A first-half Branko Jelic goal was enough for Perth Glory to grab all three points against Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium this evening. A-League Round 3Perth Glory: 1 (Branko Jelic 45+1') Newcastle Jets: 0
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth Crowd: 12,031 Referee: Matthew Breeze Yellow cards:PG - Scott Neville 29', Jacob Burns 59' NJ - Ruben Zadkovich 43'
The match began with both sides sitting back and working out the tempo of proceedings with plenty of possession for both the Glory and the Jets in midfield. Both defences were holding strong as attacking players tried to find their way through towards goal but there was little action in the opening 25 or so minutes.
The home side took the ascendency as the opening half went on but they took a blow when Mile Sterjovski had to leave the pitch with an ankle injury after a strong challenge from Ljubo Milicevic with Branko Jelic his replacement.
The 40th minute saw the Jets only inches away from an opener when Marko Jesic's free-kick slammed into the crossbar after beating Glory gloveman Tando Velaphi and that gave them confidence but unfortunately, five minutes later, the Perth side took the lead when GOAL substitute Jelic was on hand to chest home a Todd Howarth volley. Adriano Pellegrino swung a cross to the back post where Howarth struck a lovely first-time left-footed shot into Jets stopper Ben Kennedy but it ricocheted straight into Jelic to give the Glory the lead right on half-time.
Newcastle showed signs of desperation to get back into the game but it was the Glory who made all the running and they should have been 2-0 up in the 63rd minute when Howarth teed up Jelic after Kennedy had advanced too far but the Serbian striker screwed the shot over the crossbar in what was a massive let off for the Jets.
Perth were well on top as far as the balls into the box and attempts off target statistics were concerned but they were unable to put that dominance onto the scoreboard as the Jets started to get themselves into the contest.
With ten minutes remaining, Newcastle were enjoying plenty more possession than their opponents but could not do enough to get an equaliser, allowing the Glory to record their second straight win.
PG Tando Velaphi (gk), Jamie Coyne, Jamie Harnwell (Mitchell 90+2'), Jacob Burns, Robbie Fowler (Jukic 87'), Scott Neville, Steven McGarry, Adriano Pellegrino, Todd Howarth, Naum Sekulovski, Mile Sterjovski (Jelic 38')
Subs - Alex Vrteski (gk), Josh Mitchell (90+2'), Branko Jelic (38'), Andrija Jukic (87')
NJ Ben Kennedy (gk), Adam D'Apuzzo, Ljubo Milicevic, Ben Kantarovski, Kasey Wehrman, Michael Bridges (Haliti 66'), Ruben Zadkovich, Tarek Elrich, Jobe Wheelhouse (Abbas 46'), Jeremy Brockie, Marko Jesic