The PGFC Academy First Team were beaten for only the third this season on Saturday, going down 2-1 to Andy Keogh's Ingelwood United in a hard-fought NPL WA battle at Ashfield Arena.
A tight clash burst into life after half time, with United's Ellis Healing opening the scoring in spectacular fashion eight minutes in. The Glory youngsters then hit back through Daniel Stynes, but Alex Salmon grabbed what proved to be the winner for the visitors on 74 minutes with a composed finish.
With John Gibson away with the club's Under-16s in Singapore, Richard Garcia took control of the side and despite the scoreline, he was pleased with the overall performance.
“I thought the boys played really well," he said. "I thought we dominated at times and had a lot of chances, but just didn’t really finish it off and that was the difference.
“The boys can be proud of themselves. You can see them coming along in leaps and bounds. They are developing really well, so it’s a disappointing result, but with the amount chances we had, we could’ve won the game."
Garcia's sentiments were echoed by Ollie Annis who produced another strong display at left back and remains optimistic that fourth-placed Glory can maintain their position among the leading pack.
“Defeat today was tough to take," he said, "especially after dominating a lot of the game. We came out in the second half and created a lot of chances, but weren’t clinical enough in front of goal and were again beaten by our own mistakes.
“We’ve been playing some great football and it’s clearly seen on the table. We need to keep playing well and staying in that top four. "The group is strong and if we stick together who knows what we can do?”
Both sides created a string of half-chances in the opening period, but neither were able to convert. Yacoub Mustafa's shot was well saved by Alex Dunn early, before Joe Knowles cut inside the box only to see his goalbound effort blocked by a cluster of defenders.
Jake Brimmer then fired over from a free kick, Dunn saved bravely at the feet of the lively Mustafa and Stynes missed the best chance of the half just before the break when he flashed a shot narrowly wide having been picked out by Brimmer on the edge of the box.
The stalemate ended ten minutes into the second half, however, when the visitors hit the front. A long clearance from Dunn fell to Healing and having noticed Jackson Lee a long way off his line, the English midfielder found the net with a superb long-range chip.
It was a bitter blow for Glory, but as they have so often this season, they hit back swiftly. A diagonal pass from Luca Bodnar picked out substitute Jacob Italiano on the left, he played in Stynes and the in-form wideman finished clinically past Dunn.
Glory went close to a second moments later when Chok Dau got to the bye-line and crossed to Knowles, but his shot was saved well by Dunn, before Annis’ shot on the run then hit the side netting.
But despite finding themselves under sustained pressure, it was Inglewood who regained the lead on 74 minutes.
Jason Barrera won possession in the middle of the park and found Brian Woodall, he slipped the ball into the path of Salmon and last season's Golden Boot winner finished with aplomb past Lee.
In the day's other games, meanwhile, the Under-18s fought out a 1-1 draw and the Under 20's ran out impressive 5-1 winners.
Glory return to action on Wednesday evening when they face Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve, with a kick-off time of 7pm.
Perth Glory 1 (Stynes 69’) Inglewood United 2 (Healing 53’, Salmon 74’)
Half time: 0-0
Referee: Tom Glavovic
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luca BODNAR, 3 Walter SCOTT, 4 Sam RIAK (C), 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS (14 Jacob ITALIANO 59’), 7 Yacoub MUSTAFA (12 Chok DAU 59’), 8 Brandon WILSON (15 Henry HORE 76’), 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Jake BRIMMER, 11 Daniel STYNES
Substitutes not used: RGK Nicholas SPECA, 13 Zayd FARAH
Yellow cards: Nil
Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 3 David CYRUS, 6 Miki VUJACIC, 7 Kenny KEOGH (23 Brian WOODALL 67’), 9 Alex SALMON, 11 Ellis HEALING (12 Feisal ZAW 81’), 14 Hanafi GHAZALI (8 Jason BARRERA 61’),15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie MURPHY, 19 Connor BECSI
Substitutes not used: RGK Michael COHEN, 17 Rikki SMITH
Yellow cards: 3. David CYRUS, 7. Kenny KEOGH
Photo courtesy of Fotoenzo