Perth Glory has ended their 2016 PS4 National Premier League WA campaign with a 1-3 loss to Stirling Lions at the Ashfield Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors led 2-0 at the break with goals from former Glory duo Blamo Qua Qua and David Micevski, while Shane Cassidy added a third just after half time. Calvin Whitney pulled one back with fifteen minutes to play, and they had several chances to reduce the deficit but they couldn’t find the target.
Glory coach John Gibson said it was a disappointing end to the season but he said the group have performed well this campaign.
“Today we conceded three soft goals at critical times of the game and we were punished, but we did create enough chances to take something from the game,” he said.
“But this season the player group have been outstanding, it’s the most points we’ve ever achieved in the competition, and we’ve given opportunities to 35 to 40 players aged 1982-2002, which bodes well for the future of the program at the club.
“We’ve shown some serious improvement with an ever changing roster, and have earnt the respect of the other sides in the league, and the players have worked extremely hard to improve – our goal was to be seriously competitive and we’ve achieved that.
“We have performed strongly the whole season – more so in the last month and the group has been rewarded for their efforts, and they deserve credit and praise for a seriously competitive season.”
Glory winger Daniel Stynes said it was a game they deserved something from.
“It was a very frustrating game, I thought we dominated them in the most part, but the game was won in both boxes,” he explained.
“We made mistakes at the back, and we didn't take our chances - but as a whole we were so competitive again, which has been the story of our season, as a team we've improved massively with the older lads helping all the younger boys come through."
“It has been a successful season on the whole, and our performances will give us confidence going into the Foxtel National Youth League.”
The visitors, who had dropped out of the top four after six games without a win, were out of the blocks early and they were ahead on 12 minutes. Micevski’s ball found Qua Qua, who’s shot beat Nick Feely.
It wasn’t the start the Glory were looking for but they almost levelled five minutes later. Whitney’s free kick picked out Jack Iredale, whose header was just wide of the target.
Moments later Nikola Talimdzioski’s long-range shot had keeper John Perkins scrambling across his line, but his shot drifted just wide of the post.
But against the run of play Stirling doubled their advantage. Former Adelaide United winger Teeboy Kamara raced down the left and cut the ball back to Micevski who made no mistake.
Still the Glory youngster pressed forward and when Ross Millard crossed to Stynes, his shot beat Perkins but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Stirling custodian.
Then in the shadows of half time Perkins came to his sides’ rescue, with a stunning save to deny Kostas Petratos’ curling shot.
The Glory needed a good start to the second half, but Stirling had other ideas and they struck a third four minutes in. Miki Vujacic’s free kick picked out Cassidy who bundled the ball home.
Stirling went close again, Kamara off target, as the Glory left holes at the back as they searched for a goal to get back in the game
That goal came 14 minutes from time, when Whitney finished with aplomb from the edge of the penalty area, after good approach work from Stynes.
The home side were giving it everything and Talimdzioski stung the palms of Perkins six minutes later, but it was too little too late for the Glory youngsters and Stirling eventually ran out 3-1 winners.
Perth Glory 1 (Whitney 76’)
Stirling Lions 3 (Qua Qua 12’, Micevski 33’, Cassidy 49’)
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Referee: Matthew Southern
Assistant referees: Shane Skinner, Jatin Lodhia
Perth Glory: GK Nick FEELY, 2 Jackson MORGAN, 3 Jack IREDALE (13 Gian ABANO 66), 4 Luca BODNAR, 5 Ross MILLARD, 6 Cal WHITNEY (c), 7 Daniel STYNES, 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 9 Kosta PETRATOS (14 Alex TANEVSKI 46), 10 Sam MCKEARNEN (12 Sean TROUP 70), 11 Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI -Subs not used: RGK Riley STEPHENSON, 15 Yacoub MUSTAFA
Stirling Lions: GK John PERKINS, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 4 Blamo QUA QUA (12 Paul DAVID 84) 5 Graham DORAN, 6 Brodie MARTIN, 7 Miki VUJACIC (c) (16 Mathiang MATHIANG 75), 8 David SESAY (3 Dalitso MWALE 90+4), 11 David MICEVSKI, 13 William KESSEL, 15 Shane CASSIDY, 17 Teeboy KAMARA - Subs not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 13 Bleron MAMUDI,