Walter Scott struck a dramatic late winner for the second time in three weeks as the PGFC Academy First Team came from behind to down Cockburn City 2-1 in Saturday's NPL WA clash at Dalmatinac Park.
The young defender was the hero of the hour against Stirling in Round 9 when he sealed another comeback with a stoppage-time goal and it was a similar close-range finish, this time in the 86th-minute, that decided an entertaining tussle with the high-flying 'Cockerels'.
Former Glory midfielder Cameron Edwards had given the home side the lead early and it looked as if that would be enough to seal the points, only for second-half substitute Henry Hore to level things up with nine minutes to go before Scott struck right at the death.
And for Glory Head Coach John Gibson, the win illustrated just how much his young group has matured this season.
“It’s been a tough week with three games in quick succession," he said, "but this is the norm in football and in saying that,other teams have had five games in 14 days. We are fortunate we have some good depth and rotated our squad today due to workloads and a suspension. But it paid off, particularly in the second half when we dominated possession and overran a good Cockburn side and created good opportunities.
“We were playing a well-coached Cockburn team who were in good form, but the maturity, self-belief and determination this group showed today was great and we’re all super-happy tonight. Credit to Cockburn, Scott Miller had them really well organised and we had to work very hard to break them down. It was a fantastic opportunity for the coaching staff and players to come up with solutions against a resolute opponent. The group had to play for 90-plus minutes and were rewarded for their determination, character and quality.”
Goalscorer Scott, meanwhile, was similarly delighted with both the performance and the result which kept third-placed Glory right in the title hunt.
"Saturday was a great challenge for us," he said. "We were disappointed to go down early after having many chances and a vast percentage of the possession, but we trusted ourselves and followed the game plan.
“They [Cockburn] were very dangerous from set-pieces and in wide areas and we worked hard to defend them. Our substitutes made a great impact again, with Henry equalising which gave us further belief to go on and win. I was really happy to score again and win to keep our good form rolling as we reach the midway part of the season.”
It was Glory who threatened first on a sunny afternoon in the southern suburbs, Chok Dau drawing a fine save from Cockburn 'keeper Luke Radonich. But it was the hosts who hit the front on 15 minutes, Edwards, who made 13 A-League appearances for Glory, side-footing home.
The visitors responded well, however and in the shadows of half time went close to equalising. Michael Domfeh cut the ball back to Daniel Stynes whose shot looked destined for the corner of the net, only for Radonich to produce a stunning save to deny him.
When Jake Brimmer was twice denied by the woodwork after the break, it started to look as though it wouldn't be Glory's day.
However, on 81 minutes, Dau played the ball over the Cockburn back four and Hore raced in to finish past Radonich. And five minutes later, the comeback was completed when Stynes beat his marker and whipped in a cross, Dau’s initial header was saved by Radonich, but Scott was on hand to ram home the winner.
The result completed a clean sweep for our Academy sides on the day, with Jay Gorman bagging four as the in-form Under-18s ran out 5-1 winners and the Under-20s also got up 2-1.
Next on the agenda is a home clash with Subiaco at Ashfield on Saturday.
Cockburn City 1 (Edwards 17’) Perth Glory 2 (Hore 81’, Scott 86’)
Referee: Steven Gregory
Cockburn City: GK Luke RADONICH, 4 Euen GRANT (C), 5 Keiron STALLARD, 6 Reuben TRISTAO, 7 Luccas MELLO, 8 Cameron EDWARDS, 10 David ARAYA (11 Harry O'BRIEN 65’), 15 Daniel SANTICH, 16 Daniel ROBINSON, 17 Jesse LAZZARO, 19 Anthony SKORICH (12 Ryan PRATT 85’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Ryan BARKER, 2 Chris THACKRAY, 9 Julian TELES
Yellow cards: Stallard 63, Skorich 72
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR (15 Riley WARLAND 64’), 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Sam RIAK, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS (13 Henry HORE 64’), 7 Chok DAU, 8 Brandon WILSON, 9 Michael DOMFEH (C) (12 Yacoub MUSTAFA 56’), 10 Jake BRIMMER, 11 Daniel STYNES
Substitutes not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 14 Michael MCDOUGALL
Yellow cards: Nil
Picture courtesy of Fotoenzo