Shane Smeltz the Heart-breaker

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Seven goals in two his last two games. 65 goals in 101 total games. Shane Smeltz is the best striker to have played in the A-League bar none. A hattrick in front of 12,600 at NIB Stadium fires Perth Glory through to the next stage of the Hyundai A-League Finals at the expense of Melbourne Heart.

The Kiwi did next to nothing for an hour, admitting afterwards to being frustrated at times. All he needed however was a sniff of the goal to make an impact and he did just that; three times.
“It’s unbelievable” beamed Smeltz.
“I haven’t got my head around it yet to be honest – what it means to the club and what it means to the boys and everyone involved. It’s brilliant and we move on again.”
Indeed they do, with Wellington Phoenix in town next Saturday evening for another straight shootout and no doubt the atmosphere will again be electric at NIB Stadium.
“The crowd was unbelievable tonight and hopefully there’s a few more next week.”
It’s been a record breaking fortnight for Smeltz who last week overtook Archie Thompson as the league’s all time record goalscorer, and last night he became the first player to score back to back trebles in the A-League.
“This will be in the history books
“It’s a hattrick for our first home final in the A-League, it’s brilliant.”

Last night’s win is also Glory’s first ever in the postseason of the A-League, while Smeltz has now bagged seven goals in his last two games following his four goal haul against Melbourne Victory last week. 

And who needs video technology?

One swallow does not a summer make, but it was strangely refreshing to see an assistant referee put his neck on the line with a huge call…and get it spot on. Mathew Cheeseman gave referee Jarred Gillett all the support he needed by confirming that Shane Smeltz’s looping header did in fact cross the line for the second goal.
It took a while for The Shed to realise that a goal had been awarded but when they did there was an eruption of noise and flares.
“I was convinced actually (that it crossed the line) but I wouldn’t be surprised if sometimes they’re not given,” said Smeltz.
“Obviously they are quite tight and I think the linesman has done fantastic to see it. I haven’t seen a replay of it but I was pretty sure it was over the line.”

Not everyone was in agreement with the decision however, not least Melbourne Heart’s Clint Bolton.

“The whole of the ball (has to be) over the line, unless the rule has changed,” said the veteran ‘keeper.

“Obviously the linesman has somehow seen through me or something to make the call.”

A quick watch of the slow mo replay should put that thought right.

Glory now take on Wellington Phoenix at NIB Stadium next Saturday evening at 5.30pm. 

Perth Glory: 1. Danny Vukovic, 3. Sebastien Van den Brink, 5. Steve Pantelidis, 7. Jacob Burns, 9. Shane Smeltz, 10. Liam Miller, 13. Travis Dodd, 14. Steven McGarry, 19. Josh Risdon, 27. Andrezinho, 35. Dean Heffernan.

Subs: 20. Neil Young, 4. Billy Mehmet, 17. Todd Howarth, 26. Brandon O’Neill.

Melbourne Heart: 1. Clint Bolton, 2. Michael Marrone, 3. Brendan Hamill, 5. Fred, 6. Matt Thompson, 10. Wayne Shroj, 13. Jonatan Germano, 16. Aziz Behich, 18. Curtis Good, 19. Eli Babalj, 23. Mate Dugandzic,

Subs: 30. Sebastian Mattei, 7. Rutger Worm, 11. Alex Terra, 17. Jason Hoffman, 22. Nick Kalmar.

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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.

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