed to clear their line.
The Mariners, who were looking for their first win of the season, started the second half well and half time substitute Josh Bingham saw his header crash off the crossbar early, and on 49 minutes they levelled. Perre was picked out with a great ball in from the left; the youngster lost his marker before finishing low past Duncan.
It looked like the points would be shared but on 75 minutes the Glory won it. Harold, who had only been on the pitch for seven minutes, spotted the keeper slightly off his line and his exquisite lob beat Sorras to give them the lead. The game ended on a sour note when Vulin was sent off for a second yellow card, but the ten men hung on for all three points moving them to the top of the table on goal difference from Western Sydney Wanderers.
Perth will host the Wanderers next week at Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday November 16 at 11am.
Central Coast Mariners Youth 1 (Perre 49’)
Perth Glory Youth 2 (Vulin 45+2’, Harold 75’)
Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah
Referee: Trent Nash
Central Coast Mariners Youth: GK Nicholas SORRAS, 3 Lewis BEUMIE, 4 Brian JAMBA, 5 Nic PETRILLO, 6 Jake MCGING (C), 7 Anthony KALIK, 10 Jesse CURRAN (14 Yianni SPYRAKIS 61’), 11 Tom SLATER, 13 Sam PERRE (8 Lachlan HUGHES 83’), 16 Matt SIMON (9 Josh BINGHAM 45’), 17 Zac CAIRNCROSS
Substitutes not used: RGK Adam PEARCE Yellow cards: Petrillo, Kalik
Red cards: Nil
Perth Glory Youth: GK Jack DUNCAN, 2 Ali GHOLAMI, 3 Jacob COLLARD (C), 4 Jack IREDALE (14 Nathan COSTELLO 70’), 5 Riley WOODCOCK, 7 Matthew NTOUMENOPOULOS, 7 Calvin WHITNEY, 8 Slobodan VULIN, 9 Joseph KNOWLES, 10 Borbor SAM, 11 Todd NORRIS (12 Chris HAROLD 68’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Jordan FRANKEN, 13 Rocco PIZZATA,
Yellow cards: Whitney, Vulin (x2), Knowles
Red cards: Vulin