Glory end winless streak, dent Jets’ finals hopes

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A huge weight was lifted off the shoulders of Perth Glory yesterday as the team ended a run of ten games without a win by defeating the Newcastle Jets 2-1.

In front of a season-low crowd of 5837 at nib Stadium, Glory showed great character to come from a goal down and claim three points that moves them closer to avoiding a first wooden spoon of the Hyundai A-League era.

“It’s nice to win,” said interim coach Kenny Lowe afterwards.

“It gives everyone a lift around the place. It gives a little bit of belief.”

Adam Taggart, who departed Glory in 2012 after a lack of game time at his hometown club, netted his 14th goal of the season to put the Jets in front on 61 minutes.

However, a stunning 84th minute free kick from Serbian Nebojsa Marinkovic and Chris Harold’s header from six yards shortly afterwards turned the game on its head.

The win was only Lowe’s third since taking temporary charge of Glory back in December but he is reportedly one of the names on a shortlist to fill the head coaching role permanently.

“We have a short list of six, of which Kenny is one, alongside one other Australian based coach and four more from abroad,” said club CEO Jason Brewer last week.

“That list will soon be narrowed down to two.”

Glory’s active supporters chose to make themselves heard before the game with a banner that read “2004 CHAMPIONS, 2014 A NEW LOWE” in reference to the difference between the club’s current standing in the A-League and the NSL a decade ago when they were champions.

In injury news, marquee man William Gallas had to be replaced by Brandon O’Neill at half time after suffering a hamstring problem and may now have played in last game in purple.

The Frenchman, who has been dogged by injuries since joining the club in October, has been a strong performer in recent weeks and certainly has the support by those close to him.

“Maybe the uninitiated and not football-savvy people think he’s going to pull it down, go past 12, overhead kick and stick it in the seven every game,” said Kenny Lowe yesterday.

“But that’s not how it works, he’s an out-and-out defender if you watch him.”

Jason Brewer has suggested that Gallas, who will undergo scans on his hamstring today, could remain in Perth next season but a decision on his future would be left up to the incoming coach.

“Ultimately that’s down to the coach,” said Brewer.

“He [Gallas] loves Perth and he has shown over the past 10 or so games that he is improving with each one, but the new coach will have control over the type of player he wants.”

With two games to go in their season, Glory are level on points with Melbourne Heart at the bottom of the ladder and play their final home game against the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday evening.

The Jets, meanwhile, are now locked in a battle with Sydney FC for the sixth finals spot and will be looking for maximum points from their remaining fixtures against Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United, both of which are at home.

Perth Glory: 18. Jack DUNCAN, 2. Jack CLISBY, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 7. Jacob BURNS, 8. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 10. Jamie MACLAREN, 14. Steven MCGARRY, 17. Chris HAROLD, 19. Joshua RISDON, Michael THWAITE, 36. William GALLAS.

Subs: 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 4. Ryan EDWARDS, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 28. Darvydas SERNAS, 39. Luke RADONICH.

Newcastle Jets: 20. Ben KENNEDY, 4. Kew JALIENS, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9. Emile HESKEY, 14. Joshua MITCHELL, 15. Joshua BRILLIANTE, 21. Samuel GALLOWAY, 22. Adam TAGGART, 23. David CARNEY, 29. Joel GRIFFITHS.

Subs: 1 Mark BIRIGHITTI, 5. Benjamin KANTAROVSKI, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 24. Mitchell OXBORROW.

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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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