Glory v Knights

A-League report by Eamon Duffy
Perth Glory v New Zealand Knights

Despite going a goal behind in just the first minute of the match, Perth easily overcame the resistance of the New Zealand Knights to record a 4-1 victory and move from 7th to 6th on the table.

Without doubt the hero of the day was Jamie Harnwell who showed the rest of the team how to score, with a superbly taken hat trick and good all round performance.

The icing on the cake was the return from injury of Bobby Despotovski and his headed goal which capped off the display.

The crowd of 6251 had barely settled into their seats when the Knights stunned both the crowd and the Glory team with a great opening goal. It was all down to excellent work by Noah Hickey who got himself free in the Glory box and fired an unstoppable shot past Tomich in the Glory goal. In fact the keeper did not even have time to react before the ball was rattling the back of the net.

However Glory were on level terms by the 10th minute when Lazaridis squeezed a ball through to Harnwell some 10 metres from goal and he held off a defender before firing low into the bottom of the Knights net.

Richter who had supplied the pass for Hickey's goal in the first minute was tormenting Coyne and after 23 minutes he crossed for an unmarked Well to get a powerful header on goal, but Tomich on this occasion pulled off a fine save.

The temperature on the pitch was not the only hot thing as Knights midfielder Jonas Salley saw red from referee Przydacz after a 2nd yellow card offence in just the 31st minute. It was a blow his team mates would never recover from as the 10 men were never really going to challenge Glory after that.

Just 4 minutes from half time, Sekulovski fired in a long range shot that Paston got down to but failed to hold and it was Harnwell who was quickest to respond and fire home his and Glory's 2nd goal.

The 2nd half was in progress just 15 minutes when the top assist player in the A-League, Leo Bertos, did it again. He jinxed his way into the box before finding Harnwell with a perfectly waited pass and the big defender come striker too great satisfaction from putting the ball into the net for his hat trick. The fact that this was the first A-League hat trick this season speaks volumes for both the heart of Harnwell and the ability of the so called striker around the country.

After this it appeared Glory went into cruise control and in the 75th minute Despotovski hit the post from a 25 metre free kick, before he rounded off the scoring in the 80th minute. He timed his run to perfection as he met a great Coyne cross and directed his header downwards beating the keeper all ends up.

So Glory did what they had to do, before undertaking another arduous 3 game away trip playing Roar, Central Coast and Sydney in the next 3 weeks. This is the 2nd such punishing away schedule and really is a disgrace in such a short season, especially for the team that has to do the most travelling in the country.

The win keeps Glory within 2 points of the top 4 and the Knights rooted to the bottom of the table as they will entertain Newcastle Jest next week.