Glory v Victory

A-League report by Eamon Duffy
Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

Despite a 2 goal lead at half time, Perth Glory once more capitulated and finished up only sharing the spoils against a 10 man Victory at MES in front of a disappointing crowd of 6,462.

While people may consider a 2-2 draw with the league winners a good result it must be remembered that this Victory team was basically just the "B" side and it puts Perth Glory's future prospects in perspective. Just what Victory would have done had they included Muscat, Fred, Thompson, Allsopp and Stoey in their line up, not to mention Leijer who was suspended is anybody's guess, but I would hazard a guess that a calculator would have been required to keep track of the score.

All this and yet coach Ron smith can leave the player most fans thought was 2nd best behind Tomich last week, David Micevski sitting on the sidelines for the entire match. This was the most puzzling in a string of decisions from the ultra conservative Englishman since taking charge of Glory, and once again as against Sydney Glory conceded a vital goal when having an extra man on the pitch after Mark Byrnes send off.

The first half had some hope for Glory especially with Lee at left back impressing with his forward runs and indeed he was the provider for both of Glory's first half goals. The first in the 29th minute was a cross from the left that Harnwell met perfectly to beat Galekovic in the Victory goal, and then in the 43rd minute he again measured his cross into the box for the unlucky Byrnes to smash past his own keeper for Glory's 2nd.

Indeed it would take a Victory player to show the home side how to shoot in this game even if it was unintentional.

That however was the end of the happy times for Glory and their supporters as in the 2nd half it was the "B" squad of Victory that took the initiative. This swing came about with a coaching change by the Victory coach Merrick as he brought Broxham into the action and moved Sarkies up into a more attacking role at the 57th minute.

Within 2 minutes Victory were back in the hunt when Sarkies was on hand to net the rebound after Brebner's rebounded off the post.

In the 72nd minute following a crude tackle by Bynes on Harnwell, the former received his 2nd yellow card and Victory were reduced to 10 players. Fans expected a more attacking Glory after that, but were sadly disappointed and after 76 minutes it was Glory's target for next season Sarkies who fired home a free kick to level the scores. It must be said that the attempt at a wall by Glory was to say the least very poor and there were more holes in it than in a sponge.

After that Glory did make some effort to attack but it was a case of too little too late as another 2 points went begging.

This result now leaves Glory in the precarious position of being just 4 points ahead of a resurgent New Zealand and having to play that team in the final match of the season in New Zealand, possibly for the "coveted" wooden spoon.

Glory did give chances today to both new signing Rukavytsya, to Saric, and in the 2nd half also to Magdic, with only Magdic showing real promise. Again the question must be asked as to what young Micevski has done to get him so far off side with the coach.