United too strong for Glory

Joel Porter struck the decisive blow for Gold Coast United as the Hyundai A-League newcomers overcame Perth Glory in their final pre-season game in Bunbury.

Joel Porter struck the decisive blow for Gold Coast United as the Hyundai A-League newcomers overcame Perth Glory in their final pre-season game in Bunbury.

The former Qantas Socceroo's 23rd minute goal crowned a fine performance from Miron Bleiberg's men who enjoyed a large share of possession throughout the ninety minutes.

Meanwhile Perth Glory gained more valuable match time in the lead-up to their opening game of the new season.

Midfield superiority was the key for United with the central trio of Zenon Caravella, Steve Pantelidis and Jason Culina providing much of the impetus and bite for the visitors.

Despite being under pressure for much of the match, Perth still had their opportunities. Jelic missed an open goal on the quarter hour and James Downey shot straight at the advancing Jess Vanstrattan as the first half drew to a close.

United's winner came after Caravella won possession in the middle of the park before finding Shane Smeltz out on the right wing. When the Kiwi international crossed to the far post, Porter stole in to beat his marker to the ball and smash home from close range.

Gold Coast continued to press for more goals in the second period and Caravella almost doubled their lead after some neat footwork on the edge of the box fashioned a shooting chance.

Brazilian striker Milson replaced Smeltz with just under 20 minutes remaining and almost immediately marked his arrival with a goal when he latched on to a precise through ball from Culina, but shot narrowly wide.

"Glory were missing a few players and we were missing one or two, but we did well and really didn't extend ourselves too much," said United Head Coach Miron Bleiberg.

"A lot of people will say that pre-season isn't important and so on, but I believe that you need to prepare yourself well to succeed in football just as you have to with everything in life."

"Our pre-season is over now and we have achieved what we wanted to achieve from it. Every game has been important because it has provided our players with more knowledge of each other. We are ready for the season to begin now and we can't wait."

Perth coach Dave Mitchell was also relatively pleased with his team's efforts.

"It was a tough old game. I'm not too disappointed in the result as we were able to try a few things and get some more cohesion amongst the players which is our primary concern before the season starts," he said.

"I was happy with what we got out of the game in terms of preparation for the season especially with the number of players we had missing."

"We had a few players on the park who were still feeling the effects of the flu so it was credit to them to put in the effort they did."

"If we had a another month before the season it would be handy but we haven't so we'll prepare as best we can and make sure we're ready to go for that first game in a fortnight."

Gold Coast United 1 J. Porter 23' Perth Glory 0