Dominant Perth Glory halt Jets’ winning streak

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Perth Glory had their eight game undefeated streak broken last weekend but showed no signs of a hangover from the end of the club record. Adam Hughes and Billy Mehmet headers ensured Perth made swift work of Newcastle with a professional performance that keeps them in touch with the top two.

Newcastle have only had one win in Perth previously, but perhaps entered this match with high hopes after three straight victories – two of them away – preceded this match. But Perth needed not to worry as they failed to provide a proper challenge. Perth scored a goal each half and struck the woodwork three times.

Brisbane’s win earlier in the night proved not to be a distraction for Iain Ferguson’s side. They played with patience and, even without Liam Miller, a spark in attack, established from a midfield that played with creativity and pace, crucifying the Jets’slower central pairing.

Miller had to be replaced by Hughes after 12 minutes but his short stint shouldn’t have ended without a goal to his name. Miller’s clever one-two with Mehmet was only ruined by the weak shot that followed. However, it was his replacement that put the home side in front after 15 minutes when he met a Josh Risdon cross with conviction.

What followed from Newcastle was more significantly disappointing than the all too familiarity of away failure. The lack of attacking penetration was a polar opposite to their performance in Sydney two weeks ago. The defence passed the ball comfortably around the back but the Jets best chances in the first 30 minutes came from predictable set pieces that Perth managed with minimal effort.

Perth were satisfied in letting Newcastle keep the ball in unthreatening positions before hitting the Jets unresponsive defence quickly after winning possession. The tactic produced the more explosive moments of the first half and led to a sequence of play that ended with Perth – through the boots of Hughes and Steven McGarry – striking the crossbar twice in a matter of moments.

Taylor Regan and Jacob Pepper patrolled the central zones of the midfield but looked out of depth with the home side moving the ball quickly across the field. Space could be found all across the pitch for Perth as Regan chased shadows. Travis Dodd, like Hughes earlier, tried his luck from range when presented with time and space left by Regan, but his shot only found the advertising boards. Van Egmond reacted by replacing Regan with Abbas and pushing Rubin Zadkovich into the midfield.

Newcastle showed barely any signs of improvement as the match wore old. Long shots going high and wide offered only brief moments of worry for Perth. Goal scorer Hughes almost heaped more misery on the visitors on the hour mark, but the post denied his cracking effort from the edge of the area. The moment of luck for Newcastle didn’t last long, though, and a minute later Mehmet replicated the first goal with a strong header directed into the top corner.

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