GCU shows class

Goals from Shane Smeltz and Charlie Miller gave Gold Coast United fans some festive cheer, as Miron Bleiberg's charges produced a convincing 2-0 win over Perth Glory at Skilled Park on Sunday night.

Goals from Shane Smeltz and Charlie Miller gave Gold Coast United fans some festive cheer, as Miron Bleiberg's charges produced a convincing 2-0 win over Perth Glory at Skilled Park on Sunday night.

Gold Coast got off to a flyer when Smeltz gave the men in yellow the lead two-minutes in. The Hyundai A-league's top goalscorer has now notched up an impressive 15 goals in 12 matches, equalling Archie Thompson's record scoring run of 2006/07.

Making his home debut, Miller capped off the win in the 75th minute, slotting home his first goal in United colours, the Scot thoroughly deserving of the goal after working tirelessly from the first whistle.

United was given a defensive boost shortly before kick-off with a late change to its starting line-up. First choice left-back Adama Traore was deemed fit to start over Anderson, the Ivorian rewarded for his impressive last match with the youth team, after recovering from a serious knee injury.

Looking to repeat Round 11's home win over Perth, Smetlz's early goal came courtesy of Miller, who put in a deft chip towards the All White who chested down and struck a first-time volley which left Glory keeper Tando Velaphi with no chance.

United captain Jason Culina then flashed wide ten minutes later, his effort followed shortly by Perth's Victor Sikora, who saw his side's first chance at goal spray off to the left.

With both sides enjoying an open match, Miller almost caught Velaphi napping, attempting an ambitious shot from 30 yards, while Sikora's headed effort in the 23rd minute landed into the grateful hands of Gold Coast keeper Jess Vanstrattan.

The United custodian was then called into action in the 37th minute after Perth was awarded a free-kick just outside the area. Glory captain Jacob Burns was almost certain that his deflected free kick was headed into the top right-hand corner, however Vanstrattan dived to produce a top-shelf save, turning it around the post.

With Gold Coast struggling to clear from the resulting corner, Steve Pantelidis was then yellow carded for a stretching tackle on Scott Neville, the resulting free-kick failing to eventuate.

Deep into first-half stoppage time, United then came close when Traore, finding himself unusually up front, flashed a left-foot just wide of Velaphi's upright.

Returning from the interval, United looked to extend its lead further when Culina tried to out-do Miller's first-half attempt from long range.

The Socceroo launched a 52-metre chip that sailed over a back-pedalling Velaphi and into the cross-bar, the Glory breathing a sigh of relief as the ball bounced back out into play.

Continuing to press Perth, Gold Coast was rewarded when Miller secured United's lead 15 minutes from time. After being played into the area by Smeltz, the former Rangers star displayed class and composure to fire a right-foot drive past the advancing Velpahi.

Securing the points and setting up next week's Boxing Day showdown with Brisbane perfectly, the win keeps United in check with league leaders Melbourne and moves it to within two points of second placed Sydney.

After the match United coach Miron Bleiberg was pleased with his side's effort, however he thought the match was a lot harder than it appeared from the stands.

"Funny enough, it wasn't as easy as it looked, it was a good old game where you have a tactical battle," he said.

"But we did what we had to do, lucky for us we scored early and they (Perth) were on the back foot."

"When you have Jason (Culina) and Charles (Miller), it makes things a lot easier, we are looking forward to the future and today reflected why we brought Charlie to the club."

With his side failing to win in four games, Perth coach David Mitchell contributed a lack of confidence to the loss and said he was hoping the Glory could turn things around once they returned home.

"We conceded an early goal and it put us on the back foot, we just didn't have the key to unlock their (Gold Coast United-s) defence and score," he said.

"I think we created chances but couldn't capitalise. I think as a team we have lost a little bit of confidence but a good performance against Newcastle will rectify that."

Gold Coast United - 2 (Smeltz 2', Miller 75') Perth Glory - 0 Crowd - 4,310 @ Skilled Park

Gold Coast United - 2 (Smeltz 2', Miller 75') Perth Glory - 0 Crowd - 4,310 @ Skilled Park