Perth Glory Youth has had its lead at the top of the Foxtel National Youth League cut to just two points after being edged out 2-1 by an experienced Melbourne City, in a hard fought top of the table contest at La Trobe University on Sunday morning.
City midfielder Hernan Espindola put the home side ahead, before Borbor Sam levelled before half time. But Espindola scored his second just before the hour mark, and despite pressing late, Glory couldn’t find the equaliser.
The home side fielded a number of first team players in their starting line up with keeper Andrew Redmayne, Argentine Jonatan Germono and former Glory midfielder Liam Miller in the side.
Glory was on the front foot early and Harry O’Brien played in Joe Knowles after only five minutes, but the striker’s shot drifted just wide.
Then on the quarter hour Espindola went one-on-one with Jack Duncan, but the striker fired wide. But it was the home side that was ahead on 20 minutes.
Some good lead up play ended with Hernan Espindola’s stunning strike that gave Jack Duncan no chance.
But four minutes later the Glory hit back. Knowles picked out Sam, who made space on the edge of the penalty area and his lob nestled in the back of the net leaving Andrew Redmayne flat footed.
Duncan came to his sides rescue on the half hour, saving well from Andrew Mullett’s powerful header, and it was all even at half time.
After the break, City lifted the tempo and Wade Dekker’s header from Liam Miller’s free kick was straight at Duncan. But they were rewarded for their good start on 54 minutes with the lead. A teasing cross from Stefan Zinni was misjudged by Duncan and Espindola volleyed home his second.
Glory looked to hit back immediately and Knowles was a constant threat. The young striker fired over on 61 minutes, and four minutes later his shot from 12-yards was tipped around the post by Redmayne at full stretch.
Duncan was in the thick of the action again two minutes later, Luke Gallo’s ball found Dekker, whose shot was well saved by the Glory custodian.
Miller almost added a third on 75 minutes, but Duncan stood tall to deny the Irish midfielder’s close-range shot.
Glory continued to press and on 85 minutes Mitch Oxborrow laid the ball off to Jack Clisby whose bullet like shot flashed inches past the post.
In stoppage time lory had one last chance, a corner was sent into the box, but City's defence cleared and the final whistle sounded.
Foxtel National Youth League
Melbourne City 2 (Espindola 20’, 54’)
Perth Glory 1 (Sam 24’)
Sunday 21st December 2014
La Trobe University Complex
Melbourne City GK Andrew REDMAYNE, 3 Tom KING, 4 Ross ARCHIBALD, 5 Andrew MULLETT, 6 Liam MILLER, 7 Hernan ESPINDOLA, 8 Paulo RETRE, 9 Wade DEKKER, 11 Stefan ZINNI, 12 Philip PETESKI, 14 Jonatan GERMONO,
Subs: RGK Lajos OLIVIERA, 2 Tyler JAMES, 13 Leo ATHANASIOU, 15 Luke GALLO
Perth Glory Youth: GK Jack DUNCAN, 2 Ali GHOLAMI, 3 Jacob COLLARD, 4 Jack CLISBY, 5 Riley WOODCOCK, 6 Mitchel OXBORROW, 8 Harry O’BRIEN, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 10 Cameron EDWARDS, 11 Slobodan VULIN, 17 Borbor SAM
Subs: RGK Ryan BARKER, 13 Jack IREDALE, 14 Calvin WHITNEY, 15 Stef VALENTINI