Glory continue hot start

Perth Glory have maintained their winning run to start the new season, claiming their third victory in as many games through a hard-fought 1-0 result over Wellington at nib Stadium on Sunday.

Perth Glory have maintained their winning run to start the new season, claiming their third victory in as many games through a hard-fought 1-0 result over Wellington at nib Stadium on Sunday.

Although Wellington probably had the better of the possession, the Phoenix struggled to create many meaningful chances in the absence of suspended vice-captain Tim Brown and injured striker Paul Ifill.

Perth, meanwhile, have the ability to fashion goals from nothing and they did so again in this encounter as Shane Smeltz volleyed home from close range in the 33rd minute for his 52nd Hyundai A-League goal.

Smeltz is now just one goal behind Melbourne Victory's Archie Thompson in terms of most goals scored in this competition, with the striker having the opportunity to level that race up when the Glory travel to Gosford to play Central Coast next Saturday.

Brisbane Roar and Perth are now the only two sides to have a perfect record so far this season, the two teams sitting first and second on the table respectively.

Despite the travel, the time difference and the fact the All Blacks were playing their World Cup final at the same time, the New Zealand side opened with intent, showing just why they were also unbeaten heading into this encounter.

In the sixth minute, a good run from Andrew Durante down the left flank ended with the Phoenix skipper lofting in a cross that Chris Greenacre nodded fractionally over the bar before Dani Sanchez shot marginally high three minutes later.

As they had last week against Melbourne Heart, Perth were content to concede possession during the initial stages, their best early chance coming when Bas van den Brink nodded a corner across the face of goal, with no Glory players on hand to get their heads to it.

Smeltz then fluffed his lines in the 27th minute with a goal there for the taking. Billy Mehmet had done well to make space on the right before squaring to the former Phoenix and Gold Coast man, but Smeltz mis-timed his strike and sent the ball well wide.

On the half hour, Glory stopper Danny Vukovic was momentarily troubled by a bouncing shot from Daniel that he tipped over the bar, but despite Wellington having the better of the play they found themselves behind just three minutes later.

A somewhat innocuous challenge from Daniel on Liam Miller gave Jacob Burns the chance to loft in a precise free kick that van den Brink nodded forward for Smeltz to strike home on the volley.

The goal seemed to lift Perth, with the Glory enjoying the better of the latter stages and were it not for Ben Sigmund's efforts they may have doubled the lead during added time as the Phoenix defender nodded an Andrezinho cross clear just in front of a charging Mehmet.

The Phoenix came out from the sheds determined to assert themselves in the second half as they once again took control of possession.

In the 54th minute they came within millimetres of equalising as well when Vukovic was forced into action, the Glory goalkeeper brilliantly tipping Sigmund's goalbound header onto the bar following a corner by Daniel.

As both sides fought it out for control through a crowded midfield, chances were at a premium, making it even more surprising when Smeltz produced a terrible miss with 20 minutes remaining.

Released down the left by Andrezinho's through-ball, Smeltz cut inside and was bearing down on goal, only to blaze his shot metres over the bar.

However despite earning several free kicks in dangerous positions throughout the last 20 minutes, the Phoenix couldn't make Smeltz pay for his miss.

And matters just got worse for Wellington and their threadbare squad during injury time when Manny Muscat received a second yellow card for a high challenge on Mehmet, meaning he will miss next week's clash.

Perth Glory 1 (Smeltz 33) Wellington Phoenix 0 Crowd: 8299 at nib Stadium, Perth