Perth Glory secured its third victory of the season after a hard fought 1-0 win against Sorrento in week 15 of the PS4NPLWA at Percy Doyle Reserve.
Skipper Joe Knowles scored the only goal of the game early in the second half, but it was a great defensive display from the Glory youngsters, with keeper Nick Feely the hero, making a number of fine saves to deny the Gulls on his first game for the club since his return.
Knowles said it was a great win and nice to send assistant Coach Ruben Zadkovich (back to Newcastle) off with a win.
“I thought the boys dug deep and defended well the whole game, and we also had plenty of opportunities and got the goal we deserved,” he said.
“It was the perfect send off for Ruben, who along with Gibbo (John GIbson) has put a lot of hard work and time into making us better players, so it was a great win for all concerned.”
Gibson was full of praise for his players, after withstanding a determined Sorrento side late in the game.
“The group showed a great deal of character today and stayed strong against a tough Sorrento team, and late in the game we needed to scrap, scramble and defended well,” he said.
“The win is long overdue and definitely something the group has deserved after consistently performing well over the course of the season and not being rewarded.
“We are delighted for group and it's important in this performance phase to understand the concept of game management - something we are working hard at.”
The coach had a special word for new keeper Feely, who he said was outstanding. “Nick pulled off two unbelievable saves but everyone played their part, we attacked and defended as a group,” he said.
“Jackson Morgan cleared one off the line and Joey finished off his goal clinically, but all in all the group worked hard, displayed fantastic character and resilience, and we’re all super pleased for them that they were rewarded with a win. The other nice bonus was that we kept a clean sheet.
“Sorrento are always dangerous from set-pieces and we had to work extremely hard to match and cope with balls into the box, but I thought we defended well as a group.”
The Glory youngsters were out of the blocks early and Jackson Morgan curling shot was well saved by Sorrento keeper James Morgan.
Then on the quarter hour Gian Albano raced forward, and wasn’t closed down, his curling shot was heading for the top corner but James Morgan produced a fingertip save to deny him.
Glory was well on top, but Sorrento hit back and should have hit the front on the half hour.
Gulls midfielder Alex Morgan found space in the penalty area, but with the goal at his mercy he fired over the top.
It was a perfect start to the second half for the Glory and they hit the front seven minutes in.
A ball over the top from Jack Iredale sent Knowles clear and the striker fired home superbly from the edge of the penalty area.
Sorrento should have levelled moments later, Sean Canham wasn’t picked up in the box, but the striker headed over from six-yards.
The home side pressed for the equaliser, and just after the hour Jordon Dodd raced clear but as the midfielder was about to pull the trigger Ross Millard got back with a last gasp tackle.
Sorrento pressed and Feely denied Alex Morgan again on 72 minutes, before Jackson Morgan cleared the ball from his own line moments later.
Then Feely saved superbly to thwart Canham’s volley eight minutes later, as the Glory back four were worked overtime to keep the Gulls at bay.
Sorrento threw everything at the Glory late on, but they couldn’t find a way past a solid defence and the young guns hung on to a valuable three points.
Perth Glory 1 (Knowles 52 mins)
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Venue: Percy Doyle Reserve
Referee: Steven Gregory
Assistant referees: Daniel Cole, Andre Ferreira
Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 7 Alex MORGAN, 9 Sean CANHAM, 11 Tim HILL, 13 Steven MCDONALD (c), 14 Matthew SPARROW, 16 Niccolo SABATTINI (5 Billy QUINNCROFT 76), 18 Jordan BROWN, 20 Brad MCDONALD, 25 Joshua TUCKER (6 Daryl PLATTEN 80), 27 Brodie KENNEDY (21 Jordan DODD 59)
Subs not used: RGK Sam HERBISON, 29 Razack GELOO
Yellow cards: Tucker 25’, Alex Morgan 70’, Sabatini 72’
Perth Glory: GK Nicholas FEELY, 2 Gian ALBANO, 3 Jack IREDALE, 4 Jackson MORGAN, 5 Ross MILLARD, 6 Calvin WHITNEY, 7 Yacoub MUSTAFA, 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 9 Joseph KNOWLES (c), 10 Daniel STYNES (15 Sam McKearnen 68), 11 Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI
Subs not used: RGK Riley STEPHENSON, 12 Sean TROUP, 13 Choc DAU, 14 Ben JOHNS
Yellow cards: Talimdzioski 82’
Red cards: nil