Reddy wants more after toasting 300th in style
Milestone man Liam Reddy admits there will be a glass of red waiting for him before Perth Glory turn their focus to redemption in the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
The veteran gloveman celebrated his 300th competition appearance with a clean sheet after Dane Ingham’s first-half rocket earned Tony Popovic’s side a nervy 1-0 win against rock bottom Central Coast Mariners.
Although Glory suffered heartbreak against Sydney FC in the 2018/19 Grand Final, Reddy produced heroics in the Finals Series and the 38-year-old insists his teammates are focused on returning to the post-season ahead of a clash with Championship-rivals Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday night.
Fifth-placed Glory were on an unwanted run of four matches without a win before the lockdown was enforced and Reddy breathed a sigh of relief after the Western Australian club finally got back in the winners circle.
He said: “[I wanted] a clean sheet and three points. That’s what we got tonight and we now move on.
“Celebrate tonight but move on to Wednesday’s game against Wellington, which we know is going to be a tough one.”
And Reddy revealed that beer is off the menu.
“[It’s] red wine now. The ageing process, it helps.”
Reddy becomes the fourth member – and first goalkeeper – in the 300 Club, joining Andrew Durante, Leigh Broxham and Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
While the seven-club custodian was only forced into making two saves against Alen Stajcic’s basement boys, Glory were under the pump and hanging on to claim three points in the closing stages.
“We had to come through that a little bit,” Reddy said.
“There was about 10 or 15 minutes where we lost control a little bit.
“We came out the other side and that’ll put us in good stead in the coming weeks.”
And Reddy paid tribute to match-winner Ingham after the Kiwi wing-back netted his first competition goal since February 2017.
“You see [Ingham] at training, he got blasted for doing something similar but shanking it into the corner flag,” Reddy said.
“It came off for him tonight. I’m really happy for him because he’s been working extremely hard in the lockdown, and in these four or five weeks since being back so it’s a good reward for him.”
Ingham believes the resolve Popovic’s side showed in tense last half is a sign of his teammates character when under pressure.
“That last 30 minutes was a bit frantic but good signs are we held on and that’s what a good team does,” said Ingham.
“The first 60 minutes I think we controlled the game very well.
“We kept the ball, maybe [could have had] a little bit more penetration but that will come.
“We’re still working towards being our best, I don’t think that was our best performance yet. I think we’ve got more.”
The 21-year-old’s first goal in Glory colours condemned the Mariners to a record-equalling 11th straight competition defeat.
Central Coast’s inability to produce a moment of magic like Ingham’s 32nd-minute thunderbolt is exactly what cost the Mariners, according to midfielder Tommy Oar.
“We threw everything at it in the end,” Oar said.
“Credit to Perth, they defended with a lot of desperation and made it difficult for us.
“In the first half, we were probably a little bit disappointing in the front third and we went backwards too many times, not being positive and creating chances.”
Oar added: “their goal was clinical and that was the cutting edge we lacked, what they showed in front of goal.”
Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
When: Friday, July 24
Where: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 7.30pm (AEST)
Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix
When: Wednesday, July 22
Where: Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta, Sydney
Kick-off: 7.30pm (AEST)