Perth Glory FC maintained its lead at the top of the Foxtel National Youth League, despite a 0-0 draw against Adelaide United at the Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday.
John Gibson’s side was guilty of missing a number of chances, and was almost made to pay late, but the visitors failed to convert their opportunities.
“They made it hard for us today, but we created enough chances to win it,” Gibson said. “It was tough conditions out there, but we gave the ball away too much today, and most of their opportunities came from our mistakes, we have to be better than that and we’ll work on it.”
There was a good crowd on hand to watch the league leaders, with Glory owner Tony Sage, CEO Jason Brewer and Senior Coach Kenny Lowe also in attendance.
The Glory youngsters were looking to bounce back from last week’s 1-2 defeat against Melbourne City, but it was the visitors who opened the brighter.
They were almost gifted the lead four minutes in after some sloppy defending saw Anthony Costa burst into the area, but keeper Jordan Thurtell was out quick to deny the striker.
After the early let off the home side settled and Borbor Sam was sent clear by Matthew Davies on 10 minutes, but Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo blocked his shot and Brandon O’Neill’s follow up shot flew wide.
Sidnei Sciola was in the side, looking to get some game time into his legs, and his trickery on the left took him clear of Mark Ochieng on the quarter hour, his cross from the bye-line was heading for Harry O’Brien at the back post, but Izzo got a hand to it to deny him.
Glory continued to dominate and should have hit the front moments later. A superb through ball from Brandon O’Neill sent Sciola racing clear, the Brazilian rounded Izzo, but Adelaide skipper Jordan Pudler got back to get in a vital challenge and the chance was gone.
Just before the break Cameron Edwards went close twice in as many minutes. First on 44 minutes Sciola and Davies combined down the right, and Davies pulled the ball back to Edwards on the edge of the penalty area, but the midfielder's low shot was blocked by Pudler. Moments later it was O’Neill who drifted into space on the right and again picked out Edwards, but his shot flew over the top.
Glory continued to create chances after the break, but they were finding Adelaide’s defence a tough nut to crack, with Pudler outstanding. Joe Knowles, who had come on for Sciola at half time, sent O’Brien in on goal, but his shot was straight at Izzo. Adelaide continued to hit on the counter attack and were almost handed the lead on 50 minutes. A poor back pass sent Costa in on goal, but Glory skipper Jacob Collard got back to make an important challenge.
Costa was a constant threat and his shot from long-range five minutes later drifted just wide of the target. Glory lifted the tempo and on the hour O’Brien was given far too much space down the left, his cross to the back post picked out Knowles, but the striker couldn’t add to his eight goals this season.
Both sides had late chances to win it. First on 83 minutes, Davies found Edwards on the edge of the penalty area, his low shot whistled inches past the far post. Then two minutes later Jack Bladen picked out Costa, the Adelaide strikers’ snapshot flashed over the top.
The draw was enough to keep the Glory’s lead at the top of the table, but only on goal difference.
Defender Jack Iredale was disappointed with the result but happy to keep a clean sheet.
“Being a defender it’s always nice to keep a clean sheet, but it’s always difficult playing in 30 degrees,” he said.
“I thought we were the better team today and were unlucky not to come away with the three points. It was just one of those days, and we couldn’t find the target, we now have to bounce back, but at least we’re still top of the league.” he said.
Glory will take a month break before resuming its season in February.
Foxtel National Youth League
Perth Glory 0
Adelaide United 0
Sunday 28th December 2014
Venue: Ashfield Sports Club
Referee: Matthew Southern
Assistants: Josh Nixon and Tom Dowle
Fourth Official: Nico Hoyle
Perth Glory Youth: GK Jordan THURTELL, 2 Matthew DAVIES, 3 Jacob COLLARD (C), 4 Jack CLISBY, 5 Jack IREDALE, 6 Mitchell OXBORROW, 7 Borbor SAM, 8 Brandon O’NEILL (14 Ali GHOLAMI 90+5’), 9 Sidnei SCIOLA (12 Joe KNOWLES 46’), 10 Cameron EDWARDS, 11 Harry O’BRIEN (13 Todd NORRIS 67’)
Subs not used: RGK Ryan BARKER
Yellow Cards: O’Neill 9’, Oxborrow 40’, Knowles 63’
Adelaide United Youth: GK Paul IZZO, 3 Mark OCHIENG, 4 Jordan PUDLER, 6 Christopher SKULL, 7 Alec MAIOLO, 9 Anthony COSTA, 10 Dylan SMITH, 11 Samed ALTUNDAG, (12 Anthony TURE 51’) 17 Thomas LOVE (16 Jack BLADEN 48’), 18 Oliver ZAFRIDIS, 21 Adam PISCIONERI (15 Thomas STOKES 63’)
Subs not used: RGK Sergio SERRET
Yellow Cards: Al Tundag 26’, Skull 51’, Maiolo 90’