Coast snatch a point from celebrating Glory

by Chris Dunkerley:
Hyundai A-League – Season 12 – 2016/2017 – Round 1
7pm, Saturday 8 October, 2016 – East Perth Oval

Perth Glory FC  3 (Adam Taggart 4’, 27’, Castro 35’ (pen))
drew with
Central Coast Mariners FC 3 (Roy O’Donovan 56’ 86′ (pen), Blake Powell 83’)

The Central Coast Mariners played themselves back from 3-0 down at half-time to steal an away point from Perth Glory in one of the best comebacks in A-League history.

Perth Glory were celebrating their 20th anniversary as a club on the night, and the first half partying seemed apt as they raced away to a solid lead thanks to a brace from Adam Taggart and a penalty, plus  some dire defending that gave Mariners fans flashbacks of HAL11 disasters.

The second half was a different matter as Glory appeared to slacken their intensity just as the visitors found some steel in defence and some rythm in attack, netting 3 times to square the ledger.

Former Jet Adam Taggart marked his return to the Hyundai A-League with a goal in just into the 4th minute. A dangerous cross from former Mariner youth Marc Warren sailed into the area and Taggart rose free of Micheal Neill to head past Coast custodian Ivan Necevski. 1-0

A rare chance to the Mariners when Connor Pain was taken down by Glory’s skipper and former Mariner Rostyn Griffiths. Storm Roux, thankfully returned from season ending injury, sent the free kick straight at former Mariner Liam Reddy in the Perth goal.

Taggart drifted to the back post in the 27th minute and volleyed home from close range with Jacques Faty unable to hinder him. 2-0

Glory’s speedster Chris Harold was fouled in the box by Jacques Faty in the 34th minute. Diego Castro stepped up and sent his penalty shot into the bottom corner giving Ivan Necevski no chance. 3-0

With the tide turning after the break, Storm Roux made a buildup before finding Trent Buhagiar on the right flank. Buhagiar found space and played it into O’Donovan who was on hand to finish with ease from inside the box. 3-1

After some impressive build up from out wide, the ball fell at the feet of Kwabena Appiah-Kubi .  He looked certain to score his maiden Hyundai A-League goal before the ball deflected off a Perth defender before bouncing off Liam Reddy and Blake Powell to roll over the line. 3-2

Socceroo defender Rhys Williams barged Roy O’Donoval down up in the area. The Irishman calmly  shot the penalty past Reddy to complete the incredible comeback. 3-3

Mariners coach Paul Okon said after the game that, “There’s a little bit of us that feels disappointed that we didn’t go on and win – but the first half, conceding so early set us back a little bit, we lost confidence but certainly the second half was the type of football we want to play. “Throughout pre-season defensively we’ve been really sound, Glory’s movement upfront when they’re on song is very difficult to deal with so we got a bit shifted”, he stated.

Match details

Crowd:  9,501

Perth Glory FC
33. Liam REDDY (gk), 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9. Andy KEOGH, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 17.Diego CASTRO (28.Joseph KNOWLES +78’), 19.Josh RISDON, 22.Adam TAGGART (24. Milan SMILJANIC +64’)
Subs not used:  13.Nicholas FEELY (rgk)

Cards:  Yellow – Griffiths 25’, Wilson 77’
Coach: Kenny Lowe

Central Coast Mariners FC
1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX (25. Ryan PETERSON +74’) 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6.Blake POWELL, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Mickael TAVARES, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (13. Kwabena APPIAH-KUBI +74’), Jacques FATY (22.Jake McGING +46’), 21.Michael NEILL
Subs not used:  20.Paul IZZO (rgk), 14.Adam BERRY

Cards:  Yellow –  Montgomery 80’, Tavares 92’
Coach:  Paul Okon

Ratings and Points

Match  7/10
Pitch  8/10

Referee:  Chris Beath    7/10
Assistants: Josh Mannella, Matthew Southern; Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

Player points:
2.  Adam Taggart (PG)
2.  Ivan Necevski (CCM)
1.  Rostyn Griffiths (PG)
1.  Connor Pain (CCM)