Perth Glory have earned their first three points of the season after a dominant 1-0 performance against Melbourne Heart in front of a bumper crowd of 13,856 vocal fans, creating an atmosphere WA have been longing for. The new nib Stadium offering an impeccable surrounding for football.
Young striker Jamie Maclaren opened his goal scoring account for his new club after repeatedly going close in recent weeks, and his effort was enough to secure victory for Glory who’s attacking forays throughout the game were a joy to watch.
It was the perfect setting for Glory to grab their first win – beautiful weather, new stadium and a chance to show their home fans the true potential of their team, and did they ever.
Perth started the game by dominating the play, controlling the tempo and patiently building attacks. Heart defensively set up well making it hard for Glory to play through them, but Glory chose the right moments to pounce on one side and then continually switch the point of attack to the other side.
The first chance of the game came to Brazilian Sidnei Sciola. After a cross was flicked on to the back post, the fleet-footed winger quickly got the ball from under his feet and rifled a shot from 6 yards out only to see it fiercely cannon off the post.
Heart went close minutes later after Patrick Kisnorbo found himself with a free header from a resulted free kick which glanced just past Vukovic’s goal post.
Glory however looking the better team with brilliant build up play and full backs Scott Jamieson and debutant 18 year old Matthew Davies teaming up with wingers Ryo Nagai and Sidnei Sciola to cause the opposition defenders havoc. Sciola was ever so dangerous, isolating Jason Hoffman and beating him time and again to whip in dangerous crosses.
Jamieson nearly got his reward after a quick corner by Glory found him free at the top of the box, only to curl his right footed effort onto the crossbar leaving Redmayne with no chance.
Maclaren fired Glory into the lead just after the break after a slip from Kisnorbo sent Glory’s young striker one on one with Redmayne. The Heart keeper saved his initial effort brilliantly but Maclaren showed his class to calmly slot the second effort under Redmayne. A goal well deserved after his tireless work rate and contribution to Glory’s team play.
Melbourne Heart had a small period of possession which led to Andrea Migliorini’s long range effort which whistled inches past the post.
Straight up the other end went the Glory and Sidnei who had been causing Heart’s defence problems all day, dazzled his way past two defenders and rocketed a cross-come-shot from a difficult angle which forced Redmayne to punch away his effort.
Maclaren almost got his second goal after beautifully controlling a great through ball from Ryan Edwards, but his left footed drive went agonisingly past the post.
Heart pushed late on for an equaliser. Danny Vukovic who was a spectator most of the game was called into action after acrobatically palming away a powerful strike from David Williams in the 92nd minute.
Coach Alistair Edwards was pleased with the result and stressed the importance of picking up points at home.
“It’s a crucial win for us after two tough away games and it’s really important the way the league is going,” he said.
“It’s very competitive this year, it’s very hard for teams to win away from home and for us to get the home win and send the great fans home happy is an important first up game at nib”
Edwards was also extremely happy for his hard working young striker Jamie Maclaren who scored his first goal for the club.
“He’s sort of following the same pattern as in the preseason, first couple of games he was creating chances and then he got one and went from strength to strength,” said Edwards.
“But I think it’s not only good for him to get a goal on his home debut, but also his contribution to the team is immense, his work rake and everything, so it’s great.
“One of our best young players in the country playing for Perth Glory and getting some good game time to develop for the future.”
Perth Glory played impressive attacking football which will no doubt please fans. The return of Michael Thwaite into defence was also a massive plus for the home side as he was outstanding next to Pantelidis.
The debut of 18 year old youngster Matthew Davies in the right back role was mightily impressive. He looked like he had been playing A-League for years and after Scott Jamieson would have come close to a man of the match performance.
From defence to attack, every single player was immense for Glory – a credit to the coaching staff and players after coming off two tough away trips.
1. Daniel Vukovic (GK), 4. Ryan Edwards, 5. Steve Pantelidis, 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Michael Thwaite, 24. Matthew Davies, 7. Jacob Burns (C), 14. Steven McGarry, 8. Ryo Nagai (17. Chris Harold 75), 16. Sidnei Sciola, 10. Jamie Maclaren (20. Daniel De Silva 71’)
Substitutes not used: 18. Jack Duncan (GK), 3. Brandon O’Neill, 6. Cameron Edwards
Scorers: Maclaren 49’
1. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 3. Robbie Wielaert (C), 7. Iain Ramsay, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 11. Michael Mifsud, 14. Golgol Mebrahtu (23. Mate Dugandzic 74’), 15. David Williams, 16. Aziz Behich (21. Stefan Mauk 85’), 17. Jason Hoffman, 24. Patrick Kisnorbo (6. Patrick Gerhardt 52’), 25. Andrea Migliorini
Substitutes not used: 20. Tando Velaphi (GK), 28. Paulo Retre