Glory edge out Reds

Perth Glory have returned to the top of the National Youth League table through a 2-1 win over Adelaide United at 6PR Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Perth Glory have returned to the top of the National Youth League table through a 2-1 win over Adelaide United at 6PR Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Perth opened the scoring through a cracking Ryan Pearson strike in the 19th minute before doubling the lead before half-time when Cameron Edwards slotted the ball home.

In an entertaining and end-to-end second half, the Glory were made to sweat when Adelaide pulled one back through Matt Mullen’s 71st-minute penalty.

But the Reds couldn’t find an equaliser and it was the Glory that finished stronger as Branko Jelic fired narrowly wide before Brandon O’Neill saw an ambitious lob come off the crossbar.

After two goalless draws in succession, the win sees Perth Glory leapfrog Gold Coast into top position in the National Youth League standings as Adelaide remain seventh on a congested table, still just four points adrift of top spot.

Despite the Glory fielding five regular senior players in Jelic, Steve McGarry, Naum Sekulovski, Anthony Skorich and Ryan Pearson, it was the Reds that started the stronger of the two sides.

Reds midfielder Joe Costa was causing all sorts of problems down the right, his excellent cross in the 10th minute sliding across goal when the simplest of taps would have seen Adelaide take the lead.

Moments later another Costa cross caused havoc for Perth’s defence but the hosts heeded the warning and led by McGarry, who was everywhere in the opening stages, they lifted their rating and proceeded to attack Adelaide’s goal.

Perth’s pressure paid off in the 19th minute as a miscued clearance from defence by Adelaide finished with Ryan Pearson 30 metres from goal. The defender, who’s impressed with several first-team games this season, looked up and without hesitation buried a sparkling strike that gave Luke Ostbye no chance in the Reds’ goal.

Eight minutes from the break, Perth doubled the advantage through a well-worked goal.

From a throw-in on the right, Anthony Skorich took possession, flicking the ball over two Adelaide defenders as he entered the box before squaring the ball for Edwards to slam home.

Adelaide responded after the break however as Kym Harris sent a searing long-range effort narrowly over the bar on the hour before Glory goalkeeper Alex Pearson did well to come off his line and block Francesco Monterosso’s run at goal in the 69th minute.

Two minutes later, Ryan Pearson turned from hero to villain as his clumsy challenge in the box gave Adelaide a penalty that skipper Mullen smashed into the back of the net with real venom.

But that was the cue for Perth to lift the attack themselves as Ryan Pearson, desperate to atone for his mistake, burst through the middle before laying the ball off for Sahr Musa, whose cross was nodded over by Billy Quinncroft.

But the final stages of the game belonged to pint-size Glory midfielder Storm Roux, who showed real class as he blitzed the opposition down the left wing.

Twelve minutes from time a goalbound Roux shot appeared to be palmed away by an Adelaide defender but referee Josh Mihevc couldn’t award a penalty as there were several bodies in his line of sight.

Two minutes later Roux created a great chance for Quinncroft but Reds goalkeeper Ostbye was just able to clear the danger.

Another Roux cross in the 84th minute presented Jelic with a real sight at goal, but the Serbian striker sent a clever glancing strike centimetres wide of the right upright, while a lobbed shot at goal by Quinncroft during injury time was cleared off the line by desperate Adelaide defender Alan Welsh.

Perth Glory 2 (Pearson 19, Edwards 37)
Adelaide United 1 (Mullen 71p)