Dadi inspires Glory

A second-half header from veteran Eugene Dadi fired Perth to an upset 1-0 National Youth League win over the Central Coast Mariners in sweltering conditions on Saturday.

A second-half header from veteran Eugene Dadi fired Perth to an upset 1-0 National Youth League win over the Central Coast Mariners in sweltering conditions on Saturday.

Dadi, who came on at half-time, took advantage of some great lead-up play from Todd Howarth to head home the winner at the back post in the 77th minute at Pluim Park on the Central Coast.

The second-placed Mariners went into the match as firm favourites after some impressive recent performances.

But Perth finished the stronger of the sides in tough conditions.

Despite struggling to create too many clear-cut chances for much of the match, the visitors were unlucky not to extend their lead in the final 10 minutes.

Ludovic Boi and Adam Taggart both had good sights on goal after Dadi's opener.

The Mariners had the better of play for much of the first half, but rarely threatened Perth goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski.

Matthew Lewis, who made his Hyundai A-League debut for Central Coast three weeks ago, was the best player on the field and his runs forward highlighted the Mariners' first-half display.

Half chances fell at both ends in the first stanza. The Mariners would have gone in at half-time confident of getting something out the match after some positive play.

But Perth rallied in the second half.

Dadi made a difference and should have put Perth in front earlier then he did. The big striker had a great chance to score in the 60th minute but his close range header was straight at Mariners goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.

Brendan Griffin then had the Mariners' best chance to score cut out by some desperate Perth defence before Dadi pounced at the other end of the field.

It was a big result for Perth which was keen to back up last week's impressive victory against Sydney.