Newcastle Jets 0-1 Perth Glory: Chris Harold shoots down Jets
The youthful Glory side have snapped their three-game winless streak with a hard-fought victory at Hunter Stadium
By Mark Hughes
After dictating possession in the opening period of the first half and fashioning a number of clear cut opportunities, the Jets were unable to translate their dominance into a goal.
Their wastefulness in front of goal was punished when Chris Harold pounced on a wayward back pass from Jets fullback Jacob Pepper and he slotted home the opener just before half time.
The Jets completely dominated the second half and could have easily scored a number of goals but Perth's organisation and desperation in defence combined with some lackluster finishing ensured the visitors held on for a crucial away victory.
The match got underway in fine conditions and both teams looked intent on playing up-tempo football in the opening period of the match.
The hosts had the first real opportunity in the 11th minute when Craig Goodwin fired a shot straight at Danny Vukovic, who parried the ball towards Adam Taggart but he was unable to beat the Glory custodian.
The Jets gradually began to dominate possession as the Glory defence sat deep inside their own half with Zenon Caravella and Josh Brillante pulling the strings in midfield.
The home side should have opened the scoring in the 19th minute after some lovely build up play between Taggart and Ruben Zadkovich culminated in a chance for Goodwin inside the area but he screwed his shot wide from six yards.
The Jets winger nearly redeemed himself eight minutes later with a pinpoint cross finding Dutchman Kew Jaliens but the central defender steered his header over Vukovic's crossbar from close range.
Perth had their first real opportunity in the 33rd minute through Harold who fired a header just over the crossbar from the top of the six yard box after a delightful corner from Sidnei Sciola.
Despite the Jets dominating the mainstay of the first half it was the Glory who opened the scoring against the run of play through Harold in the 38th minute.
The livewire attacker pounced on an errant back pass from makeshift Jets fullback Pepper and he calmly slotted past the advancing Socceroos shot stopper.
The Jets started the second half with more intent and nearly levelled the scores through Taggart who fired a curling shot just wide of Vukovic's goal from the edge of the area.
The home side introduced marquee striker Emile Heskey just before the hour mark and he nearly fashioned an equaliser almost immediately with a clever back heel inside the box for Nathan Burns but the on-loan attacker dragged his shot just wide of the target.
The Jets continued to push for an equaliser as they completely dominated possession but their lack of passing continuity and Perth's willingness to get numbers behind the ball began to frustrate the hosts.
The hosts thought they had finally cracked the Glory defence in the 71st minute after Heskey headed the ball across goal from a corner towards Jaliens who volleyed towards goal but his shot was cleared off the line by Vukovic.
The final twenty minutes of the match was played almost entirely in Perth's defensive half as they looked to hold onto their lead and stifle the Jets attacking raids.
Burns had the opportunity to equalise from a free kick just outside the area but his goal bound effort was spectacularly saved by Vukovic.
Despite Newcastle's dominance in the second half they were unable to crack Perth's organised defensive structure and the visitors gained a much needed three points.
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