Risdon’s ripper gives Glory a much-needed win

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Perth Glory’s nine game winless streak game to an end in stunning fashion last night as Josh Ridon hammered home a late goal to give them a 3-2 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

The 22-year-old full back strode forward before unleashing a pile driver that gave Ante Covic no chance in the visitors’ goal, and admitted afterwards that he had never struck a ball so well.

“Definitely one of the best goals I’ve ever scored,” he said.
“I was taking the ball forward and going a bit too quick and my options were running out so I just thought the last option was to shoot.”

With the race for the Premiership as tight as you could possibly get, the result was a much needed shot in the arm for Glory’s chances of claiming some A-League silverware.

Their previous win came away to Melbourne Victory on January 2nd, and the last time they picked up three points at home was way back on December 20th when they beat the Central Coast Mariners 4-1.
Coach Kenny Lowe explained after the game that perhaps his side had regressed too far into their shell, and a conscious effort was made to be more attacking in the lead up to Saturday night.
“We’ve gone back and looked at all the games and seen that when we were flying we thought ‘we’re a little bit open, we need to box it off and not be so open’, but I think we went maybe a little too far and too conservative,” he said.
“Andy [Keogh] getting isolated, our wingers working too deep…that’s probably why we were hard to beat.

“But we said we’re in for a penny, in for a pound, we’re in a great position, let’s go and take some risks.”
There was plenty of colour on show amongst the 9415 spectators present with the Wanderers fans travelling in numbers, and both active supporter groups lit up the night with their respective displays of pyrotechnics.
The first half contained few fireworks on the park though, and the hosts in particular lacked real conviction with their finishing.
The only goal of the opening period came on 13 minutes via the boot of Romeo Castelen as he latched on to a ball over the top to score.
After the break, Glory mixed things up a little by pushing Sidnei into a more central role, and it paid dividends within ten minutes as the Brazilian, who didn’t even make the match day squad last week, found the net.
“He’s been injured for a few weeks so I didn’t think he would last but fair play to him, he hung in there until the death,” said Lowe.
Rostyn Griffiths then rose highest to nod home a Scott Jamieson corner, however a misplaced pass from Chris Harold minutes later allowed Iacopo La Rocca to play in Kerem Bulut, and the young striker made no mistake with his finish past Danny Vukovic.
While Wanderers were largely second best on the stats board, they did spurn a number of opportunities to add to their two goals, something that coach Tony Popovic touched on in the post-game press conference.
“The overall result is tough to take, we played very well away from home as we did on Wednesday,” he said.
“The difference was tonight we got punished for set plays and they scored a wonderful goal at the end, but at 1-1 we had two chances that you’ve really got to put away.
“And if we put that away, we go 2-1 up and I’m sure we wouldn’t be sitting here after a defeat.”
It has been an injury hit season for the Wanderers, who have also had to juggle Asian Champions League commitments, but Popovic believes that it’s been a good chance for youngsters like Kerem Bulut to show what they’re capable of.
“He came to us on a very low base in terms of fitness, he had a long period in Turkey of not playing but he’s a goal scorer,” said the former Socceroo.
“He’s young, he has a lot of work to do but we’ve got a few young boys that have been given an opportunity, new boys that came in January and are doing well.”
Wanderers must now pick themselves up for a home game against Melbourne City next weekend, while Glory head to Newcastle to take on the Jets.

Perth Glory starting XI: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 9. Andrew KEOGH, 11. Richard GARCIA, 14. Chris HAROLD, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA, 17. Mitchell NICHOLS, 19. Joshua RISDON, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE.

Perth Glory substitutes: 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 25. Mitchell OXBORROW, 27. Dragan PALJIC, 28. Denis KRAMAR, 30. Jordan THURTELL.
Western Sydney Wanderers starting XI: 1. Ante COVIC, 3. Yusuke TANAKA, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 7. Labinot HALITI, 10. Yojiro TAKAHAGI, 12. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 14. Kerem BULUT, 17. Romeo CASTELEN, 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA, 25. Samuel GALLAWAY, 37. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS.
Western Sydney Wanderers substitutes: 20. Dean BOUZANIS, 23. Jason TRIFIRO, 33. Nicholas KALMAR, 38. Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 42. Adrian MADASCHI.

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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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