Glory Youth go top

Perth Glory has retained top position on the National Youth League ladder with a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday.

Perth Glory has retained top position on the National Youth League ladder with a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday.

A nil-all final score appeared inevitable when after 90 minutes, no-one was able to trouble the scorers in what had been a dour, defence-dominated contest.

Reds hearts were broken when, in injury-time, Glory substitute Anthony Skorich scored an opportunistic close-range goal after he found a small gap through Adelaide's hitherto air-tight defence, with custodian Mark Birighitti caught out of position.

The Reds had a late chance to equalise a minute later but Inseob Shin couldn't sufficiently connect on a shot that sailed well high.

Both sides' defences stoutly held firm in a scoreless first half most noteworthy for a knee injury to Kristian Sarkies.

Glory skipper Steven Hesketh's hard challenge in the sixth minute left Sarkies nursing what appeared to be a serious knee injury, the impact forcing the over-age midfielder to be stretchered off and taken away for scans.

United had its best chance when Evan Kostopolous - coming off a two-goal haul against Newcastle a week earlier - sprayed a close range attempt in the 14th minute.

Opportunity went begging again when, in the 25th minute, Joseph Wright found himself one-out with Glory keeper Alex Pearson, but Pearson was good enough to get a glove on what appeared a certain goal.

In the 37th minute, a Perry Mitris hit was deflected over the cross bar, while four minutes later, Dane Milovanovic's free kick just outside the box went wide to the left.

Perth did more of the attacking after the main interval, its best chance coming in the 51st minute when Branko Jelic back-heeled deftly to Tommy Amphlett, whose hit was knocked away by Birighitti.

Then on the resultant corner, Jelic had a red-hot chance with Birighitti well out of position but Jelic's on-target hit was blocked by Shin on the last line.

Ryan Pearson connected perfectly on a shot in the 68th minute, only to be athletically denied by a diving Birighitti, Glen Trifiro's follow-up hit then deflected away by Adelaide's desperate - and suddenly under siege - backline.

Striker Francesco Monterosso had a real chance in the 89th minute but his effort in front of a relatively open goal floated uncharacteristically high.

On the counterattack, Jelic's shot in the 90th minute from a set piece likewise was far too high, before Skorich made it Perth's day while sinking Adelaide's hopes moments later.

Adelaide United 0 Perth Glory 1 (Skorich 90) @ Hindmarsh Stadium, 21/02/2010