A Chris Harold brace, a Danny De Silva stunner and Andy Keogh's seventh goal of the season capped off a night of brilliance from the boys in the West as Perth Glory FC stormed to their eighth home league win in a row.
The performance matched the Hyundai A-League record as Glory thrashed the Central Coast Mariners 4-1 on Saturday night at home.
Central Coast got the game underway at a picturesque nib Stadium and looked comfortable in possession from the outset.
That dominance in possession nearly paid off in the 22nd minute, when Matt Simon appeared to be through on goal for the Mariners. However, Danny Vukovic was too quick, charging off his line to stop Simon from getting a shot away.
As the game progressed, Perth began to look more dangerous when in possession with Keogh again leading the charge in attack.
And the Irishman again proved the game changer for Glory, with a sublime flick-on into the path of Sidnei Sciola on the left hand side in the 33rd minute.
After wriggling free of Michael Neill, Sciola flashed the ball across the face of the Mariners’ goal which Harold happily buried, marking his first start of the season with his first Hyundai A-League goal since March.
However the enigmatic Keogh wasn’t content with setting up the first goal of the match and quickly began his search for his seventh Hyundai A-League goal. He didn’t have to wait long, when in the 35th minute Mariners’ custodian Liam Reddy scuffed a clearance which fell to the feet of goal scorer Harold.
Harold looked up and was able to pick out Keogh who slotted the ball past a despairing Reddy to make Perth’s lead 2-0.
The Mariners appeared stunned by a rampant Glory and it nearly got worse for Phil Moss’ men when Keogh brilliantly controlled a Richard Garcia cross and volleyed towards goal in the 43rd minute. However Reddy refused to be beaten and made an instinctual save low to his left.
Central Coast came out after the half time break with plenty of work to do and Matt Simon got things moving for the visitors, firing a low shot past Vukovic into the back of the net in the 49th minute.
From there, it was an arm wrestle between the two sides, as both shared periods of possession without being able to fashion many clear cut chances.
However, Glory youngster De Silva didn’t need a clear cut chance, instead opting for the phenomenal in the 71st minute. Harold claimed his second assist of the night when he sent the 17-year-old through on goal but the chance looked gone when a Mariners defender closed him down. Not deterred, De Silva scooped the ball up for himself and let loose a remarkable shot which left Reddy in no man’s land.
But it wasn’t just the men in the attacking half in fine form, as Vukovic pulled off a stunning save from Nick Fitzgerald’s stinging shot in the 74th minute, keeping Glory’s two goal buffer intact.
Five minutes later and Kenny Lowe’s men again plundered the Mariners goal, with Keogh and Harold linking up on the counter to maximum effect.
After some superb hold up work from Keogh, he released Harold down the left who surged past the Mariners defense and into the box. From there he compounded the Mariners misery, brilliantly curling home his second for the night.
With the game seemingly won, a ruthless Glory were only denied a fifth by the post, after super-sub Jamie Maclaren found himself free in the box.
The 4-1 triumph extended Glory’s lead at the top of the table, six points over the second placed Melbourne Victory.
Perth will now head to Victoria to take on Melbourne City on Boxing Day at AAMI Park, while our women will be looking to secure their maiden premiership when they take on Canberra United tomorrow at nib Stadium!
It’s not too late to grab your ticket and witness history!
GOAL SCORERS: Chris HAROLD 33’, 79’, Andy KEOGH 35’, Matthew SIMON 48’, Danny DE SILVA 71’
YELLOW CARDS: Ruben ZADKOVICH 89’
PERTH GLORY FC: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA (20.Daniel DE SILVA 57’), 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c)
SUBS NOT USED: 3.Brandon O'NEILL, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 24. Matthew DAVIES, 30. Jordan THURTELL (GK)
COACH: Kenny LOWE
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS: 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Joshua ROSE, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 10. Anthony CACERES, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (GK), 17 Richard VERNES (9.Mitchell DUKE 54’), 18. Glen TRIFIRO (26.KIM Seung-yong 70’), 19. Matthew SIMON, 21. Michael NEILL (15.Matt SIM 39’)
SUBS NOT USED: 1.Matt NASH (gk), 25.Eddy BOSNAR
COACH: Phil MOSS
Referee: Peter GREEN
Assistant Referee: Matthew CHEESEMAN & Tim MIHEVC
Fourth Official: Adam FIELDING