·28 January 2023
·28 January 2023
With the help of a late equaliser, Perth has now gone five games without losing. Wellington, who remain in fourth place, will be aggrieved over the loss of three crucial points in their pursuit of a top-two finish.
Three forced changes were made by Ruben Zadkovich, including the likes of absent Adam Taggart, suspended Jack Clisby, and injured star-man Salim Khelifi. Allowing for the introduction of new signing, Jordan Elsey.
Wellington made one change, bringing in midfielder Steven Ugarkovi in place of the injured Clayton Lewis.
Phoenix deservedly took an early lead thanks to a move expertly orchestrated by veteran Kosta Barbarouses and finished by his strike partner, Oskar Zawada. Zawada rose the highest to guide a header past the stranded Cameron Cook in the tenth minute. Bringing his total this season to seven.
Shortly after, a disjointed Glory defence was breached, giving Lucas Mauragis room to make a cutback. The ball was then spilled by Cook, and Barbarouses instinctively took it in his stride before calmly finishing to score his second goal of the season.
Glory, however, immediately struck back. Well-constructed build-up play, and rotations out wide right allowed Johnny Koutroumbis to charge into the box, and his spilled effort eventually found its way to former Phoenix man David Williams. Leaving for an interesting final twenty minutes of the half.
Sustained pressure and countless crosses eventually resulted in the next best chance for glory in the first half. It came in the form of a near-own goal from Tim Payne. Fortunately for Payne, Oliver Sail reacted quickly and swatted the ball away.
Coming into the second half, Perth had everything to play for as they desperately sought to end their dismal form away from home.
Trouble soon arose for Phoenix defender Tim Payne, whose initial yellow card was upgraded after referee Lachlan Keevers consulted the side-line monitor following the denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity. This contentious dismissal was described as “quite soft” by manager Ufuk Talay in his post-match interview and only acted as an incentive for Glory to push on.
During Perth’s build-up play, 10-men Wellington applied little pressure, allowing in-form Jacob Dowse time to swing a delightful ball into the front-post, met by an audacious header from David Williams that just about made it past Sail, allowing him to bag a brace and giving Glory a leveller.
A corner in the dying minutes of the match gave both Perth players and fans alike hope for an unthinkable comeback. This hope came agonisingly close to reality as Mark Beevers’ header rattled against the crossbar, which almost certainly would’ve given the visitors all three points.
Giving an enthralling match a gripping finish.
Jacob Dowse, a former Northern NSW NPL player for Broadmeadow Magic FC and now a Glory fan favourite, has made an immediate impact since his arrival in September 2022. Having registered four assists in the A-League after eight appearances, only one of which he started, demonstrates the rich vein of form he has struck since joining the Western Australian outfit.
Dowse will be hoping to continue impressing in the coming weeks, and with the absence of suspended Jack Clisby, a chance to impress at left wing-back is imminent.
World-Class Williams Strikes Once More
David Williams’ move to Perth has been nothing short of a success. Williams, who joined on a free transfer from ATK Mohun Bagan, now averages roughly one goal every three games, placing him sixth in the A-League scoring charts.
Notably, after the signing of ace Adam Taggart, Williams’ performances have dramatically improved, scoring three and assisting one in the last three matches.
The question now is how Zadkovich will accommodate both Williams and Taggart on the same team.
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Oskar Zawada -11th minute, Kosta Barbarouses -20th minute)
Perth Glory 2 (David Williams -22nd and 80th minute)
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