Glory get first win

Perth Glory have won their first match of the new Hyundai A-League season as Eugene Dadi's second-half penalty proved enough for a 1-0 win over Wellington at Members Equity Stadium.

Perth Glory have won their first match of the new Hyundai A-League season as Eugene Dadi's second-half penalty proved enough for a 1-0 win over Wellington at Members Equity Stadium.

After dominating possession for much of the afternoon, Dadi gave the hosts the lead in the 77th minute from the spot after getting through on goal and being hacked down from behind by Jon McKain, who was fortunate not to be dismissed for the professional foul.

The result sees Perth leapfrog Wellington into seventh on the table as the Glory suddenly find themselves just two points adrift of the top four, with coach Dave Mitchell admitting the victory was crucial to restore some confidence after a demoralising loss to Queensland last week.

"Today was about getting the three points and getting the self belief in there," Mitchell said.

"(Wellington) came here to defend and catch us on the break. Last season we would have got caught by that but the good thing was I think we looked very solid in defence today."

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert felt the loss was especially disappointing after his side did well to hold Central Coast to a 0-0 draw last weekend.

"Last week was a sign of being there and being competitive and tonight I think we just froze a little bit," declared Herbert.

"We had a couple of half chances that we should have done a hell of a lot better with but we didn't have the volume of opportunities we would have liked," he said.

In a less than inspiring first half, the Glory enjoyed the better chances, although both sides appeared intent on feeling each other out during the opening stages.

Both teams were also guilty of giving away possession far too easily as they aimed long balls up front, but the Glory gradually started taking control of the contest, with its much-maligned defence, bolstered by the inclusion of Jamie Harnwell, easily containing the attacking threat of isolated Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz.

Perth's extra edge in possession gradually translated itself into chances as James Robinson, playing in central midfield set up Scott Bulloch on the left, although the No.11 sent his cross-cum-shot wide of goal.

Just before the half hour, Perth had an excellent chance to take the lead when a cross into the Phoenix area caused chaos in the Wellington defence.

Andrew Durante backpassed the ball in close quarters to stopper Glen Moss, who lost his concentration and picked up the ball on the six-yard line. But Hyundai A-League debutant Wayne Srhoj sent his free kick from the left too low and his effort was easily blocked by the wall on the goalline.

In the 35th minute, the Phoenix produced their best move of the half as Daniel passed to Tony Lochhead, whose run down the left went unchecked by the Glory defence, with Lochhead's excellent cutback from the byline fumbled by Troy Hearfield in a good position.

The hosts came closest to scoring a minute before the break after Adrian Pellegrino was hacked down on the edge of the area by Lochhead.

Srhoj's free kick went long but the excellent Robinson nodded the ball back across goal where Nikolai Topor-Stanley's glancing header appeared to be heading into goal before Durante produced a desperate goalline clearance.

The Phoenix emerged from half-time looking more animated and produced a good opportunity almost immediately as Durante released Smeltz on the left. But the Phoenix marksman could only shoot high and wide from a good position on the left.

The inclusion of Naum Seukulovski for Srhoj just after the hour galvanised the Glory after a period of good possession from Wellington and a near miss by the Phoenix's Richard Johnson, who sent a powerful 66th minute effort marginally wide of the left upright.

Sekulovski's pace caused all sorts of problems for the Phoenix defence and he almost created the opener in the 69th minute when he ghosted into the area and passed for Dadi, whose close-range effort was brilliantly saved by Moss.

Three minutes later, a chipped effort from Sekulovski curled wickedly in midair forcing Moss to palm away, but 13 minutes from time a good exchange of passes from the Glory in the middle saw Dadi take possession directly in front of goal.

A fortuitous bounce allowed Dadi through on goal before McKain took him down, but the French-Ivorian held his composure and buried the penalty past Moss to take the Glory off the bottom of the table.

Perth Glory 1 (Dadi 77p) Wellington Phoenix 0 Crowd: 4433 at Perth's Members Equity Stadium