Perth Glory 3-1 Melbourne Victory
Perth Glory won their first A-League match since 5 September when they overcame Melbourne Victory 3-1 at NIB Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Robbie Fowler signalled a welcome return to form with a hat-trick, but there were still signs of a lack of confidence on his part. He had a penalty saved when his spot-kick was tame, but he was fortunate to smack home the rebound.
Melbourne Victory had 52 per cent of the possession but were unable to make the most of it, while Glory had 9 corners to Melbourne’s 3.
Victory have now only had four wins from 15 games and find themselves in 6th place, 3 points adrift of city rivals Melbourne Heart.
Glory are 8th on the ladder.
Fowler almost gave Perth the lead in the 2nd minute when put clean through by Jamie Coyne, but Michael Petkovic produced a brilliant save.
A foul by Rodrigo Vargas on Fowler in the 13th minute saw referee Chris Beath, in charge of his 45th A-League match, point to the penalty spot. Petkovic easily saved Fowler’s spot-kick, but the former Liverpool star scored from the rebound to give Glory the lead.
Fowler almost had a second 4 minutes after the interval, but Petkovic saved his downward header.
Five minutes later, Fowler made it 2-0. Jacob Burns had his shot blocked by Vargas and the ball rebounded to Neville, who passed to Fowler and he netted with ease.
In the 61st minute, Fowler completed his hat-trick when he collected a long pass from midfield from Adriano Pellegrino and cut inside the right-hand side of the box and beat Petkovic at his near post with a left-footed strike.
Substitute Mate Dugandzic pulled a goal back for the visitors after Diogo Ferreira’s pass in the 79th minute, but Victory were well beaten.
Perth Glory: Velaphi - Neville (Fondyke 76), Todd, Harnwell, Coyne - Pellegrini, Burns, McGarry (Amphlett 80), Howarth (Griffiths 66) - Baird, Fowler [Substitute not used: Vrteski]
Booked: Harnwell, Neville, McGarry, Fondyke
Goals: Fowler 13, 54, 61
Melbourne Victory: Petkovic - Leijer, Muscat, Vargas - Pondeljak (Broxham 46), Celeski, Brebner (Ferreira 56), Sukha - Angulo, Hernandez, Thompson (Dugandzic 69) [Substitute not used: Mattei]
Booked: Broxham, Muscat
Goals: Dugandzic 79
Ref: C Beath