Substitute Jamie Maclaren scored two goals in three minutes to snatch a 2-1 victory for Perth Glory over Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium on Saturday.
Maclaren scored less than a minute after being introduced to the otherwise lacklustre encounter in the 76th minute and sealed maximum points for the home side three minutes later.
The Jets remain winless after four games – all on the road – and were on track to steal an unlikely win when Argentine striker Jeronimo put the vistors ahead with just 16 minutes to play.
What they said
Jamie Maclaren: “They came with a game plan and they executed it very well. They went 1-0 up and they probably thought the game was over. But we stuck at it and thankfully we got the three points. Now we’re sitting on 9 points, it’s a great start for us and we’ll take it to Central Coast next week.”
Zenon Caravella: "It’s very disappointing, we’ve had a hard run of games, all four have been away. We started really well today but we just let it slip away. It was always going to be a tough run of games, there’s positive signs there for the playing group so we’ll just go back and work on what we’re doing."
0-1 Jeronimo (74’) The Argentine striker pounced on a carefully weighted chip pass from teammate Jacob Pepper over the last line of defence, leaving him in a one-on-one situation with Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic. The power of Jeronimo’s strike proved too much for the gloveman and the ball found the back of the net.
1-1 Maclaren (77’) The young striker had been on the ground less than a minute when Scott Jamieson, another substitute, crossed the ball from the left towards Andy Keogh, whose small deflection floated into Maclaren’s path and he hammered the ball past a hapless Mark Birighitti.
2-1 Maclaren (80’) To prove he was no one-hit wonder, Maclaren sealed the result for Glory just three minutes later after Nebojsa Marinkovic picked out a rising Rostyn Griffiths in the box, knocking the ball towards goal and Maclaren’s head did the rest.
After a lacklustre first half, Glory winger Mitch Nichols appeared set to break the deadlock with a threatening run towards goal. But he was chased down by Jets captain Kew Jaliens just as he was about to shoot to ensure the visitors would continue Perth’s struggles in front of goal for at least another half-hour.
Opta Data key stats
Newcastle’s winless run against Glory extended to nine following Saturday’s loss. The Jets have only beaten Glory once in Perth – during the inaugural season of the A-League – and have not tasted victory over the men in purple since November 2011.
All the talk in Perth this week was about exciting youngster Daniel De Silva following his first ever goal for Glory in Wednesday’s FFA Cup quarter-final win over Melbourne Victory. The AS Roma-bound attacker worked tirelessly after earning his first start of the season and almost opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a low strike from the top of the box that was only denied by the outstretched legs of Perth-raised Mark Birighitti.
Youssouf Hersi would not have been in coach Kenny Lowe’s good books after missing two golden chances either side of half-time. The former Western Sydney player made a meal of a one-on-one chance with Mark Birighitti in the first half before coughing up another attempt in the 69th minute.
Back to the drawing board
Kenny Lowe’s decision to start four of his key players – Richard Garcia, Jamie Maclaren, Scott Jamieson and Josh Risdon – on the bench after the quartet started in Wednesday’s FFA Cup game almost backfired on the Glory coach. Jamieson and Garcia helped break the game open after coming on in the 55th and 72nd minutes while Maclaren’s contribution of two goals goes without saying.
The Final Word
Glory will be relived to claim maximum points from a game that appeared headed for a scoreless draw for 73 minutes and a shock loss for the next four. Perth now has three wins from four games ahead of next Sunday’s away clash with Central Coast.
The winless Jets will look forward to playing at home for the first time next season after four matches on the road to open the season as the final resurfacing works at Hunter Stadium are completed ahead of next year’s Asian Cup.
Perth Glory: Danny Vukovic (GK), Jack Clisby (Scott Jamieson 55’), Rostyn Griffiths, Dino Djulbic, Youssouf Hersi, Ruben Zadkovich, Andy Keogh, Nebojsa Marinkovic, Diogo Ferreira, Mitch Nicholls (Richard Garcia 72’), Daniel De Silva (Jamie Maclaren 76’), Michael Thwaite (C).
Newcastle Jets: Mark Birighitti (GK), Taylor Regan, Kew Jaliens (C), Benjamin Kantarovski (Zenon Caravella 83’), Jeronimo Neumann (James Virgili 78’), Joel Griffiths (Edson Montano 72’), Andrew Hoole, Sam Gallagher, Jacob Pepper, Allan Welsh, David Carney.
Scorers: Jeronimo (74’), Maclaren (77’), Jamie Maclaren (80’)
Red cards: None
Yellow cards: David Carney (24’), Jacob Pepper (67’)
Conditions: 28C, warm and sunny
Attendance: 8624 @ nib Stadium