Brisbane v Perth

Round 3 Match report by Mick Kugelman
Brisbane Strikers v Perth Glory

A crowd of only 4500 and I still couldn't get a match program! Sadly it seems the Strikers marketing people have just accepted they won't get big crowds until the finals come around again (presuming we make it this time!).

This plus the strong chilly wind , a poor first half and the 2nd home loss for Brisbane made it all a bit disappointing.

Glory took the points with a well taken goal from Despotovski about 30 mins? into the first half. Fairly even half with not much for either team to be too proud of though the Glory did deserve the lead. Very little cohesion in the Brisbane midfield which really lacks a Wehrmann (injured) or Phillips (sadly no longer an option) to tie it all together.

Nick Meredith lost early on with an injury and replaced by Chey Hews who worked hard and did some good things but also let himself down with simple mistakes.

Craig Williams a shining light throughout the game though he was caught square for the goal, the strikers really conceded it because of a lack of cover (something he would have had with Big Al pre Carlton FC). Despotovski put through on a run from halfway, checked back inside Williams and slammed the ball past Bolton.

Battistin had a very poor game, by far the worst player on the field. 2 yards too slow - even seemed exhausted after the warm up! Got a yellow after chopping a couple of players and was lucky to stay on the park.

Farina also had an off night, exciting when he had the ball and still far better than many of his teammates but couldn't get on target. He knows all too well that he had a number of chances to change the result of the game.

Sean Cranney had a very average 1st half (also lacking fitness) and was subbed at halftime.

Troy C played well though with a couple of his crap passes I could only think of Dave Marshall clicking over the "Cranney count".

Other points about the 1st half: Perth seemed well organised especially at the back ; Tapai got a yellow ; Andy Harper seemed lost and unable to provide too many options for anybody, the Nigerian guy was sharp with skill to burn (sorry, the star player on the field and I can't remember his name!).

2nd half saw Brownie come on and he made a huge difference. Suddenly Brisbane had another target man and the attack had some sting. Brownie took a pile of pressure off Frank who changed to play a deeper role behind the attack. Another crucial change was Battistin being replaced by Matt Bell. A very wise move (from Tokesi I presume) would have been even wiser if they could have started him!

Andy Harper also improved out of sight with Brownie on the field, probably because he also had a target player to work off.

Main negatives from the Strikers 2nd half were: the crossing - woeful from Brayshaw (but others were as bad) and the no. of missed chances though at least they created far more than in the first 45.

Hews corners were superb and as the half progressed became more frequent for Brisbane. Glory keeper prevented a certain goal with about 20 to go when he just pushed a ball onto the post. Generally both keepers played well. Frank skied a couple of shots way over the goal and as I've said for a player of his calibre will be disappointed with his performance.

Brisbane deserved an equaliser with Perth rarely threatening in the 2nd half.

I suspect match statistics will show Brisbane had most of the game - probably 3 times as many strikes on goal etc. The result however doesn't reflect that and their first half performance should be a big a concern. The team seemed to behave like one playing away from home - gradually improving as the match went on.

I hope Matt Bell and Rod Brown are given a starting spot next week, a fit Sean Cranney would be a bonus AND I can't wait for Wehrmann to return!