Perth Glory missed the opportunity to win its first Foxtel National Youth League title, after they were beaten 2-1 by Brisbane Roar at the Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday morning.
Mitch Oxborrow gave the young guns the perfect start scoring early, and Roar keeper Fraser Chalmers made a number of fine saves to thwart the home side.
But a stunning strike on the half hour by Daniel Bowles levelled the score, and the winner came early in the second half through Devante Clut, and despite dominating for most of the game, the Glory yong guns were unable to come out on top.
From being cellar dwellars dwellers last season to title contenders, coach John Gibson, was only full of praise for his young chargers.
“It was a magnificent season, and we’ve probably already won with what we have achieved, however for us it’s not good enough, being so close, you don’t get many of those opportunities to win the league,” Gibson said.
“Yes it’s disappointing to lose our last home game of the season, but we had our chances, and their keeper was outstanding today. We didn’t make the most of our chances but they did on the day, and that’s football. We have to start being more clinical in the final third, but overall it just wasn’t our day. All the players gave it their all but it wasn’t to be.”
A great performance from midfielder Brandon O’Neill wasn’t enough but he was happy with the endeavour of the players over the season.
“The lads put everything into the game, like they have all season, but we couldn’t get that second goal, and it’s a shame we couldn’t take out the league,” he said.
“Fair play to Brisbane they came here, played a great game and got the win, but we move on. We’ve come a long way from last season and I’m super proud of the boys, they are a good bunch of lads and work hard and it would have been nice to come away as League Champions, but what they have done this season, hats off to them.”
The Glory youngsters have been led all season by skipper Jacob Collard,who was also proud of his teammate's achievements.
“We’re all disappointed, but if someone had said we would finish third on the table at the start of the season we would have taken it,” he said.
“We had our chances and it could have been so different if those first half chances had gone in, but that’s the way it is. We gave it our best today and kept pressing but it wasn’t to be our day. I’m really proud to have led these players; everyone has given it their all, but unfortunately we just fell short. We’re a bit down at the moment, but we will be back bigger and stronger next season.”
Going into the final round there were three teams in contention to win the title, but after news filtered through that Melbourne City had drawn 2-2 against Newcastle Jets, the Glory youngsters knew that a win would earn their first Championship.
Oxborrow’s long-range shot was tipped around the post by Chalmers on 12 minutes, but moments later the midfielder found the target. A short corner caught the Roar napping, and Oxborrow shot from the edge of the penalty area which flew into the corner of the net, much to the pleasure of the home supporters.
Brisbane looked for an instant reply, and when Clut found space in the penalty area on 22 minutes, it looked they would, but Collard got back with a vital last ditch tackle.
Seven minutes later they found the equaliser. Clut played the ball wide to Bowles on the right, whose long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net giving Jack Duncan no chance.
The home side continued to take the game to the Roar and O’Neill’s long-range shot whistled inches past the post, before Joe Knowles’ shot was deflected just wide moments later. The home side was well on top and Chalmers produced a stunning save to deny the Glory on 37 minutes, the Roar custodian superbly pushing around O’Neill’s free kick.
It was end-to-end football with good chances at both ends.
Kofi Danning found space on the right and fed Clut, whose shot flashed over the top, before Shelford Dais played in Clut, one-on-one with Duncan, but the Glory keeper saved low.
Then in stoppage time, Glory went close to regaining the lead. Matthew Davies' cross picked out Jamie Maclaren, whose header was well saved by Chalmers.
Brisbane made a perfect start to the second half and they were ahead three minutes in. A quick break down the right and the ball was played into Danning, who dummied, leaving Clut to fire home from the edge of the penalty area.
Glory looked for a response, and Maclaren shot into the side netting moments later, before the Glory striker tested Chalmers from 12-yards, but again the Roar custodian couldn’t be beaten.
Glory constantly threatened, and on 67 minutes Oxborrow’s free kick picked out Harry O’Brien, whose header beat Chalmers but the post came to the rescue of the Roar. O’Neill then saw his long-range shot clip off the top of the crossbar, and moments later O’Neill's shot whistled inches over the top.
Time ran out and despite a great effort from the whole side it was Brisbane who took the points, and they leap frogged the Glory into second, with Melbourne City crowed 2015 Foxtel National League Champions.
Foxtel National Youth League
Perth Glory Youth 1 (Oxborrow 13’)
Brisbane Roar Youth 2 (Bowles 29’, Clut 48’)
Sunday 1st March 2015
Venue: Ashfield Sports Club, Ashfield
Referee: Nico Hoyle
Assistants: Tom Dowle and Josh Nixon
Fourth Official: Josh Mannella
Perth Glory Youth – GK Jack DUNCAN, 2 Matthew DAVIES, 3 Jacob COLLARD (C), 4 Nathan COSTELLO, 5 Riley WOODCOCK, 6 Mitchell OXBORROW (14 Calvin WHITNEY 77’), 7 Harry O’BRIEN, 8 Brandon O’NEILL9 Joe KNOWLES (12 Slobodan VULIN 66’), 10 Cameron EDWARDS, 11 Jamie MACLAREN (13 Borbor SAM 56’)
Subs: RGK Jordan THURTELL
Yellow Cards: Oxborrow 45+1’, Davies 57’
Brisbane Roar Youth: GK Fraser CHALMERS, 3 Cameron CRESTANI, 5 Matthew SCHMIDT, 6 Luke PAVLOU (7 Benjamin LITFIN 46’), 10 Devante CLUT, 12 Abrahim YANGO (11 Samual SIBATUARA 85’), 14 George LAMBADORIDIS, 17 Daniel BOWLES, 18 Lachlan JACKSON, 19 Shelford DAIS, 20 Kofi DANNING (16 Nicholas D’AGOSTINO 69’)
Subs not Used: RGK Tomislav BILIC
Yellow Cards: Lambadaridis 89’