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The winning Perth SC Under 20 side. Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

U20s Top Four Cup Final: Azzurri show Glory how to finish

Report by Peter Simcox

Perth SC produced a great defensive display to beat league winners Perth Glory 3-1 in the Top Five Cup Final at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium.

After holding off a rampant Glory in the openingg 20 minutes, Perth hit back and were clinical in front of goal through skipper Lennon Crane and Leigh Morgan before half-time.

Glory found a lifeline on the hour with Liam Murray on target, but Perth weren’t to be pegged back and three minutes from time Jayden Gorman added a third to win it for the Azzurri and deny Glory the Treble.

It was Glory who opened the brighter and after good approach work from Mason Tatafu and Tyler Vecchio, the latter slipping the ball through to Ciaran Bramwell whose effort drifted inches past the post.

They were in again when Albert Fullard sent Sasa Njegic into the penalty area, but Perth keeper Adrian Sinagra got down well to save at his near post. From the corner Bramwell headed against the crossbar as Glory peppered the Perth goal.

But against the run of play Perth SC opened the scoring on 27 minutes. A ball into the penalty area came out to Crane, who was given too much room on the edge of the penalty area and he finished past Jacob Range.

Football West Board Member Richard Marshall hands the U20 trophy to Perth SC’s Ljupco Taneski and Lennon Crane

Glory continued to dictate terms and Bramwell saw his effort cleared off the line by Orton Raumati, before Charlie Leech smacked the base of the post with a shot two minutes from the break.

Perth were defending for their lives and that desperation was rewarded in the final minute of the half when they doubled their advantage. Gorman’s corner from the left picked out Morgan, who lost his marker to send them into half-time with a 2-0 lead.

Glory were again on the front foot after the break. Leech’s snapshot was saved low by Sinagra before their early pressure was rewarded on the hour.

Second-half substitute Murray was brought down on the edge of the penalty area and he picked himself up to fired home the  free-kick past Sinagra.

Murray, who had scored a hat-trick in their State League Reserves Cup Final win earlier in the season, was a constant threat and his goalbound shot on 68 minutes was blocked.

Then two minutes later Jayden Leader’s long-range strike was well saved by Sinagra, and it looked only a matter of time before Glory levelled.

However, with Glory pushing players forward they starting to get caught out at the back and Morgan’s shot was saved low by Range, before Gorman raced in on goal but the Glory keeper stood tall to deny him.

Then three minutes from time Perth found the decisive third goal. Sheperd Chivambe’s shot was saved low by Range, the ball rebounding to Gorman who fired home.

Star player: Lennon Crane (Perth SC)

Perth Glory 1 (Murray 60)
Perth SC 3 (Crane 27, Morgan 45, Gorman 87)

Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium
Saturday September 14, 2019
Kick-off: 12.15pm
Referee: Arvin Shanmuganathan
Assistant referees: Alexander Wright, Lawson Rimmer
Fourth official: Brendan Skinner

Perth Glory: GK Jacob RANGE, 2 Nicholas McDONALD, 3 Albert FULLARD, 5 Mason TATAFU, 6 Jayden LEADER (15 Mitch SMITH 90), 7 Bryce BAFFORD, 8 Jordan ABRAHAMS, 9 Ciaran BRAMWELL (12 Christian BELLADONNA 75), 10 Sasa NJEGIC (13 Liam MURRAY 57), 11 Charlie LEECH, 14 Jacob MUIR
Substitutes not used: 4 Aidan COYNE, 20 Keegan GRANT
Yellow cards: McDonald 71
Red cards: Nil

Perth SC: GK Adrian SINAGRA, 3 Nicholas MESSINA, 6 Jason PETRIE, 8 Lennon CRANE, 9 Leigh MORGAN (4 Adam BUCKINGHAM 81), 10 Orton RAUMATI, 12 Jawad REZAI (21 Sheperd CHIVAMBE 63), 14 Oscar HEANEY, 18 Luke GARAS (7 Tommy COYLE 90), 19 Jayden GORMAN, 20 William NICHOLSON
Substitutes not used: GK Ben RATAJCZAK, 5 William GORDON
Yellow cards: Crane 46, Chivambe 83, Buckingham 93
Red cards: Nil