Murray hat-trick steers Academy Under-20s to Cup glory

The PGFC Academy Under-20s retained their Belt-Up State League Reserves Cup title on Saturday as a Liam Murray hat-trick drove them to a well-deserved 3-1 victory over Cockburn City at Dorrien Gardens.

Richard Garcia’s side dominated the opening period and were good value for their lead at the break which came courtesy of Murray's curling effort on the half-hour mark. 

And although Cockburn City levelled things up ten minutes into the second half through Sebastian Da Silva, Murray duly restored Glory's lead in the 79th minute and then sealed the win and his hat-trick in stoppage-time.

Garcia felt his charges were good value for the victory which they celebrated in some style at the final whistle.

"We made it hard for ourselves today,"he said, "but we took control and created some good chances and I'm pleased for Liam [Murray] who took them.

"We spoke at half time about taking your chances and in the second half we did that and I thought we thoroughly deserved the win."

Hat-trick hero Murray, meanwhile, was understandably thrilled with the outcome from both a team and personal perspective. 

"It’s always good to score goals," he said, "and I’m delighted to have scored a hat-trick, especially in a Cup Final, but the win is great for the club.

"We were determined to go back-to-back in the competition and it’s always nice to get some silverware.

"We hope we can carry on in the league and win that too."

It was Cockburn who went close to the opener after only three minutes, David Dos Santos finding enough room on the edge of the penalty area to get away a shot which beat Nick Speca in the Glory goal, only to strike the post. 

That let-off seemed to stir Glory into life and they started to dictate terms with Jaiden Selden, Jayden Leader and Murray all going close.

Alessandro Circati then saw his header cleared off the line, but Murray was not to be denied moments later, his curling effort giving Ben Radonich in the City goal no chance as it found the top corner.

Further chances fell the way of Murray, Ciaran Bramwell and Circati either side of the break and yet it was Cockburn who were next to find the next, Sebastian Da Silva nipping in ahead of Speca to reach an underhit backpass before firing into an empty net.

Speca was then called into action to deny Jethro Yumange as Joe Pereira's side enjoyed their best period of the game, but Glory also continued to threaten at the other end and eventually found their way through with 11 minutes left.

Selden got away down the right and delivered an inch-perfect cut-back for Murray who swept the ball home and Glory's number ten applied a similarly emphatic finish to make it 3-1 right at the death, this time substitute Sasa Ngejic providing the assist.

Match Details

Perth Glory 3 (Murray 33’, 79’, 90+3’)  Cockburn City 1 (Sebastian Da Silva 55’)

Half time: 1-0

Referee: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Perth Glory: GK Nick SPECA, 2. Christian JANKULOVSKI, 3. Cameron MURRAY, 4. Mason TATAFU, 5. Alessandro CIRCATI (15. Albert FULLARD 59’), 6. Jayden LEADER, 7. Jaiden SELDEN (16. Aiki TSUKAMOTO 89’), 8. Jordan ABRAHAMS, 9. Ciaran BRAMWELL, 10. Liam MURRAY, 11. Charlie LEECH (19. Sasa NGEJIC 59’)

Substitutes not used: RGK Jacob RANGE

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Cockburn City: GK Ben RADONICH, 26. Michael LOWRY (42. Taylor STARKEY 88’), 28. Alessandro BASTO, 29. Julian ANFUSO, 31. Jethro YUMANGE (41. Izaak KOBILANSK 80’), 34. Hudson BLISS, 35. David DOS SANTOS, 36. Dane MEERALLY, 37. Breckan BAKER, 39. Jacob DA SILVA, 40. Sebastian DA SILVA

Substitutes not used: 32 Callan BAKER

Yellow Cards: Meerally 89’

Red Cards: None

#OneGlory

Picture courtesy of Vision Inspired Photography