These statistics were written and researched for the OzSoccer archive by Searlais Mullen and Greg Stock.
|As part of Perth Glory's preseason warmup they played a friendly match against the Western Australian club side Perth SC. A few Glory players that were substituted at half-time made a second appearance as this was clearly a trial game.|
|Played : Sunday August 28 1997||Venue : Dorrien Gardens, Perth|
(Lineup incomplete) 1.Tom Maras, 2.Vladimir Beretovac (3.Craig Naven), 3.Craig Naven (12.Doug Ithier 46'), 4.Gavin Wilkinson, 6.Gareth Naven (9.Paul Strudwick 46'), 7.Scott Miller (13.Warren Oakley 46'), 8.Paul McVittie (7.Scott Miller), 9.Paul Strudwick (16.Des Hazel), 10.Bobby Despotovski, 14.Ernie Tapai, 15.Peter Vukmirovic
Goal : Despotovski 45'pk
|Tonight the full Glory squad got their first
run since the disaster that was April 20. Understandably there was little
cohesion and the touch of some players left a lot to be desired. Perth SC,
coming towards the end of a gruelling WA Premier League season, were not
surprisingly the more composed of the two sides. Even so Glory were by
far the better team, and probably should have won the match by more than
Not that many chances were created. It must be said that the defining feature of Glory's play was its toothlessness. There was simply no punch up front and Bobby was fighting a lone battle for most of the match. Even when a chance beckoned the Glory players passed the ball once too often, or chose the more complicated option, rather than just having a poke.
The crowd was probably less than the one that turned up at Coker Park, but given the weather (cold and wet most of the day, bitterly cold and dry during the match) that was perhaps not surprising. Watching the players warm up it quickly became obvious that Des Hazel was on the field. Des Hazel! Obviously the deal with Melbourne Scum has fallen through. Hazel took the bench along with Joondalup City team-mate Warren Oakley and the out of favour Doug Ithier. Vinko Buljubasic and Michael Garcia were both injured, but strangely new signing Danny Hay didn't make an appearance. Another injury, perhaps?
The team on the park contained few surprises. Craig Naven played as sweeper behind Shack and Wilkinson, although soemtimes he seemed to swap places with Shack. Scotty Miller lined up on the left flank, Vlad Beretovac on the right. In the centre of midfield were Gareth Naven, Chisel and Ernie Tapai, the latter making his first appearance for Glory. The two strikers were Bobby and Strudders.
The first ten minutes of the match were scrappy and shapeless. Craig Naven made three bad errors but wasn't punished for any of them. Scotty Miller looked out of sorts from the start. The rest of the team looked out of touch, including Tapai who couldn't seem to control the ball.
The rest of the first half wasn't much of an improvement, but occasionally Glory threatened. One of the first dangerous moves (after fifteen minutes) saw Strudders surge into the penalty box, only to be clumsily taken down. Amazingly the WWTW didn't award a penalty. A good ball from the right put Bobby free for the best chance of the match, but he hit it straight at the diving Perth SC keeper. Shack also had a good heading chance from a corner but his attempt was directionless to say the least. At the other end Perth SC looked threatening at times but never got a clear cut opportunity. Most of their moves came down their right wing, underlining the poor night Miller was having. Perth's best opportunity came fairly early when their number 13 (Haynes?) was allowed a free shot at the far post. It deflected off a diving Miller tackle and over the bar, much to Maras' relief. There was also a dicey moment when on the break veteran Alan Pottier ran through the Glory defence, only to run over the ball at the crucial moment.
Just before half time Glory engineered one of their more dangerous moves down the right. Bobby received it deep inside the penalty area and attempted to get past his marker along the goal-line. He was desperately chopped down and the penalty simply had to be awarded. Both Bobby and Tapai seemed keen to take the kick but it was the former who eventually stepped up. Perth's keeper managed to get some contact on the ball but couldn't prevent it from finding the back of the net. One-nil.
The second half was no better than the first, although the football was superior and Glory's dominance greater. Hazel, Oakley and Ithier were all given a run. Hazel was put up front with Bobby but was obviously unsuited to playing the role of a target man. His first touch was excellent but he lacked the sharpness of a goal poacher. But when he found himself behind the strikers he looked impressive, infinitely more comfortable moving forward and taking on defenders than receiving the ball with a defender at his back. Oakley was quiet on the left flank and again looked far more comfortable defending than moving forward.
Glory could find little coherence with the odd changes that were made not long into the second half. The players brought off at half time (Craig Naven, Miller, Strudders) were put back on again to replace Chisel, Vlad and Gareth Naven.
By far the best player on the field in the second half was Ernie Tapai. He controlled midfield and was responsible for every creative move. Some of his passes were truly sublime. Also he was always moving forward, not turning on the ball. Bobby also played fairly well but it was obvious he wasn't taking the match seriously.
There were few chances in the second half. Bobby scored a goal set up by a one-two with Strudders but it was disallowed for offside. Later a Craig Naven cross found Hazel in the centre but he was unable to convert as the ball was at an awkward height. Perth SC had a half chance when one of their players was given a free header for a corner, but the ball was slightly behind him so he was unable to direct it on target. The very last kick of the match was a piledriver from Oakley that didn't miss by much. One-nil the final score.
So a pretty lousy match overall in which Perth SC were outclassed but Glory unable to create much that was worthwhile. Glory's biggest failings were on the flanks (where nothing was created the whole match) and up front. Both Strudders and Hazel looked far better playing in midfield and not particularly useful next to Bobby. Glory badly needs a specialist striker and quickly. Scotty Miller was terrible and none too clean either. Craig Naven actually looked better on the right flank than he did defending, but his service to the forwards still wasn't good enough. His brother put in an anonymous performance. Chisel was prominent early but quickly disappeared. Wilkinson looked good and got forward a few times. Shack's passing was very poor (and nearly always backwards) but his defending was okay. Vlad stifled Perth's left winger but didn't create much himself. Maras had very little to do. Ithier looked pretty good and was infinitely better than he was against Sorrento. Bobby wasn't at the top of his game but still played fairly well. Tapai was a class apart.
The messages to come from this match is that Glory needs a natural striker and a right back. We saw no candidates tonight. Hazel is a good player but we have attacking midfielders already, so that will count against him. The other triallist, Oakley, is a good defender but certainly not a wing-back. Even so it is likely that one of these two players will fill Glory's last visa slot. Unless Darko Cvijanovic turns out to be a superstar that is.