Maclaren double leaves Jets grounded in Perth

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Substitute Jamie Maclaren scored twice in just three minutes to give Perth Glory a scrappy 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium on Saturday evening.

The visitors had taken a surprise lead on 74 minutes through Jeronimo Neumann before Maclaren was introduced to great effect, waking most of the 8624 people in attendance from their slumber.

The result means that Glory have now won four games in a row at home for the first time in the A-League.

However, despite having the lion’s share of possession throughout, the home side struggled to break down a resolute Jets side who made good on their intentions to defend resolutely.

After a very poor first half that saw Glory camped in Jets territory for long periods, the game finally sprung to life when Jeronimo scored his first goal for Newcastle with a well struck shot from a difficult angle.

Maclaren entered the fray as a direct response to that goal and found the net with his first touch, turning home a Scott Jamieson cross.

Just minutes later, the game was turned on its head completely as Dino Djulbic headed down a Nebojsa Marinkovic corner and Maclaren got to the ball ahead of Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti to score.

Lowe admitted afterwards that there was very little science in the decision to throw Maclaren into the game with his side desperate after Jeronimo’s opener.

“We had a bit of a plan with Macca [Maclaren] and Andy [Keogh] because they played the game the other night and Andy was sore in certain parts,” he said.

“I don’t know if you remember; Macca was running the last 30 minutes with cramp so I think if we had started them both they wouldn’t have lasted.”

Although Glory picked up no injuries on the day, Lowe revealed that the players are struggling physically after playing three games in a week but said he was delighted with the resolve shown to come from behind and win for the third time already this season.

“To do it after a midweek game, going 120, and do it again…it just shows we’ve got some quality characters in that dressing room,” said Lowe.

There were a number of changes to the Glory side after Wednesday night’s FFA Cup win over Melborune Victory as Diogo Ferreira, Jack Clisby, Nebojsa Marinkovic and Daniel De Silva replaced Scott Jamieson, Richard Garcia, Josh Risdon and Maclaren in the starting line-up.

With Ruben Zadkovich, Sidnei Sciola Moraes and Chris Harold close to returning from injury, and other options in the likes of Brandon O’Neill, Riley Woodcock and Matthew Davies, Lowe could have a selection headache of the good sort on his hands over the next few weeks.

“I’ll be praying for a few injuries so I don’t have to make too many decisions,” he joked.

While it was a hot day in Perth and legs were heavy after the midweek excursions, Glory could be criticised for lacking urgency in the final third, and Youssouf Hersi missed a couple of good chances to find the net.

Winning while not firing on all cylinders is encouraging though and three wins from four league games has Glory currently in second spot on the ladder.

For their part, the game ends a horrible four-game road stretch for the Jets, and they will finally run out at Hunter Stadium next week once the new playing surface has been laid.

“We’ve come from Wellington last week and I think we’ve erased that memory of a poor performance,” said coach Phil Stubbins.

“The other three games that we’ve had – Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne City and Perth Glory – I think we’ve put our hands up as a club, we’ve had a real crack.

“We’ve had some things and speed bumps to get over along the way to this point but I think there’s a lot of positives for us to take into next week’s game against Melbourne Victory at home.”

With Marcos Flores, Jonny Steele, Billy Celeski, Adrian Madaschi and Scott Neville to come back into the fold, Stubbins is hopeful that results will turn in their favour soon.

“I think it’s going to be great for everyone involved with the football club that we’re going back to Hunter Stadium and we can represent the shirt back amongst out home supporters,” said Stubbins.

For their part, Glory head to the Central Coast to take on fellow FFA Cup semi-finalists the Mariners next Sunday.

Perth Glory: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC, 2. Jack CLISBY, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Youssouf HERSI, 9. Andrew KEOGH, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 17. Mitchell NICHOLS, 20. Daniel DE SILVA, 23. Michael THWAITE.

Subs: 11. Richard GARCIA, 15. Jamie MACLAREN, 19. Joshua RISDON, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 30. Jordan THURTELL.

Newcastle Jets: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI, 3. Taylor REGAN, 4. Kew JALIENS, 5. Benjamin KANTAROVSKI, 7. JERONIMO, 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 11. Andrew HOOLE, 12. Sam GALLAGHER, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 18. Allan WELSH, 23. David CARNEY.

Subs: 8. Zenon CARAVELLA, 13. Edson MONTANO, 17. James VIRGILI, 20. Ben KENNEDY, 21. Samuel GALLOWAY.

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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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