Howarth the hero as Perth Glory progress

-

It took a Todd Howarth goal in extra time to finally separate Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix at NIB Stadium on Saturday night in front of 13,695 spectators. 

The local boy exchanged passes with substitute Scott Neville to calmly slot the ball past Mark Paston for the deciding goal in a pulsating affair which ended 3-2.

Howarth didn’t get his big chance to play professional football until the age of 27 but the Perth Soccer Club product has done the WA State League proud since stepping up to the big time.
Now 30, Howarth is out of contract at the end of the season but scoring such a vital winner will have done his chances of securing a new deal no harm.
Speaking after the game, Howarth said that the goal is the highlight of his career to date.
“It was a little bit overwhelming actually,” he beamed.
“It’s good to score a goal at last this year. [I’m] just really pleased with the result and hopefully we can back it up next week.”

Wellington started the season as many people’s tip to be battling it out with Gold Coast United for the wooden spoon, such was the thinness of their squad. Their fourth place finish is a credit to the playing group and all the staff involved, and Phoenix boss Ricki Herbert took the opportunity to heap praise on his side for their performances this season.
“I just closed the door (of the dressing room) and said to them that from where we started the year to where we’ve got to now, I’m just incredibly proud of the lot”.
Herbert made few excuses for the loss and is optimistic about next season.
“We’ve got one of our owners here tonight who is very supportive in building this club and that’s three finals series for us; we’re really really close and we’re a strong, integral part of the league now,” he said.

Both sides looked well up for this knockout fixture right from the kick off and looked to attack at every opportunity. Despite the Phoenix registering the first effort at goal through a Tim Brown volley, it was the hosts who took the lead after 13 minutes.

A corner into the area was headed goalwards by Billy Mehmet and the effort was only half cleared to centre half Bas Van den Brink who rifled a first time effort into the roof of the net.

In a barnstorming opening to the second period, the Nix scored twice in ten minutes to turn the game on its head. A sweeping move which culminated in a Tim Brown knock down and Chris Greenacre volleyed finish had the sides level before Manny Muscat, in acres of space on the right hand side, cut in and curled a left footed shot past Danny Vukovic.

The introduction of Steve McGarry gave Glory a much needed boost and they grabbed an equaliser after 72 minutes when neat work from Smeltz fed Mehmet and he calmly beat Paston.

The game was finally settled eight minutes from the end of the additional 30 minutes when Neville fed Howarth to score.

Glory will now travel to either Brisbane Roar or the Central Coast Mariners next week where they will play for a spot in the Grand Final.

Perth Glory: 1. Danny Vukovic, 3. Sebastien Van den Brink 4. Billy Mehmet, 5. Steve Pantelidis, 7. Jacob Burns, 9. Shane Smeltz, 10. Liam Miller, 13. Travis Dodd, 19, Josh Risdon, 27. Andrezinho, 35. Dean Heffernan.

Subs: 20. Neil Young, 2. Josh Mitchell, 12. Scott Neville, 14. Steven McGarry, 17. Todd Howarth.

Wellington Phoenix: 1. Mark Paston, 2. Manny Muscat, 3. Tony Lochhead, 6. Tim Brown, 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul Ifill, 9. Chris Greenacre, 17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund, 21. Dani Sanchez, 22. Andrew Durante.

Subs: 20. Tony Warner, 11. Daniel, 12. Nick Ward, 14. Mirjan Pavlovic, 24. Alex Smith.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

mm
Neil Sherwin
Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required