Super sub Mehmet the hero in Perth

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Revenge was sweet for Perth Glory today as they overcame Brisbane Roar by a single goal in a repeat of last season’s controversial Grand Final.
Billy Mehmet came off the bench to convert a Scott Jamieson cross in the 89th minute, rising between two defenders to head past Michael Theo in the Roar goal.
A healthy crowd of 14,085 was present at Patersons Stadium, Glory’s home for three games this season due to redevelopment work at NIB Stadium which has significantly reduced the capacity there.
There was action right from the word go and after just three minutes Shane Smeltz went down in the box under a challenge by Matt Smith but referee Ben Williams waved play on.
Liam Miller showed his class throughout the half and forced the first save out of Theo with an inswinging free kick which eluded everybody and needed to be parried wide for a corner.
A pregame watering of the pitch caused the players problems with their footing early on, while the visitors at times struggled with their passing.
With 15 minutes gone, a loose back pass from Erik Paartalu let in Smeltz but the Kiwi international was unable to finish the chance as Matthew Jurman got back to clear.
It was all Glory in terms of chances as Miller dictated play, and it was his raking ball to the back post which allowed Travis Dodd to volley a cross in to the six yard box but there was no one in a purple shirt close enough to convert.
A foul by Jacob Burns on Berisha saw tempers fray a little and a scuffle broke out between both sets of players with Miller and Mitch Nichols picking up yellow cards for their troubles.
Roar finally created a chance of note as Nick Fitzgerald fired in a right foot shot after cutting in from the left but Danny Vukovic stood tall to tip the ball over the bar.
Miller again came close to opening the scoring right on half time but his 20 yard free kick was deflected just wide.
The second half was as intriguing as the first with Glory probing at every opportunity while Roar struggled to create any clear cut chances.
On 50 minutes, a teasing right wing cross by Josh Risdon was just out of reach as Smeltz and Heffernan tried to connect but for the most part the final ball was lacking.
Roar playmaker Thomas Broich was well marshalled throughout, while Berisha was often an isolated figure up front against twin towers Bas Van den Brink and Michael Thwaite.
It took until the 79th minute for Vukovic to be called in to action again and the big keeper got down well to push Broich’s low free kick to safety.
The game looked to be fading out with the spoils shared until Mehmet popped up with the winner, though Roar almost snatched an equaliser through Halloran who struck an upright.
Perth Glory: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC, 3. Sebastien VAN DEN BRINK, 7. Jacob BURNS, 8. Dean HEFFERNAN, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Liam MILLER, 13. Travis DODD, 14. Steven MCGARRY, 19. Josh RISDON, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE.
Subs: 4. Billy MEHMET, 5. Steve PANTELIDIS, 6. Nick WARD, 39. Devon SPENCE.
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO, 2. Matthew SMITH, 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA, 11. Ben HALLORAN, 17. Mitchell NICHOLS, 19. Jack HINGERT, 22. Thomas BROICH, 24. Nick FITZGERALD.
Subs: 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 13. Yuji TAKAHASHI, 16. Donghyun DO, 20. Matthew ACTON.

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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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