Perth Glory has suffered its first loss of the PS4 NPL WA season, after going down 1-0 to Floreat Athena at a warm E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday night.
The only goal of the game came from Floreat defender Chris Saldaris midway through the second half, but the performance of Jordan Thurtell stole the show as the keeper made a number of fine saves, and despite pressing late the Glory youngsters couldn’t find an equaliser.
Glory Coach John Gibson was left disappointed after the game and said his side didn’t keep possession well enough.
“We have worked really hard at maintaining, regaining and controlling possession this season, but we turned the ball over frequently” he said.
“It was a super-hot day, and we had hydration strategies in place and coped well in the conditions.”
Defender Jack Iredale said they had their keeper to thank who was in good form in front of goal.
“Jordan kept us in the game as best he could, and he made a number of good saves,” he said.
“Obviously we’re all disappointed with the loss, especially after a good win in the first round.
“I thought we pressed quite well, which forced them into knocking the ball long more often, so we just have to learn to deal with a more physical team especially with our squad being a younger group this season.”
It was a Glory home game, but it was switched to Litis Stadium under lights, due to the extreme heat in the Perth metro area, and the temperature was still in the 30’s at kick off, and a drinks break was taken in both half’s.
Glory was on the front foot early and after a number of half chances they went close to the opener on eight minutes.
A short corner ended with a ball into the penalty area, that Floreat failed to clear, and the ball fell to Jack Iredale, whose goal bound shot was deflected wide.
Floreat lifted and went close on the half hour, after Glory gave away a needless free kick.
Former Perth Glory midfielder Dean Evans’ free kick took a wicked deflection off Jack Leech, but Thurtell got down well to produce a great save low at his post.
Floreat began the second half well and forced a number of corners, which tested Thurtell, but the Glory custodian wasn’t in any mood to be beaten.
They had the ball in the net on the hour mark from another corner, but their celebrations were short lived, with the flag raised for offside.
But seven minutes later Floreat’s pressure was rewarded with the lead.
A corner whipped in by Evans picked out Chris Saldaris, who powered his header past Thurtell.
Glory pressed late looking for the equaliser, but couldn’t break down a tight Floreat defence.
The gloss was somewhat taken off Athena in the dying minutes after Evans received two yellow cards in quick succession and was sent off.
Due to the hot conditions the Perth Glory under 18’s and 20’s game were postponed and will take place at a later date.
This weekend Glory take on newly promoted Joondalup United.
Perth Glory 0
Floreat Athena 1 (Chris Saldaris 67’)
Saturday, February 25, 2017
E&D Litis Stadium
Referee: Stuart Muldoon
Floreat Athena: GK Jason SALDARIS, 3 Clayton ARNEZ (2 Shaun TIMMINS 89’) 6 Jesse FULLER, 8 Jonathan STYNES, 9 Denis GALAN, 10 Kris GATE, 12 Jackson MORGAN, 13 Zelfy NAZARY, 16 Christopher SALDARIS, 17 Dean EVANS (C), 18 Phillip ARNOLD (4 Andrew SCALDAFERRO 58’) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan BARBAS, 5 Bobby WILSON, 20 Joe TWEETS
Yellow Cards: Evans 95’, 96’
Red Cards: Evans 96’
Perth Glory: GK Jordan THURTELL, 2 Walter SCOTT (14 Callum DOBBS 46’), 3 Luca BODNAR, 4 Jack IREDALE, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Sam RIAK, 7 Yacoub MUSTAFA (12 Michael MCDOUGAL 73’) 8 Jack LEECH (13 Callum TIMMINS 64’), 9 Bayley MONTGOMERY-BROWN 10 Daniel STYNES (C), 11 Kosta PETRATOS - Subs not used: RGK Stef KING, 15 Sasa NJEGIC,
Yellow Cards: Bodnar 23’, Thurtell 95
Red Cards: Nil’