Glorious start for new Perth Glory coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Glorious start for new Perth Glory coach

By Liam Fitzgibbon 09/11/2007 11:17:11 PM Comments (0)

Dave Mitchell's reign as Perth coach began in spectacular fashion as the Glory ended their horrendous 18-game winless streak with an emphatic 4-1 A-League win over Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Two second-half goals to striker Nikita Rukavytsya and one to substitute Jordan Simpson sealed the badly-needed win for the Glory, just a week after Mitchell took over from sacked coach Ron Smith.

The change of coaches worked a treat for the Glory, just as it did for Sydney FC, who are two wins from two since replacing Branko Culina with John Kosmina.

The Glory had led 1-0 at halftime courtesy of a bizarre own goal to Jets defender Andrew Durante, while Jets striker Joel Griffiths levelled the scores at 1-1 just after the break.

The Jets began well in torrential rain with several early chances but Perth clawed their way back before taking a 1-0 lead with Durante's own goal in the 25th minute.

Rukavytsya broke in behind the defence and looked set to score as he attempted to round Newcastle 'keeper Ante Covic.

But Durante, racing in to make a challenge, mistakenly fired the ball into his own net from almost 10m out.

Frustrated Jets coach Gary van Egmond introduced former Brazil international Mario Jardel in the 35th minute in place of Scott Tunbridge.

The Glory kept up the pressure but would have been filthy not to have doubled their advantage just before halftime when James Robinson missed an open goal, in an effort that will take some beating for miss of the season.

The Jets equalised in the 49th when Griffiths slotted home his fourth of the season after breaking into space from a pin-point Adam D'Apuzzo through ball.

The Glory didn't have to wait long to regain the lead however when Simpson finished from close range following some good lead up work from Leo Bertos and Rukavytsya.

The away side then sensationally went two up in the 63rd after Rukavytsya scored his first of the season.

The Jets failed to clear a Simon Colosimo cross and Jamie Harnwell's header fell to the striker to slot home and silence the 8000 home fans.

Rukavytsya completed the rout on the stroke of fulltime with another relatively simple finish from a James Downey cross.

The result ensured the Glory avoided equalling the A-League's winless streak record of 19 games, held by the now defunct New Zealand Knights.

The Glory move to within two points of second last-placed Wellington with Mitchell not yet giving up on an unlikely top-four berth.

"It won't be easy, but we're going to have a go at it," Mitchell said.

"I was a fantastic result for us (tonight), a great effort and I'm so proud of what the players have achieved in such a short space of time.

"I really think a lot of games we've played we've been very close to winning and not capitalised on our performance but I think tonight, the players did that".

Colosimo said the change of coaches had put the playing group on notice.

"I think it's more of a mental thing too, we're all sort of on notice and playing for jobs, for our pride," Colosimo said.

Van Egmond labelled the Jets' performance "well and truly" their worst and most ill-disciplined of the season.

"We had a couple of opportunities early on and it's always the case that when you don't take those opportunities early the other teams starts to come back into the game and to Perth's credit that's what they did," he said.

"We got ourselves back to 1-all and went back into probably the worst defending of the year.

"The defence was like Swiss cheese and the middle of the park was non-eventful as far as the intensity was concerned."

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