Perth Glory suffered a 4-2 defeat against Floreat Athena on Tuesday evening, in their week nine PS4 NPLWA catch up game at E&D Litis Stadium.
Nikola Talimdzioski opened the scoring early, but goals to Jon Stynes, Ludovic Boi, Phil Arnold and Chris Saldaris put the home side in control, with Talimdzioski scoring a late consolation goal to cap off the result.
The youngsters missed a number of good chances to get something from the game and Coach John Gibson said their standard of football needed to be better.
“Again we missed some good chances tonight, like we did against Bayswater on Saturday," Gibson said.
"That’s tough, but we also need to defend better as well, so we have to improve in those areas.
“We are going well between the boxes, but the lads know we have to be better. We did have some real good opportunities tonight, but we conceded some soft goals.
"We are constantly addressing these issues and striving to improve them.”
Gibson gave a starting debut to 17-year-old Jack Leech, who was part of a very young side on the park against an experienced Floreat side.
“We gave a first start in the senior side to Leachy [born in] ’99, and we had Yacoub Mustafa and Daniel Stynes, who are both [born in] ’98,” he explained.
“So we do have a very young squad, but our goal as a group is to be better, and like I said we are striving to do that.
“We keep progressing and the message won’t change. We look forward to Saturday’s trip to Cockburn City.”
Leach, who also played in the Glory’s Frenz under 18’s International tournament in Malaysia, said he enjoyed his debut and thought they could have taken something from the game if they were more clinical in front of goal.
“It was a disappointing result, but there were many positives to be taken from the game," the teenager said.
"We created plenty of opportunities, and I thought we really challenged Floreat which is a big positive.
“I loved the experience and the challenge of playing at first team level. The boys were really helpful to me, giving me advice on what to do and where to be.
"I hope I can continue playing, and I will be doing all I can to do so, and help the team out as much as I can.”
Glory made the perfect start and they were ahead on four minutes. Debutant Leach sent Mustafa racing down the right, his shot was rebounded by Jason Saldaris into the path of Talimdzioski, who fired home the opener at the back post.
Talimdzioski then tested Saldaris again with a free kick moment later, but the Floreat custodian pulled off a smart save.
Despite the strong start, Glory were put on the back foot, and the home side hit back with an equaliser ten minutes later. A long throw by Govan wasn’t dealt with by the Glory defence, the ball fell to Jon Stynes who fired home from close-range.
That setback didn’t deter the Glory, and they almost hit the front again on 20 minutes. Gian Albano surged down the right and played the ball through to Joe Knowles, whose shot was well saved by Jason Saldaris.
That miss came back to haunt the Glory youngsters, and three minutes later Floreat hit the front.
A long ball was flicked on by Arnold for Boi to race clear, rounding Jordan Thurtell to roll the ball home for Athena's second.
Missed opportunities continued to hurt the Glory, Daniel Stynes fired straight at Jason Saldaris, before Knowles went one-one with the Floreat custodian, but fired wide.
Floreat pressed late and Kris Gate looked set to score, but a superb last ditch tackle from Dejan Spaseski denied him.
Both sides had early chances after the break. A mistake from Jason Saldaris let in Talimdzioski, but with the goal at his mercy, the striker’s shot crashed off the post.
Moments later Boi sent Jon Stynes in on goal, but Thurtell was out quickly to save at the midfielder’s feet.
With Calvin Whitney bossing the middle of the park, Glory was starting to get on top, but against the run of play Floreat added a third on 66 minutes.
Andrew Scaldaferro cross from the left found the unmarked Arnold, who side footed home.
The home side went close again four minutes later, Jon Stynes’ close-range shot was well blocked by Spaseski, and the follow up shot from Arnorld was well saved by Thurtell.
But two minutes later there was little Thurtell could do when Floreat added their fourth; Boi’s low cross from the right was turned home by Chris Saldaris.
To Glory’s credit they continued to take the game to Floreat and scored a late consolation goal, Talimdzioski heading home Knowles’ free kick, but it was too little too late.
Floreat Athena 4 (Stynes 14’, Boi 23’, Arnold 66’, Saldaris 72’)
Perth Glory 2 (Talimdzioski 4’, 89’)
Tuesday 14 June 2016
Venue: E&D Litis Stadium, Mount Hawthorn
Referee: Alex Novatsis
Assistants: Anthony Walsh and Tas Paraskevas
Floreat Athena : GK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Kyle DOUGLAS (12 Nathan SCULLY 77’), 3 Blair GOVAN, 4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO, 8 Jon STYNES (13 Aaron DELANEY 77’), 10 Kris GATE, 11 Dennis GALAN (16 Zane CASELLA 88’), 14 Ludovic BOI (C), 15 Chris SALDARIS, 17 Dean Evans, 18 Phil ARNOLD
Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 20 Robert GASPER
Yellow Cards: Govan 50’
Perth Glory: GK Jordan THURTELL, 2 Gian ALBANO, 3 Yacoub MUSTAFA, 4 Scott ROBERTSON, 5 Ross MILLARD, 6 Cal WHITNEY, 7 Daniel STYNES, 8 Dejan SPASESKI, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Jack LEACH, 11 Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI
Subs not used: RGK Riley STEPHENSON, 12 Joseph MARINO, 13 Abu DULLEH,14 Chok DAU, 15 Sean TROUP
Yellow Cards: Whitney 39’, Knowles 39’