Glory’s star import reaches career-best tally to sink spirited Mariners

Millie Farrow’s two-goal haul guided Perth Glory past Central Coast Mariners 2-1 in their New Year’s Eve Liberty A-League showdown.

Englishwoman Farrow was the difference at Industree Group Stadium, where she scored in either half to help the second-placed Glory snap their two-game skid heading into the New Year on Sunday despite Rola Badawiya reducing the deficit.

Former Chelsea striker Farrow took her season tally to six goals through 10 rounds – her best ever league return, having previously scored five goals in 19 matches for Crystal Palace in 2021-22.

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The Mariners entered the contest having won both of the previous meetings in the Liberty A-League, scoring at least two goals in each of those fixtures.

However, it was Perth who started brightly and hit the front after just seven minutes in front of more than 5,000 fans.

Farrow and the Glory were gifted the opener when Taren King attempted to play a ball across the penalty area, however, it took a deflection off the Englishwoman and into the back of the net.

Perth continued to look threatening in the first 10 minutes, though Central Coast gradually grew into the match.

There was a chance for the Mariners approaching the half-hour mark when the home side got in behind Perth but Badawiya’s effort was dealt with by Morgan Aquino.

Central Coast started the second half with good energy and Faye Bryson’s ferocious goal-bound shot was blocked in the 49th minute.

Bryson was at it again four minutes later, forcing Aquino into a fine save to keep the Englishwoman and Central Coast at bay.

The Mariners thought they had equalised approaching the hour mark when Badawiya bundled the ball over the line from close range, but there was an offside in the build-up.

There was another golden chance for the Mariners 28 minutes from the end after Jazmin Wardlow picked out an unmarked Isabel Gomez at the back post, however she was unable to make clean contact with her head.

For all of Central Coast’s momentum and shots, they were caught out at the other end in the 66th minute.

Glory captain Tash Rigby picked out Farrow, who headed home her second goal of the match after Sarah Langman was caught underneath the ball.

The Mariners were given a lifeline by Badawiya, who fired past Aquino from an acute angle three minutes later.

There was a golden opportunity for Central Coast in the third minute of stoppage time – Peta Trimis found Wurigumula at the back post but the China international’s shot was blocked at close range.

The Talking Point

Never before had Perth beaten Central Coast in the Liberty A-League, having lost the previous two encounters.

The Glory were also in need of a result following a defeat to last season’s Grand Finalists Western United and a draw against defending champions Sydney FC. In fact, Perth had only won one of their last five matches heading into Sunday.

But the Western Australia-based side returned to winning ways thanks to Farrow away from home.

It was not only their first ever win over the Mariners but it ensured they ushered in the New Year on a triumphant note.

The Star

To put it simply, Farrow was the difference on the coast.

Central Coast outshot Perth 22-4, with 11 shots on target compared to the Glory’s four.

But Farrow’s lethal form in front of goal was enough to inspire the Glory.

She has now scored six goals in her past five outings.

What it means

Perth head into 2024 sitting second in the standings, three points behind leaders Melbourne City after 10 rounds.

Next up is a clash with Western Sydney wanderers on Sunday, January 7.

For the Mariners, are are ninth in the table and three points outside the top four with a game in hand.

Defending champions Sydney FC await on January 7.