Goalless Glory take positives from Adelaide stalemate

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It wasn’t the prettiest of games but Perth Glory will be satisfied to have taken a point against Adelaide United after one of the most dramatic weeks in the club’s history.

The two sides cancelled each other out for long periods in front of a healthy crowd of 9436 at nib Stadium on Sunday as the game ended scoreless, and there were some boos around the ground at full time, perhaps an expression of frustration at recent events.

Kenny Lowe

Kenny Lowe took charge of Glory for the first time following the departure of Alistair Edwards, and he was pleased with how the players performed.

“[I’m] proud of the players to be truthful,” he said. “For them to show the attitude after what’s gone on; they dug in there and they worked ever so hard.

“Obviously I think the quality of the game may not have been the best but it’s been an interesting week.”

Indeed there were few moments of excitement throughout, though Danny Vukovic did make an excellent save low to his right to deny Marcelo Carrusca in the first half.

For their part, the home side rarely troubled Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic with shots, but did put in some dangerous crosses that just needed a finishing touch.

One of Glory’s biggest issues on the field this season has been scoring goals, and they drew another blank with lone striker Jamie Maclaren unable to really test Galekovic.

Glory have scored just ten times overall in eleven games so far, but Lowe was quick to defend Maclaren when questioned about the player’s struggles in front of goal.

“We’ve got probably the best striker that’s been in the comp for about the last four to five years out injured [Shane Smeltz], and we’ve got a young boy in who is an under 20 international who looks a great prospect,” said Lowe.

“It’s his first gig, it’s his first time in the first team; watch his work ethic, watch his movement. Is he getting chances? He is. That’s fantastic; I’d be worried if he wasn’t getting chances.

“His movement’s good, and he’s a top kid. He wants to learn but he’s not the finished article, he’s 20 years old.”

Lowe also believes that Maclaren, who before the season started said he wanted to hit double figures in terms of goals, is relishing the role of playing in the first team week in, week out, and that the experiences, both positive and negative, will stand him in good stead.

The interim coach also heaped praise on the youngsters in the back line, as Matthew Davies picked up the official Man of the Match award, while Riley Woodcock and Jack Clisby also impressed.

“If you took Thwaitey out, the average age [of the defence] was about 14,” he quipped.

One of the biggest talking points during the week was the role of the Edwards brothers in the squad, and Cameron was given a start yesterday as part of a midfield three with Burns and Steven McGarry.

He played very well for just under an hour and boasted a pass completion rate of 94% (15/16) before being replaced by Brandon O’Neill.

“He [Edwards] worked ever so hard, under immense scrutiny and under immense pressure,” said Lowe.
“What does that tell you about that kid’s character?”

Ryan Edwards missed the game through gastroenteritis, while Danny De Silva was also under the weather during the week.

The performance of skipper Burns came under a lot more scrutiny than usual, and while it wasn’t the veteran’s best showing, he did put in a superb last ditch tackle to deny Marcelo Carrusca what would have been a goal bound shot.

With Shane Smeltz, William Gallas, Scott Jamieson, Travis Dodd and Josh Risdon, the last thing Glory needed was another injury but Ryo Nagai was forced off after pulling his hamstring while crossing the ball.

Adelaide boss Josep Gombau was happy to pick up a point after last week’s convincing home win over the Central Coast Mariners.

“We’ll try to, next week, win at home and this result will be good,” he said. “If you draw away and win at home, that is good.”

Gombau also reinforced his mantra that he is working on a two year project, with the results of his plan to bear fruition next season.

“This is what we spoke about in the beginning, when I arrived, we have a project for two years’ time to build a style,” he said.

“We are doing this with the youth, we are doing this with the first team, and at the moment I am satisfied with the work that the players are doing.”

Playmaker Sergio Cirio started on the bench as he was not fully fit, while Gombau expects Fabio Ferreira to return next week.

Perth Glory: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC, 2. Jack CLISBY, 6. Cameron EDWARDS, 7. Jacob BURNS, 8. Ryo NAGAI, 10. Jamie MACLAREN, 14. Steven MCGARRY, 17. Chris HAROLD, 23. Michael THWAITE, 24. Matthew DAVIES, 25. Riley WOODCOCK.

Subs: 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 11. Adrian ZAHRA, 16. Sidnei Sciola MORAES, 18. Jack DUNCAN, 22. Ndumba MAKECHE.

Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC, 4. Jonathan MCKAIN, 5. Osama MALIK, 7. Jeronimo NEUMANN, 8. ISAIAS, 10. Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11. Bruce DJITE, 13. Steven LUSTICA, 14. Cameron WATSON, 18. Michael ZULLO, 21. Tarek ELRICH.

Subs: 3. Nigel BOOGAARD, 9. Sergio CIRIO, 17. Awer MABIL, 19. Jake BARKER-DAISH, 20. Paul IZZO.

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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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