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Now Glory on top as the upsets continue
Football West News
The unpredictable start to the National Premier Leagues WA season shows no sign of letting up with two big upsets on the weekend and a third different team on top of the ladder in as many weeks.
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Perth Glory are the latest side to hit the summit and even that didn’t come without drama. Glory missed a first-half penalty away to Stirling Lions and then 12 minutes into the second half found themselves 2-0 down and with a mountain to climb.
John Gibson’s side are not short in the character department, however, and within four minutes they were level thanks to goals from Joe Knowles and Yacoub Mustafa. And with the last kick of the match Walter Scott hit the winner to complete a thrilling recovery.
But if Glory’s youngsters were expecting a pat on the back from Gibson after the game, they couldn’t have been more mistaken.
“I thought we were disrespectful today, we showed a poor attitude in certain areas,” the Glory coach said.
“We could have capitalised really early, but fair play to Stirling … they hung in there all day.”
That result, coupled with unexpected losses for Perth SC and Bayswater City, saw Glory go top although there is just a single point separating them and Cockburn in fifth.
Perth SC, who led the table heading into Round Nine, suffered their first defeat since the opening weekend in going down 1-0 at home to revitalised Balcatta.
Calum O’Connell’s goal on 65 minutes gave Balcatta the points in a tight derby to make it four straight wins for Goran Stajic’s side.
“That’s our first clean sheet of the year,” Stajic said. “I can’t name any names, it was the whole defence who worked today.”
The Azzurri drop to second on goal difference while third are Bayswater, who were beaten for a second successive week after they crashed 2-0 at home to Floreat Athena.
Ludovic Boi scored both of Athena’s goals before half-time while keeper Jason Saldaris pulled off several good saves on his way to a well-deserved clean sheet.
“I’m relieved to get a performance under our belt, we know we should be achieving this every week,” Athena coach Howard Tweats said.
“This is only one game – we’ve got a lot of quality players. When we settle down and get to the game we want to play, we’ll be a match for any side.”
ECU Joondalup are fourth after they took local honours with a 3-1 victory over Joondalup United thanks to Daryl Nicol’s hat-trick.
The Jacks were under the cosh early on against the league’s bottom club but after the players were taken off for a short break to escape a storm, ECU returned to the field refocused at Percy Doyle Reserve.
“We came into the changing room and had it out with each other and there were a few things said and we got a few things straight,” Nicol said.
Cockburn stayed with the leading pack after a come-from-behind victory over Sorrento, Harry O’Brien deciding the match for Scott Miller’s side 10 minutes from time.
Inglewood United are in sixth following a 2-0 win over Forrestfield United in which Ellis Healing scored a screamer for Andy Keogh’s side, while a last-minute David Perich header snatched a point for Subiaco in a entertaining clash against Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve.