New A-League club Melbourne Heart have been denied their first win of the season after Perth Glory were given a controversial penalty in injury time at AAMI Park this evening. A-League Round 4Melbourne Heart: 2 (Gerald Sibon (p) 5', Nick Kalmar 37') Perth Glory: 2 (Michael Marrone (og) 19', Robbie Fowler (p) 90+2')
Venue: AAMI Park Crowd: 5,878 Referee: Kurt Ams Yellow cards:MH - Wayne Srhoj 52', Matt Thompson 82', Dean Heffernan 88', Brendan Hamill 89' PG - Naum Sekulovski 4'
The Heart started well and got a nice early reward in just the 4th minute when Gerald Sibon's through ball cut open the Glory defence and Naum Sekulovski could only bring down the speedy Alex Terra illegally in the area. GOAL Debutant referee Kurt Ams awarded a penalty and Sibon stepped up to the spot to finish calmly, sending Tando Velaphi the wrong way, making it 1-0 early in the piece.
Melbourne were looking good in what was their best opening to a game in their short history as the Glory continued to give the ball away cheaply in midfield but the visitors somehow managed to grab an equaliser in the 19th minute.
GOAL In a bizarre incident, Robbie Fowler sent a enticing ball into the area but Heart keeper Clint Bolton failed to advance forcing young defender Brendan Hamill into a defensive header which slid off and struck the chest of Michael Marrone before trickling in for an own goal to make it 1-1.
The remainder of the first half was a somewhat even affair although the home side were creating more chances and they again took the lead when midfielder Nick Kalmar helped himself to his first A-LeagueGOAL. The Glory failed to efficiently clear a Dean Heffernan free-kick which fell to the 22-year old and he finished nicely from a sharp angle to put his side ahead 2-1 before the break in what was an impressive opening that should have yielded a bigger lead for the Heart.
Perth worked their way back into things early in the second half but the contest soon fizzled out in the mid stages as the Heart tried to control their lead although they did find themselves deep in their own third for long periods.
In the 71st minute, Bolton produced a top shelf save when Fowler unleashed from inside the area after Todd Howarth took on, and beat, substitute Kliment Taseski down the left. The former Sky Blues gloveman positioned himself perfectly to parry away the scorching left-footed shot from the former Liverpool star.
Perth kept coming at the Heart but found it difficult to pierce the defence, in particular gloveman Bolton, who had a solid match in goals and the home side almost came away with a win until referee Ams awarded a penalty in injury time.
Heart substitute Kliment Taseski challenged Glory new boy Michael Baird in the area and a spot kick was given under controversial circumstances. GOAL Fowler stepped up and made no mistake, netting his first goal for his new club and giving them a share of the points.
Starting Line-UpsMH Clint Bolton (gk), Michael Marrone (Taseski 66'), Brendan Hamill, Simon Colosimo, Dean Heffernan, Rutger Worm, Wayne Srhoj, Nick Kalmar, Alex Terra (Behich 79'), Gerald Sibon (Babalj 61'), Matt Thompson
Subs - Peter Zois (gk), Eli Babalj (61'), Kliment Taseski (66'), Aziz Behich (79')
PG Tando Velaphi (gk), Josh Mitchell, Jamie Coyne, Jacob Burns, Robbie Fowler, Branko Jelic (Baird 61'), Scott Neville, Steven McGarry, Adriano Pellegrino, Todd Howarth, Naum Sekulovski (Skorich 87')
Subs - Alex Vrteski (gk), Michael Baird (61'), Anthony Skorich (87'), Joshua Risdon