Defence set up Glory win

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell has credited a steely defensive performance from his undermanned back four as the key to his side's best start to a Hyundai A-League season.

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell has credited a steely defensive performance from his undermanned back four as the key to his side's best start to a Hyundai A-League season.

For the second week in a row the Glory kept a clean sheet, coming away with a scrappy but convincing 1-0 win over Newcastle through a fortunate Branko Jelic goal on the stroke of half-time.

The victory may prove costly, though, as former Qantas Socceroo Mile Sterjovski rolled his ankle and could miss the next three matches, while veteran Jamie Harnwell injured his calf late in the game.

Despite the injuries, the notoriously slow-starting Perth have now won two of their first three matches to sit on top of the league table, and they've done so with without key defenders Andy Todd and Josh Mitchell.

Instead, it's been Harnwell and Jamie Coyne who have stepped up, the veteran pair producing gritty performances in central defence that have kept Melbourne Victory and now Newcastle goalless, after the Glory conceded three to North Queensland in the opening round.

"I'm just happy the way we kept a clean sheet and now we've got three points," said Mitchell after the game.

"Like, we didn't play as well as we'd like, but we created chances to win the game."

"I think last week in Melbourne, we were very steely and kept a clean sheet and to keep a clean sheet there, well we've got to be able to do it at home."

Although both sides gave away possession too easily during the first half as some pre-match rain made conditions greasy, the Glory dominated the game after taking the lead through Jelic.

In one of the few moments of real quality in the first half, Adriano Pellegrino drove in a cross from the right that Todd Howarth met with a sizzling volley, forcing Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy into a superb reaction save.

But Kennedy could only punch his clearance straight at Jelic, the ball appearing to strike the Serbian import's shoulder before rebounding back into goal.

"I think it was a bit lacklustre, (the) first half," admitted Mitchell.

"We took too many touches, I gave Toddy a bit of a serve at half-time as well," he joked to Todd Howarth, who was sitting beside him in the press conference.

"But the best thing he (Howarth) did in the first half was run and make the goal."

"You know he busted his arse to get on the end of it and it was a great volley on target, made the 'keeper make a save and who's there to put it in, was Branko so that was great."

From there, the Glory should have extended the lead as Robbie Fowler saw a powerful header strike the crossbar in the 47th minute before Jelic scooped a good chance over the bar just after the hour.

The missed chances left the door open for Newcastle to make a late charge, but when Jeremy Brockie dragged his shot wide of the upright in the 88th minute, any chance of the Glory conceding another late equaliser evaporated.

"While it was 1-0, the (Newcastle) boys got a chance to sneak a late goal," Mitchell said.

"Just going on past games, we've lost late goals, so it was a bit nerve wracking."

"But credit to the boys, they've dug in," he said.