Central Coast v. North Queensland – (1-0)
The Central Coast saw off the Queensland Fury at home on Wednesday night, with Adam Kwasnik once again grabbing the winning goal to send the Mariners into 3rd spot.
While Chris Payne had returned for the Fury to combine up front with David Williams, the lack of penetration meant it was a fairly easy win for the Mariners.
The Fury enjoyed a superior amount of possession, especially in the first half, but despite their fluid passing they all too often broke down in the final third of the pitch.
The opener came after some nice build-up play from the Mariners, who too often played long-ball football in this match.
McGlinchey fed Matt Simon on the right hand side, and the forward crossed to the far post for his strike partner Kwasnik to head home under pressure from Matthew Storey. While it was a good goal the defence from the Fury was hopeless, with little pressure placed on Simon and three players in the box watching as Kwasnik rose to head the ball in.
The Fury had two decent chances before half-time, with Payne shooting straight at Ryan on 34 minutes, while Edds also saw his shot from a tight angle blocked by the young Mariner’s keeper.
Williams led the attack in the second half and despite some promising signs the Fury fizzled out as the game drew to a close. Far too often the midfield gave the ball away cheaply and they really didn’t provide the Mariners with enough problems.
The only sign of a goal was when Panagiotis Nikas danced through the Central Coast defence only to see substitute Dyron Daal fall asleep and let his perfect cross into the box go unrewarded.
Meanwhile the introduction of Amini for Perez seemed to spark a bit of life into the game, the youngster once again impressing, with a brilliant chipped through ball for Simon in the 70th minute an example of the kid’s class.
The game finished with the Fury unable to string more than three passes together and it was a comfortable win for the Mariners.
Perth Glory v. Adelaide United – (4-2)
Great game, some great goals and a good, timely win for Perth Glory.
Perth opened the scoring very early on through a Jamie Coyne header, but I missed the goal so I don’t know a thing about it.
Perth looked good from there on, threatening more so than Adelaide, however the Reds found an equaliser after substitute Joseph Keenan found the net in the 22nd minute.
It came as a result of poor defending from the Glory, as Velaphi and Mitchell challenged together to clear a corner, the ball falling to the former Chelsea youth player, who easily finished.
After that it was all Adelaide, with Iain Ramsay making headways down the left hand side and Perth struggling to get a hold onto the game after dominating the first 20 minutes.
However some poor goalkeeping from Eugene Galekovic allowed Perth to regain the lead, Sterjovski latching onto a long, hopeful ball forward by Harnwell, rounding the keeper and calmly finishing into an empty net.
It was just reward for the former Socceroo after he had terrorised the Reds defence down the left side of a number of occasions.
S the Glory went into half-time ahead, however they once again spurned their lead when Sergio van Dijk continued his great goalscoring form with a well taken half-volley in the 50th minute after a poor clearance from the Perth defence. It was the Dutchman’s 10th goal of the season.
Perth had to call upon the services of Marquee man Robbie Fowler in order to record a deserved victory after that setback.
On 67 minutes Adrian Pellegrino put through a perfect, quite astonishing first time through ball for Fowler, and the former England International finished with a strike that can only be hailed as absolute class. It was a tight angle but Robbie calmly slotted the ball home and nestled his shot into the far corner.
Iain Ramsay then had his own opportunity to rival Sterjovski’s effort, but this time when the youngster rounded the keeper he put his shot high and wide, perhaps highlighting his tender years.
The miss was made to pay when Robbie Cornthwaite was adjudged to have bundled over Sterjovski in the box and the defender was sent off as he was the last man.
When I first saw the foul I immediately agreed with the decision but on second viewings I think it was pretty damn soft, no way should a big man like Mile go down like that so easily.
Ah well, Robbie Fowler stepped up and put the spot kick past Galekovic with an effort that could be easily described as perfect and confident. Brilliant.
I missed the last ten minutes due to work commitments, but on this showing I feel Perth could make a late push for a finals spot. They definitely have the quality and hopefully this win will spark a bit of a run for them…as long as it doesn’t affect the Jets getting a finals spot.
Still question marks over their discipline however, with Naum Sekulovksi picking up his 8th yellow of the season, while Mile Sterjovksi was lucky to escape with only a yellow after kicking out at Iain Fyfe.
Their defence also looked fairly dodgy, with both goals conceded being avoidable.
Meanwhile the Reds have their own suspension worries and will be stretched at the back for their trip to the Central Coast on Boxing Day.
Both Fyfe (5th yellow) and Cornthwaite (red) will receive suspensions and with Daniel Mullen out for the season that leaves Cassio as the only fully fit defender, with Boogard making his return off the bench in this match.
update: The FFA have clarified that Fyfe’s yellow card was in actual fact only his 4th of the season, which is a timely boost for the Reds..
Have a great Chrissie, and enjoy the Boxing Day Test/A-League matches!!!