A Kosta Petratos double at the weekend helped Perth Glory's young guns claim another big scalp in the second last round of the PS4 National Premier League WA season.
With results elsewhere on the day the win made sure the Glory youngsters would avoid relegation and defender Jack Iredale said they deserved it on the day.
“We’re obviously very pleased with a win against a tough side,” he said.
“It was a solid performance from everyone, and I felt like we got the result we deserved. Also it's a big relief to confirm our spot in next year’s NPL, after what has been a tough campaign.”
Iredale, who returned mid-season from a third knee injury, said the Glory has proved it’s not to be underestimated.
“We've definitely competed better this season against the other teams”.
“We've always been technically good enough to play in the league but at times previously our physicality had let us down, but this year hasn't been the case,” he said.
The victory was Glory's first back-to-back win of the season, and Coach John Gibson said the group deserved credit and praise.
“It was a hard fought game today, against a physical Balcatta side on a tricky pitch, but it showed how far the group has come over the journey so far,” he said.
Glory was on the front foot early and Jamal Reiners’ curling shot from the edge of the penalty area on nine minutes, whistled over the crossbar.
Balcatta hit back moments later and young striker Scott Newland was given far too much space in the area, but couldn’t find the target from close-range.
Daniel Stynes was causing problems for the Balcatta defence, and on 20 minutes his deflected shot was well saved by the alert Clint Davies.
Moments later Reiners was sent one-on-one with the Balcatta custodian, but Davies stood tall to deny him.
Then on 28 minutes the Glory hit the front, when Nikola Talimdzioski was brought down in the penalty area and referee Josh Mannella pointed straight to the spot.
Petratos stepped up and sent Davies the wrong way to give the Glory the lead.
Davies was keeping his side in the game, as Glory looked to add to their lead.
First on 39 minutes Jackson Morgan played Petratos in on goal, but his shot was well saved by the keeper, before he saved well to deny Talimdzioski moments later.
The Glory had a perfect start to the second half when they were awarded another penalty, when Davies brought down Talimdzioski.
But the keeper made up for his mistake saving Petratos’ spot kick.
It was one-way traffic as the Glory went in search of a second.
Stynes raced clear down the left, before squaring the ball to Talimdzioski, but Davies saved well to deny the young striker.
Talimdzioski was giving the Balcatta defence the run around, as he went close again on the hour, but his shot was saved by Davies, and moments later the Balcatta custodian saved superbly to deny him again.
But with Balcatta pushing men forward looking for the equaliser, Glory caught them on a counter attack in the final minute, and Petratos finished clinically from the edge of the penalty area to seal the points.
The team will head into next week’s game at home to Stirling Lions looking to end the season on a high.
“Our focus is to continue to have the right attitude and mentality - next week against Stirling is a new challenge, we looking forward to every opportunity to play 90minutes and be the best we can,” Gibson said.
It will also be a day of reckoning for the club's U18s outfit coached by Glory’s Community and Development Manager Callum Salmon.
A win for the cubs will secure the premiership and give the club its third piece of silverware for the year following the U12s and U16s Cup final wins last weekend.
Perth Glory 2 (Petratos 28’ pen, 90’)
Saturday August 20, 2016
Grindleford Reserve, Balcatta
Referee: Josh Mannella
Assistants: Troy Malatesta and Oliver Allen
Balcatta: GK Clint DAVIES, 2 Hanafi GHAZALI, 4. Alexsander SULESKI, 5 Conor KAVANAGH, 6 Jonathan CORNESS, 10 Zefy NAZARY, 11 Feisal ZAW (3 Kieron STALLARD 84’), 12 Eamon MCNELIS (7 James SAMMUT 64’), 17 Kieran COLWELL, 19 Alan CARROLL, 22 Scott NEWLAND (14 James GORDON 64’) - Subs not used: RGK Kyle MCDONALD, 15 Kyle JACKSON – Yellow Cards: Nil
Perth Glory: GK Riley STEPHENSON, 2 Aryn WILLIAMS, 3 Jack IREDALE, 4. Jackson MORGAN, 5 Ross MILLARD, 6 Cal WHITNEY 7 Daniel STYNES (13 Dejan SPASESKI 91’), 8 Brandon WILSON (12 Mitch OXBORROW 59’), 9 Kosta PETRATOS, 10. Jamal REINERS (16 Sam MCKEARNEN 70’), 11 Nikola TALIMDZIOSKI - Subs not used: RGK Stef KING, 15 Luke BODNAR – Yellow Cards: Wilson 38’