Glory held at home

Perth Glory and Sydney FC have fought out a 0-0 draw at ME Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a match where neither side could nail their chances.

Perth Glory and Sydney FC have fought out a 0-0 draw at ME Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a match where neither side could nail their chances.

Fresh from their 4-0 thumping of Newcastle on Boxing Day, the Glory started full of fire against an undermanned Sydney defence.

But Mile Sterjovski's early shot against the upright proved the closest Perth came to hitting the target, while top-of-the-table Sydney appeared content to soak up the pressure and try to catch its opponent on the break.

The Sky Blues took until the 35th minute to earn their first corner, but as the Glory dropped their intensity during the second half, substitute Sydney striker Chris Payne almost created some good late chances.

"I think a draw is a good result for us," said Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka.

"They put us under pressure, created a few good opportunities and they had a lot of set pieces but the second half we improved in our style and the last part, the last 15-30 minutes we improved our attacking part as well and created two good opportunities."

Glory coach Dave Mitchell lamented the fact his side's finishing couldn't match its quality approach play.

"We dominated a lot of the game," Mitchell said. "Created some chances and just couldn't put them away."

"Goals change games and in the first five minutes we've hit the post and a couple of corners have come in and we just couldn't put them away."

With second-placed Melbourne losing to Newcastle earlier in the afternoon, the result sees Sydney climb four points ahead of the Victory on top of the Hyundai A-League table, as Perth drops to sixth position.

The Glory were creating chances as early as the fourth minute, looking to expose a new-look Sydney backline missing regular starters Simon Colosimo and Sebastian Ryall.

The hosts' best chance of the half came in the seventh minute as Todd Howarth delivered a cross from the left to Sterjovski. With the defence closing in, the Glory marquee man got his shot away but the ball ricocheted off the inside of the post, bouncing upwards for Anthony Golec to clear the ball from Jamie Harnwell.

The Glory were dominating possession for most of the half, knocking the ball around with ease and hardly being threatened down back by the Sydney forwards.

But unfortunately for the Glory, Jamie Coyne failed to find a clinical finish, the stand-in midfielder missing three chances before half-time. The best of those came on the half hour when he got a foot to a raking Adriano Pellegrino cross only to see the ball bobble upwards and tapped over the bar by Clint Bolton.

With Golec and Stephan Keller producing solid shifts in central defence for Sydney, the Glory were struggling to produce effective passing within the box as Perth failed to turn their dominance in possession into effective chances.

Adriano Pellegrino saw a left-foot strike go wide with four minutes of the half remaining, before Sydney produced its best chance in the 45th minute, John Aloisi bursting through the Glory defence and sending in a low cross that came within inches of Mark Bridge's lunge.

The Glory picked up where they left off in the second half, laying siege to Sydney's goal but failing to nail that incisive pass or cross that would have set up a meaningful chance.

But as Perth's intensity waned, Sydney picked up its game, moving the ball fluidly through the midfield via skipper Steve Corica and Slovakian import Karol Kisel.

With the Glory missing injured striker Branko Jelic's predatory instincts in the box, Jamie Harnwell flashed an effort wide in the 69th minute, before the Glory came within inches of opening the scoring with 20 minutes remaining.

Sterjovski sent in a powerful header from three metres out that slammed into Bolton and knocked him into the net, although the alert Terry McFlynn did well to then clear the ball off the line.

Both sides appeared to be wilting on a muggy afternoon in Perth, but it was Sydney that produced the better chances towards the death, Corica seeing a good chance saved by Tando Velaphi's legs before substitute striker Chris Payne, on for Aloisi, threatened towards the end.

Payne used his pace to great effect in the closing stages, the youngster bursting through from the midfield on two occasions. The first of which ended in Payne being called offside, but his second run with one minute remaining came close to busting through the Glory's back four.

Starting at the edge of his own box, Payne ran 70 metres, slipping the ball past Andy Todd and closing in on goal. But Scott Neville tracked him effectively and ultimately got his toe to the ball just as Payne shaped to shoot, the chance going begging as Velaphi smothered the ball.

Perth Glory 0 Sydney FC 0 Crowd: 9319 at ME Bank Stadium, Perth.