So close for gallant Glory

Perth Glory showed plenty of sizzle in six goal thriller at Members Equity Stadium but was denied the three points they richly deserved following a last gasp goal from returning Newcastle skipper Jade North.

Perth Glory showed plenty of sizzle in six goal thriller at Members Equity Stadium but was denied the three points they richly deserved following a last gasp goal from returning Newcastle skipper Jade North.

The stoppage-time equalizer prevented Perth from toppling the reigning champions in a blockbuster Friday night match played out in front of a healthy 8876 strong crowd.

Glory fought back twice from a goal down before taking the lead in the 81st minute which looked to be the winner but after four minutes of added time North found his way through the Glory defence to deny Perth their first win of the season.

“It took a little bit of time for our boys to gel and get going but they responded to a great crowd and all credit to them in the second half it was such an effort from all the lads and we-re gutted that we didn-t take the three points,” Mitchell said.

Despite the obvious disappointment in the change rooms and in the terraces there was plenty to like about a Glory side that showed poise and creativity throughout the enthralling encounter.

There was a distinct samba atmosphere at Members Equity Stadium and it certainly seemed to inspire Glory-s South American recruits. Encouraged by a colourful and tuneful group of Brazilian drummers, both Amaral and Adrian Trinidad turned in superb displays on their home debuts.

Amaral-s positional sense and range of passing was a joy to behold, while Trinidad thrilled the home fans with his close control, incredible commitment and exemplary work rate.

Trinidad opened his Hyundai A-League account after winning a penalty and concerting from the spot to cancel out an earlier penalty by Jets striker Joel Griffiths. Roared on by The Shed, the Argentinean sent Jets custodian Ante Covic the wrong way to restore parity and swing the momentum Glory-s way.

The home side finished the half on the front foot and were unfortunate not to take the lead on 39 minutes as Dadi forced a reflex save from Covic with a towering header. That was just a taste of things to come from the former Ivory Coast international.

The see-saw match had the visitors in front again just after the break but Glory clawed their way back and just short of the hour-mark Amaral provided the finest cross of the game to pick out an onrushing Dadi who powered an unstoppable header into the roof of the Jets net.

“That was a superb goal, one touch football and something you see at the highest levels around the world. That goal and the match in general was a great advert for the A-League tonight and hopefully the fans saw that and want to see more of what we can offer,” Mitchell said.

The decibel level emanating from around the ground increased significantly when Jamie Harnwell made a welcome return from injury and the adulation continued as Olyroos star Nikita Rukavytsya entered the fray.

The young striker picking up where he left off last season needing just 60 seconds to split the Jets defence with a superb run and then calmly slotting the ball past the oncoming keeper.

That gave Glory the lead for the first time in the match and the home side look set to take all the points before a dramatic equalizer from North just moments shy of the final whistle.

While the home side were left to rue the final few seconds Mitchell and his men can certainly look forward to the season ahead with plenty of confidence and the knowledge they have what it takes to compete against the competition-s best.

“They-re the champions of Australia and a tough side but I truly felt we were the better team out there and deserved to get more than a point from the match. It-s disappointing at conceding so late but we have a good break now and will focus on next week and ensure we give another good account of ourselves,” said Mitchell.

Perth Glory 3 (Trinidad (pen) 36-, Dadi 58-, Rukavytsya 81-) Newcastle Jets 3 (J.Griffiths (pen) 20-, Coyne (og) 49-, North 95-) Members Equity Stadium, Perth

Crowd: 8876 Referee: Craig Zetter

Perth Glory: 20.Frank JURIC (gk), 2.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 4.Jamie COYNE (c), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 9.Adrian TRINIDAD, 10.AMARAL, 11.Scott BULLOCH, 14.Eugene DADI (7.Nick RIZZO 85-), 15.Hayden DOYLE (5.Jamie HARNWELL 67-), 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 21.Mark LEE (13.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA 79-)

Substitutes not used: 1.Jason PETKOVIC (gk) Yellow cards: Dino Djulbic 19- Red cards: nil

Newcastle Jets: 1.Ante COVIC, 2.Adam GRIFFITHS, 3.Jade NORTH, 5.James HOLLAND, 8.Matt THOMPSON, 9.Joel GRIFFITHS, 10.Jin-Hyung SONG, 11.Tarek ELRICH, 12.Jobe WHEELHOUSE (18.Noel SPENCER 69-), 13.Adam D-APUZZO, 23.Edmundo ZURA (7.Kaz PATAFTA 80-)

Substitutes not used: 16.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk) Yellow cards: Adam Griffiths 64-, Jade North 66-,Edmundo Zura 70- Red cards: nil