Reds edge past Glory

Adelaide United has re-established its position on top of the Hyundai A-League with a 1-0 win over Perth Glory in front of a big Boxing Day crowd at Members Equity Stadium.

Adelaide United has re-established its position on top of the Hyundai A-League with a 1-0 win over Perth Glory in front of a big Boxing Day crowd at Members Equity Stadium.

In front of 12,581, the biggest crowd at Members Equity Stadium since the first season of the Hyundai A-League, the Glory had the better chances of a game crucial to its slim finals hopes, but a Kristian Sarkies goal in the 40th minute was enough to see Adelaide home.

The win takes Adelaide two points clear atop of the ladder and on track to finish there with a game in hand due to its rescheduled match for participating in the FIFA Club World Cup.

The Reds lost their spot for two hours with the Central Coast Mariners replacing them after beating the Newcastle Jets, but it is once again sitting pretty on top. Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar was delighted with his side's performance and the result, with winning making up for the travel load on his team.

"I'm extremely pleased. It's never an easy period through Christmas but it makes it worthwhile to travel on Christmas Day when you pick up three points," Vidmar said.

"There was always a lot of pressure right throughout the game, Perth played exceptionally well and in the end, we got the goal at the right time as they were on top of us at that time. Kristian has been working on trying to get more goals for us from midfield and hopefully this is a good start for him."

Perth coach Dave Mitchell was obviously disappointed to lose and most because of the Eugene Galekovic save in the dying minutes of Jamie Harnwell. He isn-t conceding finals hopes just yet though.

"It was a match-winning save that he made off Jamie at the end, and if we scored then there was four minutes left on the clock and we might have snuck another one," Mitchell said.

"It's going to be really difficult obviously and we've only won once away from home with three of our last four games away. There might still be a chance, but we have to win next week, and the week after and week after that."

The loss will make the Glory's job of staying in touch for the finals tough, as they are four points behind third and fourth-placed Queensland and Melbourne who are yet to play this round.

Both sides came out ready to fire with Adelaide creating a good chance in the opening minute but Fabian Barbiero's shot went just wide.

Perth's Eugene Dadi had an even better chance in the fifth minute. After passing out wide to Adriano Pellegrino, who sent in a good cross, Dadi had a free header but couldn't get it on target.

While the next half hour didn't see a goal scored, Perth did have the best of the chances but failed to take one and the Reds took full advantage in the 40th minute.

Cristiano fired a cross-cum-shot at goal that Harnwell could only clear into the path of Sarkies, who had no trouble at all slotting it past Glory 'keeper Tando Velaphi to put Adelaide 1-0 up.

Perth again had the better chances early in the second half, the best falling to Dadi who had a clear shot on goal inside the box with only Galekovic to beat, but he couldn't get it on target.

Former Dutch international Victor Sikora came with 30 minutes to go to make his Hyundai A-League debut and received a strong ovation from the big Boxing Day crowd. He showed plenty of spark, but couldn't help the Glory score a crucial goal.

Despite Perth still dominating possession and creating the most chances, it was Adelaide that blew a terrific chance to double its lead.

Paul Reid, who originally agreed to play with Perth before joining Adelaide, took a free kick 15-metres outside the box and found Travis Dodd and Robert Younis in perfect position, but both got in each other's way and couldn't threaten the goal.

Just before injury time, Harnwell had a great chance to equalise as well but was stopped by a brilliant save from Galekovic. Harnwell got on the end of a good cross and had his header on target, but somehow the Reds 'keeper stretched his arm behind him to parry the ball wide of the goal.

The Glory now looks forward to a New Year's Eve clash at Bluetongue Stadium against the Central Coast Mariners, before a home match against the Melbourne Victory on January 11.

After not playing since December 5, Adelaide now plays Sydney FC on January 3 at Adelaide Oval, Melbourne at Telstra Dome on January 6 and Newcastle at Hindmarsh Stadium three days later.

Perth Glory 0 Adelaide United 1 (Sarkies 40-) Crowd: 12,581 @ Members Equity Stadium