Srhoj stunner secures point

Perth Glory has secured a valuable point against the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium with midfielder Wayne Srhoj striking a stunning free kick to give the West Aussies a share of the spoils.

Perth Glory has secured a valuable point against the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium with midfielder Wayne Srhoj striking a stunning free kick to give the West Aussies a share of the spoils.

In an intriguing battle that saw plenty of end to end action, Perth opened the scoring after 69 minutes and could have had more in the opening half with a shot hitting the bar and several other exciting opportunities being created.

Wellington, staring down the barrel of their first loss in 12 games at Westpac Stadium, managed to find the equaliser through danger man Paul Ifill with eight minutes remaining however Mitchell said he was happy with the performance from his troops against an in-form Phoenix side.

“Certainly I think we had enough chances to win the game, we played well and it was a credit to the boys in the way they performed,” Mitchell said.

“Of course we were disappointed to concede a goal but Wellington has their tails up of late and has scored a lot of goals here in the past few games so I was pleased to see the way we repelled them.

“We-ve hit the bar and had a couple of good chances that we could have capitalised on. We held firm at the back and didn-t make the silly mistakes that have cost us recently so from that point of view it was a step in the right direction.”

The result ending Perth-s three game slide and ensured they remain in finals contention at the half way point of the season.

“The effort the boys put in today and the way we went about the game was great and it showed to me that we-ll make the six,” Mitchell predicted.

Srhoj-s goal the icing on the cake for the central midfielder who worked hard throughout the game to set-up plenty of Perth-s attacking forays. His curling 25 meter effort a joy to watch as it beat the wall and gave the keeper no hope, slamming into the top corner.

“We-ve practised plenty of those at training and it certainly was nice to see one come off,” Mitchell said of Srhoj-s free kick.

“Wayne is a talented player and can produce some special things on the pitch and that was certainly one of them.”

Perth received strong contributions across the park including in central defence where Andy Todd and Chris Coyne were particularly solid. Todd not only doing his bit at the back but also finding his way forward to pinch hit up in attack.

While Perth gave as good as they got, the home side were in a menacing mood in front of goal and Mitchell paid credit to the defensive effort of his side to keep the Phoenix at bay.

“They threw a lot at us, particularly in the final 15 minutes. They managed to get a goal back and then kept on pushing forward. I thought we did very well to keep them out towards the end.

“It-s a hard place to come. There is a five hour time difference (between Perth and Wellington) and it-s not easy to adjust. So to perform as well as we did, for as long as we did, was good.

“I think if we had conceded again it wouldn-t have been the right result after the way we went about it today.

“There were a lot of things to like about our performance but there are also things we have to continue to work on, that-s what we-ll do in the next couple of weeks before our next match at home,” Mitchell said.

Returning striker Branko Jelic was unlucky not to add to his season-s tally after a well weighted cross from Todd Howarth found the Serbian specialist lurking in front of goal but his header went wide. Strike partner Mile Sterjovski also could have had a goal before the break but his volley at full stretch flew over the bar.

However Perth-s best chance of the opening half came off the boot Jacob Burns. With only seconds remaining the Glory skipper was fed an inviting ball at the top of the box and his cracking shot rattled the woodwork much to the relief of a beaten Wellington defence.

Perth will be content to make the long trip back to Western Australia with a point in hand and have a fortnight to recover and prepare for a clash against top of the table Sydney FC at ME Bank Stadium.

Hyundai A-League 2009/10 - Rd 14

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Paul IFILL 82-) Perth Glory 1 (Wayne SRHOJ 69-) Sunday, 8 November 2009 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Referee: Matthew Gillett Assistant referees: Glen Lochrie and Brad Hobson Fourth official: Matthew Conger

Crowd: 6,930

Wellington Phoenix: 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 6. Tim BROWN, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE (7. Leo BERTOS 67-), 11. DANIEL (13. Troy HEARFIELD 76-), 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Costa BARBAROUSES (14. Adrian CACERES 70-)

Substitutes not used: 30.Jonathan GOULD (gk) Yellow cards: Paul IFILL 18-, Vince LIA 35-, Ben SIGMUND 75- Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 11.Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH (13.Scott BULLOCH 79-), 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI

Substitutes not used: 14.Eugene DADI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 23.Andrija JUKIC Yellow cards: Wayne SRHOJ 62-, Jacob BURNS 81- Red cards: Nil