Wanderers go top of the table with Aaron Mooy's deflected strike enough to give them their seventh straight victory
|By STEVE ORME
The Western Sydney Wanderers have extended their winning streak to seven matches and claimed top spot on the A-League ladder with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Perth Glory at Parramatta Stadium.
Tony Popovic's men dominated the opening stanza in wet and windy conditions but had to wait until the 58th minute for the match-winner, with Aaron Mooy scoring off a deflection from Michael Thwaite.
The Glory fought until the final whistle and came agonisingly close to equalising when Liam Miller's strike deflected off team-mate Ryo Nagai in the 82nd minute.
But the ball sailed just over the cross bar as the Wanderers held on in a tense finish to the delight of the 11,772 raucous fans who braved the big Sydney wet.
The win lifts the competition newcomers to 44 competition points, two clear of the Central Coast Mariners who can reclaim top spot with a win over Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.
It was an honest performance from Alistair Edwards' men, however the Glory remain stranded in ninth spot on the ladder, five points outside of the all-important top six.
Shinji Ono fired the first shot in anger from either side on six minutes, but team-mate Joey Gibbs got in the way after Jerome Polenz broke free down the right and delivered a dangerous cross.
The Wanderers stayed on the attack with Gibbs forcing Danny Vukovic to make his first save of the afternoon.
The home side continued to ask questions of the Glory, Ono unleashing Youssouf Hersi who was convinced he was brought down in the box by Dean Heffernan, but referee Ben Williams disagreed.
Mooy and Hersi fired shots on target to keep Vukovic busy before the Glory enjoyed a brief period of dominance midway through the half.
But the brick-wall Wanderers defence had an answer for everything the visitors could muster.
And when Western Sydney custodian Ante Covic was finally called into action in the 36th minute, he made light work of Thwaite's header after a Heffernan corner kick.
Vukovic had a far busier afternoon and was forced to produce another sharp save in the shadows of half-time after Mark Bridge found the target from long range.
It was an arm-wrestle to start the second half but the Wanderers finally got reward for their dominance when Mooy found the back of the net off a wicked deflection from Thwaite.
Mooy worked an old-fashioned give-and-go with Bridge and fired on goal from the top of the box.
His shot found the top left corner to break the deadlock and continue his side's remarkable winning run.