Home games crucial for Glory as Jamieson impresses

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The gap probably should have been greater than just a single goal but the result was the most important thing for Perth Glory against Melbourne Heart yesterday.

Speaking after the game coach Alistair Edwards stressed the point that winning on your own turf is crucial when the competition is so tight.

“It’s a crucial win for us after two tough away games and it’s really important the way the league is going,” he said.

“It’s very competitive this year, it’s very hard for teams to win away from home and for us to get the home win and send the great fans home happy is an important first up game at nib.”

Jamie Maclaren scored the only goal of the game in the 49th minute, his first competitive strike since joining from Blackburn Rovers.

“He’s sort of following the same pattern as in the preseason, first couple of games he was creating chances and then he got one and went from strength to strength,” said Edwards.

“But I think it’s not only good for him to get a goal on his home debut, but also his contribution to the team is immense, his work rake and everything, so it’s great.

“One of our best young players in the country playing for Perth Glory and getting come good game time to develop for the future.”

Scott Jamieson was announced as the official Man of the Match and when you consider his influence on the game, it’s hard to argue with the choice.

The former Adelaide United and Sydney FC man has developed into one the league’s most consistent full backs and, while he faced very little threats defensively, he was able to maximise that by getting forward at every opportunity.

Indeed, Jamieson was unlucky not to open the scoring in the first half when his curling right footed effort from the corner of the box rebounded back off the post.

Another Glory player to strike the woodwork was Brazilian Sidnei Sciola who was exciting and industrious on the left wing and caused Jason Hoffman problems all afternoon.

In an attacking sense, Heart were extremely ineffective down Glory’s left hand side with Mate Dugandzic, who only came on for the last 16 minutes, their most prominent player down that channel aside from Hoffman.

To further emphasise the contrast between the teams on that side, a look at the crossing stats shows that Heart’s right flank was largely unproductive throughout.

Glory’s crosses didn’t find a target often enough but that was due in large part to Maclaren’s big height disadvantage against Patrick Kisnorbo and Rob Wielaert.

On the opposite flank to Jamieson and Sidnei, 18 year old Matthew Davies will have enjoyed keeping a clean sheet on debut, though the threat posed by Iain Ramsay paled in comparison to his efforts against the Central Coast Mariners last week.

As usual, Aziz Behich saw a lot of the ball full back but he rarely got beyond Ramsay and consequently had far less of an impact than he could have.

Glory’s philosophy under Edwards is to play good football, spending more time in possession by playing short, sharp passes. They certainly did that against Heart and completed almost 150 more passes than their opponents.

With 59% possession overall, Glory refused to panic when their first half pressure failed to yield a goal and were eventually rewarded when Maclaren scored just after the break.

Next week’s opponents Sydney FC surprisingly had more possession (60%) than the Western Sydney Wanderers in the 2-0 derby defeat so it will be interesting to see who has more of the ball at nib Stadium on Saturday in front of what will be another boisterous crowd.

“I think that if you speak to all the teams that come here, the noise and the atmosphere is incredible and we really appreciate the support,” said Edwards yesterday.

Glory will be hoping that fans return in numbers and the attendance figure tops the excellent 13,856 for the Heart game.

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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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