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Tia Stonehill, centre, is congratulated after scoring a penalty for the Gold Fields Women's State Team. Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

Cook serves up Glory win

Report by Peter Simcox

A brace from Liana Cook gave Perth Glory a hard-fought 3-1 win against the Gold Fields Women’s State Team in the Women’s Challenge Cup at Coker Park on Saturday.

Cook gave Glory the lead early before Jacynta Galabadaarachchi doubled the advantage five minutes before half time.

WA pulled one back when Tia Stonehill scored a penalty just before break, before Cook restored Glory’s two-goal advantage with her second on the hour.

The State team fought the game out well and created some good chances late on, but were unable to convert them.

Goldfields WA State Team coach Collette McCallum said her side were very competitive and put in a great performance on the night.


Liana Cook, centre, celebrates one of her two goals. Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

“We started the game a little hesitant and the Glory had us on the back foot and played some good football, but I was really pleased after the break and we had some good moments,” she said.

“We created some really good chances late and Morgan (Aquino) pulled off a couple of good saves to deny us.

“But we’ve only really had one session with the girls, so to come out and play like we did tonight I couldn’t be happier.”

Glory coach Bobby Despotovski was pleased with the first hit out of the season and said the new faces fitted in well.

“I thought we controlled the game from the start. We let them back into the game with a silly penalty but overall very happy were we are at this moment of time,” he said.

“Young Jacynta has came over from Melbourne, she is only 17 and has never been away from home and she only arrived this week. I thought she put in a good 90 minutes today. She tired late and it’s work in progress but it’s looking good for the season ahead.

“Eliza (Campbell) was good tonight and we’ve probably missed a little guidance from the back in the last couple of seasons, but along with Morgan (Aquino) we have two good goalkeepers that can push each other.”

With Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr in the crowd to watch her team mates, it was a lively opening in front of a big crowd with both sides having early chances.

First the impressive new Glory teenager Galabadaarachchi raced down the left and fired into the side netting after only three minutes.

Goalmouth action from the Gold Fields Women’s Team game with Perth Glory. Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

Moments later Queens Park duo Stonehill and skipper Katarina Jukic combined down the right. Jukic’s cross was well claimed by new Glory keeper Eliza Campbell, with Stonehill ready to pounce.

On 14 minutes it was Glory who opened the scoring. A great through ball from Shannon May sent Cook racing clear. She lobbed the on-coming Gabby Dal Busco, the ball bouncing off the crossbar and Cook was quickest to the rebound to head home.

Glory went close again when Galabadaarachchi saw her shot well saved by Dal Busco, before the WA keeper produced another fine save to deny Lexi Moreno.

Former Glory keeper Dal Busco then stood tall to deny Abbey Meakins in a one-on-one, before tipping over Moreno’s long-range shot.

But Glory’s pressure was rewarded with a second on 40 minutes. There looked little danger when Galabadaarachchi received the ball in the middle of the park but the former Melbourne City striker gave Dal Basco no chance with a lob from distance that finished in the top corner.

The Gold Fields side hit back when Jamie-Lee Gale’s shot was tipped onto the bar by the alert Campbell, and the keeper reacted well to save Jukic’s follow up shot.

But two minutes before half time WA found themselves a lifeline when Stonehill was brought down by Moreno and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Stonehill picked herself up to score from the penalty.

It was game on after the break Galabadaarachchi was again thwarted by Dal Busco, before second half substitute Ashleigh Panala fired just wide for WA.

Panala was in again moments later. She raced clear of the last defender but second half substitute Aquino saved low.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Federal Member for Swan Steve Irons with Perth Glory skipper Kim Carroll. Photo by Football West/FotoEnzo

And on 60 minutes it was Glory who restored their two-goal advantage as Galabadaarachchi’s corner was powerfully headed home by Cook, a player who came through the Football West NTC program.

Both sides had late chances in an entertaining game. Caitlin Doeglas shot on the run flashed over the top before Emma McMurdo’s free kick was saved by Aquino, another Football West NTC product.

WA ended the game well and a Stonehill shot from the angle flew over the top, before Hana Lowry stung the palms of Aquino.

Gold Fields Women’s State Team 1 (Stonehill pen 43min)
Perth Glory 3 (Cook 14min, 60, Galabadaarachchi 40)
Saturday, October 6
Coker Park, Cannington

Gold Fields Women’s State Team: (GK) Gabby DAL BUSCO, (RGK) Stacey CAVILL, 2 Georgia IRELAND, 3 Jamie-Lee GALE, 4 Ashleigh PANALA, 5 Rebecca BENNETT, 6 Cheyenne WISE-JARVIS, 7 Christi ASTORP, 8 Georgia CAWLEY, 9 Katarina JUKIC (C), 11 Stephi NADILO, 12 Tia STONEHILL, 13 Tanessha BAKER, 14 Thalia ORGAN, 17 Hana LOWRY
Yellow cards: Dal Busco 27
Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory: (GK) Eliza Campbell, (RGK) Morgan AQUINO, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 5 Shannon MAY, 6 Abbey MEAKINS, 7 Lexi MORENO, 9 Grace HENRY, 10 Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI, 11 Leticia McKENNA, 12 Ella HOY, 13 Rosie LEHANE, 14 Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16 Grace MITCHELL, 17 Liana COOK, 18 Isabella FOLETTA, 19 Roisin CONNOLLY
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil