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Hasani Sinclair heads home for the Gold Fields State Team against Perth Glory. Photo by FotoEnzo/Football West

Harnwell content despite Glory win

Report by Tommy Doleman

Gold Fields WA State Team coach Jamie Harnwell praised his side’s spirited display after they went down 5-2 to Perth Glory at a wet and wild Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Wednesday night.

Goals from Jason Davidson and Diego Castro put Glory two up inside the opening 15 minutes, before Jake Brimmer scored a terrific free-kick in the shadows of half-time.

Yacoub Mustafa and Chris Harold then added goals either side of the hour mark as Perth put a combined NPL WA side to the sword.

There was some cheer for the WA State Team, however, when Chris Saldaris and Hasani Sinclair netted consolation goals in the final 11 minutes after a raft of changes were made by both sides.

David Perich congratulates Chris Saldaris after his goal. Photo by FotoEnzo/Football West

“I was really pleased with how the State side played with limited preparations,” Harnwell said after watching Glory captain Scott Neville and coach Tony Popovic collect the Gold Fields Challenge Cup.

“That was a great strike by Chris … I don’t know how many he’s going to score like that.

“We probably should have had a couple of other goals, especially in the first half. We were a bit unfortunate that we’ve not taken our chances.

“But I was pleased that we put on a good display under tough conditions.”

Diego Castro executes a spectacular scissor kick to put Glory 2-0 up. Photo by FotoEnzo/Football West

Popovic was also a happy man as his side moved through the gears before next Tuesday’s FFA Cup Round of 32 tie with Melbourne Victory at Dorrien Gardens.

“It was good to see [the ruthless streak] tonight. When we made the changes, there was a bit of disruption and we lost a bit of fluency which made it difficult,” he said.

“The type of goals we scored tonight was pleasing and now it’s about trying to get those actions happening more regularly and that’s the challenge that we have.

Perth Glory skipper Scott Neville and coach Tony Popovic receive the Gold Fields Challenge Cup from Football West Chairman Liam Twigger. Photo by FotoEnzo/Football West

“It’s a work in progress, we are constantly improving and there’s still a lot of work to do – the goal is obviously October [the start of the A-League season], but we have a big game against Melbourne Victory and we go into it in the best shape we possibly can in the short time we have had together.”

The gale-force wind and rain made conditions difficult at the home of NPL WA side Inglewood United, but both sides started briskly.

ECU Joondalup winger Daryl Nicol nearly capitalised on a lapse in concentration at the back from Glory when he curled wide of the post, before the A-League side took the lead in the seventh minute.

Joel Chianese worked the ball back onto his left foot before picking out Davidson, who side-footed home at the far post for 1-0.

The winning Perth Glory team. Photo by FotoEnzo/Football West

Glory’s lead was doubled five minutes later when Castro connected brilliantly with a scissor kick which found the bottom corner.

Nicol was providing the WA State Team’s best outlet going forward, testing Tando Velaphi from range, but the A-League side added a third before the break when Brimmer curled a free-kick brilliantly over the wall and in via the underside of the bar.

The WA State team made nine changes at the interval and nearly pulled one back when Forrestfield front man Sinclair beat the offside trap, but Zayd Farrah cleared spectacularly off the line following a ricochet off Velaphi.

Popovic made five changes for Glory and they picked up where they left off with two quick strikes in the space of four minutes.

First, Mustafa finished emphatically into the bottom corner after Daniel Stynes showed quick feet in the area, before Harold picked his spot to add a fifth goal on 63 minutes.

The Gold Fields State Team line up before kick-off. Photo by FotoEnzo/Football West

A rasping drive from Floreat Athena’s Saldaris found the net with 11 minutes remaining, before Sinclair headed home from a corner in second-half stoppage time.

The State side deserved their late reward, while Glory prepared for Tuesday’s visit of Victory in the best possible fashion.

Gold Fields WA State Team 2 (Saldaris 79min, Sinclair 90+1)
Perth Glory 5 (Davidson 7, Castro 12, Brimmer 42, Mustafa 59, Harold 63)
Wednesday August 1
Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, Inglewood
Kick-off: 7pm

Gold Fields WA State Team: GK: James MORGAN (RGK: Luke RADONICH 46), 2. Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS (4. Chris SALDARIS 46), 3. John CHALMERS, 5. David STOKOE (14. Rocco PIZZATA 46), 6. Cameron EDWARDS (16. David PERICH 46), 7. Scott WITSCHGE (26. Gian ALBANO 26), 8. Daryl NICOL (11. Hasani SINCLAIR 46), 9. Alex SALMON (27. Benny KOUAKOU 46), 10. Calvin WHITNEY, 15. Tom SOUTHGATE (13. Calum O’CONNELL 46), 28. Paul ZIMARINO (12. Jonathan CORNESS 46)
Substitutes not used: Nil
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory: GK: Tando VELAPHI (RGK: Jackson LEE 78), 2. Alex GRANT (10. Zayd FARRAH 46), 3. Jason DAVIDSON (5. Ivan FRANJIC 66), 4. Shane LOWRY (18. Walter SCOTT 46), 6. Dino DJULBIC (23. Scott NEVILLE 46), 7. Joel CHIANESE (22. Fabio FERREIRA 66), 9. Yacoub MUSTAFA (11. Brendan SANTALAB 66), 14. Chris HAROLD (21. Jacob ITALIANO 66), 17. Diego CASTRO (25. Daniel STYNES 46), 20. Jake BRIMMER (15. Brandon WILSON 66), 27. JUANDE (88. Neil KILKENNY 46)
Substitutes not used: 16. Henry HORE, 19. Trent OSTLER
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil