Salmon and Popovic steer youngsters home

The PGFC Academy First Team maintained second spot on the Football West NPL table courtesy of a 2-0 win against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon.

The youngsters soaked up some concerted early pressure before Luke Salmon opened the scoring mid-way through the first half and Gabriel Popovic then secured the points by adding the second goal just after the hour-mark.

Unfortunately there was a sour note late in the game when defender Daniel Walsh was shown a second yellow card and sent off, but Head Coach Richard Garcia was generally pleased with his charges' attitude.

"We weren’t at our best today, but we took our chances and they didn’t," he said.

"Things didn’t go the way we wanted at times, but credit to the lads, they stuck to the game plan and although we didn’t play the way we know we can, we leave with the three points.

"This group are improving with each game. We showed last week we can come from behind to earn a point and today we battled hard and dug in and secured the three points when under-performing, which is pleasing.

"We still have room for improvement and the players know that, but their enthusiasm and hard work is something we are delighted with."

Glory opened brightly and went close after only five minutes, some patient build-up culminating in Walter Scott getting away down the left and shooting just wide.

But Stirling, who were bottom of the league at the start of play, went close themselves five minutes later as Noah Shamaki’s shot on the turn was blocked by Jackson Lee.

The Lions striker was in again on 15 minutes, but he failed to find the target and moments later Sean McManus was also unable to trouble Lee after being sent through on goal.

Following those let-offs, Glory lifted the tempo and after Daniel Stynes had been denied by home 'keeper Ryan Montgomery, they hit the front when Kristian Popovic slid the ball to Salmon on the right side of the penalty area and his shot was adjudged to have crossed the line after crashing down off the underside of the bar.

Dhhor Chol’s free kick was then saved by Lee at the second attempt as the hosts began the second half brightly and half-time substitute Daniel Walsh was also forced into a superb last-ditch tackle to foil Shamaki.

On 67 minutes, however, Garcia's side struck at the other end as Salmon turned provider, crossing for Popovic who applied the close-range finish.

Walsh's  subsequent dismissal for a foul on Tom Glavovic with five minutes left set up a tense finale, but Glory held firm to record their third win of the campaign.

In the day's other games against Stirling, meanwhile,  the Under 18s drew 4-4, while the Under 20s maintained their top spot on the table after a 5-1 win.  

Match Details

Stirling Lions 0 Perth Glory 2 (Salmon 32’, Gabriel Popovic 67’)

Half time: 0-1

Referee: Tom Glavovic

Assistants: Stephen Knight, Liam Barclay 

Stirling Lions: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY, 2 Darren O’RIORDAN, 4 Alex SULESKI, 5 Chris MCLAUGHLIN, 6 Dhhor CHOL, 7 Finn GRAHAM, 8 Dean CUMMINGS, 9 Noah SHAMAKI, 10 Sean MCMANUS, 11 Kristian DESPOTOVSKI, 14 Michael GAMA

Substitutes: RGK Daniel MARQUES, 2 Filip MILIC, 12 Andrew MARANTA, 15 Ben WANTEE, 16 Joseph PERKINS

Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Zayd FARAH, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Jacob MUIR, 5 Nick WALSH, 6 Kristian POPOVIC, 7 Ethan BROOKS, 8 Henry HORE, 9 Luke SALMON, 10 Daniel STYNES, 11 Gabriel POPOVIC

Substitutes: RGK Nicolas SPECA, 12 Daniel WALSH, 14 Ciran BRAMWELL, 16 Gomo DUKULY, 17 Jack LEECH

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