Wanderers pile on the misery for Glory

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Perth Glory’s finals hopes are fading fast after another defeat in the Hyundai A-League, this time at the hands of the Western Sydney Wanderers at nib Stadium.

Mateo Poljak netted in the first half before Tomi Juric benefitted from a horrendous swing and miss from William Gallas in the 71st minute to add a second to secure all three points.

The defeat was Glory’s third in their last four games, and plenty of those amongst the 8453 spectators in attendance made their dissatisfaction known at the final whistle.

Dour first half showings have become the norm for Glory; their last goal in the opening 45 minutes of a contest came back on January 4th against the Newcastle Jets.

Interim coach Kenny Lowe admitted afterwards that his side were dominated until after the interval.

“First half, no one showed up,” he said.

“Second half was a new set of people that turned up, chalk and cheese.

 “First half we weren’t at the races, they dominated the game without overly creating a vast amount of opportunities.”

Wanderers opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Poljak was allowed far too much time and space 20 yards from goal with his shot finding the bottom corner of the net past the outstretched arm of Danny Vukovic.

A Nebojsa Marinkovic shot over the crossbar was all Glory could manage for their first half efforts before Lowe opted to introduce both Jacob Burns and Darvydas Sernas at the break in place of Steven McGarry and Chris Harold.

They home side came close to equalising in the second half when a Rostyn Griffiths header somehow stayed out before Gallas’ calamity in his own area allowed Juric to double to deficit.

Glory did try set up a grandstand finish with some good long range efforts from Josh Risdon and Michael Thwaite, while Vukovic almost capped his 200th A-League appearance with a goal but his overhead kick went wide.

While the late chances at least got the crowd more involved, they were flashes of desperation with the game long gone.

In truth, Western Sydney were comfortable for the majority of the game despite being without regular starters Ante Covic, Jerome Polenz and Shinji Ono.

Serbian playmaker Marinkovic was one of Glory’s transfer window acquisitions, and Lowe admitted that we’re not currently seeing him or fellow new boys Sernas and Rostyn Griffiths in full swing.

“The guys coming in are underdone,” he said. “I just hope we don’t run out of games for them to be viable. They’re good players, they’re very, very good players.”

In a league that can be so tight until the very last set of fixtures, Lowe is understandably striving for results on a week-to-week basis as he continues to audition for a full time position.

He rolled the dice in January by bringing in experience but, while the new recruits may be very good ability wise, how long can Glory wait for them to get up the match speed?

Results are needed now and naysayers, of which there are plenty, will be quick to suggest that the better option would have been to trust the promising group of youngsters who have been around the club since preseason and are fighting fit.

Lowe played down reports of a midweek training ground bust up between Jacob Burns and Ryan Edwards, passing it off as just one of those things that happens at a football club.

Glory could find themselves bottom of the ladder after today’s game between Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar but Lowe has not given up hope of making finals.

“There’s plenty of games left, there’s plenty of points to play for, so win them all,” he said.

Things don’t get any easier with just seven games to go, however, as they head to Brisbane to take on the table topping Roar next weekend.

Perth Glory: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 14. Steven MCGARRY, 16. Sidnei Sciola MORAES, 17. Chris HAROLD, 19. Joshua RISDON, 23. Michael THWAITE 25. Riley WOODCOCK, 36. William GALLAS.

Subs: 2. Jack CLISBY, 7. Jacob BURNS, 18. Jack DUNCAN, 20. Daniel DE SILVA, 28. Darvydas SERNAS.

Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Jerrad TYSON 2. Shannon COLE, 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 7. Labinot HALITI, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 10. Aaron MOOY, 11. Brendan SANTALAB, 13. Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14. Kwabena APPIAH, 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA.

Subs: 9. Tomi JURIC, 17. Youssouf HERSI, 22. Dean HEFFERNAN, 23. Jason TRIFIRO, 30. Thomas MANOS.

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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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