Perth Glory THUMP the Jets

A brace from Travis Dodd and a Shane Smeltz penalty powered Perth Glory to a convincing 3-0 victory over Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium on Friday night, the result rocketing Ian Ferguson's side back into the top four.

A brace from Travis Dodd and a Shane Smeltz penalty powered Perth Glory to a convincing 3-0 victory over Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium on Friday night, the result rocketing Ian Ferguson's side back into the top four.

But while Dodd will inevitably grab most of the headlines courtesy of his double, Glory's victory also owed much to some fine goalkeeping from Danny Vukovic, a sparkling midfield display from the returning Liam Miller and Steven McGarry's livewire performance just behind lone striker Smeltz.

Neither side were quite at their flowing best in a hard-fought arm-wrestle of a first-half, although there was nothing below par about respective goalkeepers Vukovic and Matthew Nash who produced two top-quality saves apiece.

Glory's number one did superbly to block James Virgili's shot with his legs after the young winger had been sent clear on goal by Adam Taggart and repeated the trick on 23 minutes, racing smartly off his line to foil Emile Heskey as the former England man prepared to pull the trigger from the edge of the box.

Nash, meanwhile, went full length to keep out a header from Michael Thwaite after the central defender had risen highest to meet a Scott Jamieson free-kick and shortly before the break, bravely denied Shane Smeltz who had been taken advantage of a slip from Tiago Calvano to latch onto a through ball from Josh Risdon and race in on goal.

The Kiwi striker was left with his head in his hands as he rued that uncharacteristic miss, but he was all smiles eight minutes later when Dodd put the home side in front.

Young Jets midfielder Mitchell Oxborrow disastrously coughed up possession on the edge of his own box and Dodd took full advantage.

Calmly side-stepping a despairing challenge from his former Glory team-mate Josh Mitchell, the 32-year-old drew Nash off his line before calmly slipping the ball past him to claim his second goal of the season.

Having finished the first-half on the front foot, Glory started the second in a similar vein and although Nash produced a fine save on 48 minutes to keep out a fizzing drive from Jacob Burns, the Ferguson's men doubled their advantage from the resulting corner.

Scott Jamieson took it quickly, denying the Jets defence time to set itself, Liam Miller bent in the cross and Dodd did the rest, his glancing close-range header leaving Nash helpless.

Two goals down at a ground where they have tasted victory only once in eleven visits and reeling from a week of off-field turmoil, the Jets could have been forgiven for crumbling.

But instead, Gary van Egmond's side launched a spirited comeback, coming close to halving the deficit just short of the hour-mark when the lively Virgil teed up Ryan Griffiths only for Vukovic to block his low shot from the edge of the box.

It therefore seemed a little harsh on the men from the Hunter when it was Glory who claimed the game's next goal and the controversial circumstances in which it arrived wouldn't have helped van Egmond's mood.

Mitchell appeared to get plenty of the ball when challenging Smeltz just inside the box, but referee Ben Williams deemed it worthy of a penalty and the league's record goalscorer crashed the spot-kick home in emphatic fashion to send the Shed into raptures.

As if to rub salt into the wound, Heskey then had a header cleared off the line by Risdon within seconds of the re-start and Vukovic kept out a late strike from Dominik Ritter to preserve the home side's clean sheet and send them into next Friday's clash with Brisbane in buoyant mood.