Ten-man Perth dig deep to defeat Jets and record first win in March
A two-goal cushion proved enough to help ten-man Perth Glory outlast a Newcastle Jets comeback to clinch a 2-1 victory at HBF Park on Saturday night.
Jonathan Aspropotamitis received his marching orders for a second yellow card in the first half after Perth went 2-0 up thanks to goals to Ciaran Bramwell and Darryl Lachman. Roy O'Donovan netted in the second half to make the hosts sweat but a display of grit and determination helped the ten men in Purple seize a well-earned three points at home.
In the days leading into the Saturday-night fixture Craig Deans highlighted the potential threat the likes of Diego Castro, Bruno Fornaroli and Andy Keogh would poise to his side's defensive line.
But an unlikely pair of Perth scorers put the home side in a commanding position with less than 25 minutes on the clock, with Bramwell and Lachman both netting maiden A-League goals.
Perth were cruising with a two-goal lead, but Aspropotamitis' early yellow card left the defender in a precarious position which ultimately hurt the hosts. Ramy Najjarine proceeded to draw the Glory centre-back into a rash challenge in the 35th minute to reduce Perth to ten and give the Jets the upper hand.
Newcastle forward O'Donovan came into the contest on a seven-game goalless run, but broke that streak in the second 45 with an ingenious volleyed lob to bring his side within one goal with half an hour to play.
But that was all the Jets could muster on a night where Perth's determination to end a five-game winless run conquered all. Glory move into seventh after edging the Jets, leaving their opponents just three points off the bottom of the table.
MATCH REPORT: Central Coast Mariners 1-1 Melbourne Victory
Perth's early onslaught produced two goals as the home side quickly stamped their authority on the contest at HBF Park.
Bramwell netted his first A-League goal to put Perth ahead, getting on the end of a team move built with skill and guile to brush home the opener with ease.
The chance began at the feet of Castro, who played the ball to Fornaroli on the tip of the box. Fornaroli rolled his marker, and followed Castro's lead in playing a pass off the outside of his right boot toward Osama Malik rushing in on goal. Malik stepped over the ball, dragging two players with him as it rolled to Bramwell unmarked to score his maiden A-League goal.
The hosts displayed creativity and class to go ahead but consolidated their lead in simpler fashion, when Lachman broke free in the box to head home a Neil Kilkenny corner.
The imposing central defender lost his marker in Nicolai Topor-Stanley as the ball dropped toward the six-yard box. The easiest of finishes ensued for Lachman, who made no mistake with his header on goal.
The Jets were punished early but recovered from a woeful start to restore belief in a comeback when Aspropotamitis was dismissed on 35 minutes for a second yellow card after a foul on Najjarine.
The Jets forward stepped up to dispatch the resulting free-kick on goal, and a heavy deflection left Liam Reddy planted to his spot as he watched the ball travel toward goal, only to flash just wide of the mark.
O'Donovan put the ball in the net for Newcastle early in the piece only for an offside flag to deny the striker a goal to end a seven-game run without finding the net. And late in the first half, it was the crossbar which kept O'Donovan at bay, after his close-range strike from Connor O'Toole's ross lobbed Reddy but failed to drop over the line.
But O'Donovan's fortunes were to turn in the second half.
Neither the crossbar or the offside flag could deny the Jets striker a goal just before the hour mark after his well-taken volley off Topor-Stanley's cross lobbed Reddy from an unlikely angle.
After ending his goal drought, O'Donovan pressed on for more, seeing a left-footed curling attempt from distance sail just wide of the top-right corner only minutes after his initial goal brought the Jets to within one of the ten-men of Perth.
Macarthur FC v Perth Glory
Friday, April 2 2021
Kick-off: 6.05pm AEDT
Newcastle Jets v Western United
Monday, April 5 2021
McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 5.05pm AET
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