Cobwebs swept away at Parramatta

By Corinthian (Paul Green):
Hyundai A-League – Season 11 – 2015/2016 – Round 4

5:05pm, Sunday 1st November 2015 – Parramatta Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Dario Vidosic 45)
Perth Glory FC  0

Western Sydney Wanderers broke through for their first win of the 2015-16 season, when they beat Perth Glory at a dampened Parramatta Stadium on Sunday evening.

Although they won by the only goal of the game, it was a convincing success, all the same, with most of the pre-season cobwebs finally swept away.

Without the injured Romeo Castelen and awaiting the return of a few others including Shannon Cole and Golgol Mebrahtu and Brendan Hamill, the home team looked in good shape for most of the game as they enjoyed a huge share of possession.

The winner came immediately before the break, from the boot of the impressive Dario Vidosic, who has slotted in nicely after slowly being introduced to the team, following a minor setback during pre-season preparations.

He took the goal well, after a corner from the left by Dimas Delgado had been only partially cleared.

Glory keeper, former Wanderers’ star Ante Covic, had made some good saves and interventions prior to his team conceding, but after his defenders cleared the ball hastily it only needed the alert Wanderers’ defender, Alberto Aguilar, to lay the ball in the path of Vidosic for the polished attacker to drill the ball low, past a sea of legs, into the back of the net.

1-0 on the stroke of half time was a perfect end to the first period for Wanderers and their fans, who’ve been patient and loyal, as they’ve seen their team playing well, but without reward, leading up to this game.

Perth Glory battled away, keeping mistakes to a minimum, but without looking like taking overall control at any stage.

While it remained 1-0 there was always a chance, so their tactics were unsurprising as they went into the game with a number of sidelined players.

The absence of Chris Harold, Diego Castro and Gyorgy Sandor, perhaps their three most dangerous players on their last NSW visit at Central Coast, on the opening day of the new season, certainly limited them.

In addition Ruben Zadkovich, who can provide much nuisance value and some degree of leadership from out of defence, has not kicked a ball yet this season.

But whatever excuses Glory may have had, we all know that the FFA Cup Final a matter of only seven days later was surely weighing on their minds, so it would come as no surprise that they might hold some players back, if they were not 100 per cent.

The Wanderers were just happy to get the monkey off their back and record their first win of the season, a milestone seen as mirroring the pattern established in their first A League season when they went on to win the title at the first attempt.

Coach Tony Popovic wasn’t really interested in discussing this coincidence with assembled media, post match, insisting that his team’s personnel were completely different as was their style and approach.

Having beaten Glory here, albeit by the one, lone strike, the Wanderers will be looking to pick up their first win on foreign soil on Saturday night when they travel to Newcastle to meet the Jets, whose own start to the season has been outstanding, enabling them to sit on nine points compared to the Wanderers’ hard-earned four.

Glory sent on half-fit wide attacking player, Guyon Fernandez, at half time replacing the out of position Marc Warren, who’d picked up a yellow card after only seven minutes of the first half.

Fernandez looked the man to offer the best threat as he continued to probe down the left, but the Wanderers nullified him for the most part and he had little support around him, which made the home team’s task a little easier.

At the back the Glory team was sound and difficult to break down, experienced former international, Michael Thwaite, outstanding and keeper Covic determined to do all within his power to deny his former club.

Perth Glory’s established midfielder, Nebojsa Markovic, played fairly, without threatening much, doing the set-pieces well enough, though unable to offer much in the way of outstanding creativity. Perhaps more might have come from him, given his seniority among the attacking ranks available.

Marinkovic went closest with a shot from around the edge of the area in the 69th, with the well-struck effort thundering inches wide of the left hand upright. He also sent a free-kick in the 86th just over the bar, to the relief of the home fans, who feared their precious 1-0 lead might not be enough to see them through.

Match details

Crowd:  14,194

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK); 12. Scott NEVILLE,  4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (C), 17 Alberto AGUILAR, (22. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS 59), 3. Scott JAMIESON;  8. Dimas DELGADO, 18. ANDREU;  6. Mitch NICHOLS;  9. Federico PIOVACCARI (11. Brendon SANTALAB 79),  16. Jaushua SOTIRIO (19. Mark BRIDGE 55), 10. Dario VIDOSIC
Subs Not Used:  1. Dean BOUZANIS (rgk), 21. Jacob PEPPER

Yellow cards: Jonathan Aspropotamitis 61, Dimas Delgado 86
Red cards: Nil

Coach: Tony Popovic

PERTH GLORY FC: 1. Ante COVIC (gk);  5. Antony GOLEC. 23. Michael THWAITE, 6. Dino DJULBIC; 13. Diogo FERREIRA (29. Aryn WILLIAMS 75); 19. Josh RISDON, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC,  15. Hagi GLIGOR (2. Alex GRANT 57), 3. Marc WARREN (20. Guyon FERNANDEZ 46); 11. Richard GARCIA (C), 16. Sidnei SCIOLA
Subs not used: 12. Jerrad TYSON (rgk),  24. Jamal REINERS

Yellow cards: Marc Warren 7, Antony Golec 75
Red cards: Nil

Coach:  Kenny Lowe

Referee: Matthew Congen 6/10
Assistants: Allyson Flynn and Lance Greenshields; Fourth Official: Katie Patterson

Points and ratings

Player points:
3. Dario Vidosic (WSW)
2. Michael Thwaite  (PG)
1. Andreu  (WSW)

Match 7/10
Pitch 8/10

By Corinthian (Paul Green)