Jamie Maclaren netted his second Foxtel National Youth League hat-trick in four weeks as Perth Glory recorded an upset 4-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Intiga Stadium on Sunday.
Maclaren finished off some fancy footwork in the 24th minute to give the home side the lead before scoring twice in three minutes early in the second half to put the result beyond doubt.
Substitute Joshua Barresi scored a late consolation goal for the Wanderers, but that was quickly cancelled out when Perth winger Adrian Zahra found the back of the net in the final minutes.
It was ninth-placed Glory's third win from their past four National Youth League games, but only their fifth of the season with one round to be played.
Maclaren, who has scored two goals from 14 Hyundai A-League appearances this season, also completed a hat-trick in his rejuvenated team's last National Youth League home clash on February 1 that kick-started a turnaround in success for the Perth side.
The Wanderers barely fired a shot on goal in the first half as Glory took control of the match against their higher-ranked opponents after a fairly even opening 15 minutes.
Ryan Edwards almost broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, but his volley from teammate Harry O'Brien's cross was just wide of goal.
Maclaren then weaved around the Western Sydney defence and effortlessly placed the past Wanderers goalkeeper Thomas Manos to put Glory ahead.
Manos made two important saves in the first half when he intercepted a pass from Maclaren to an unmarked Adrian Zahra in the box and then juggled a header from Ryan Edwards on the goal-line.
Western Sydney's best chances came from Mark Cindric and Jaushua Sotirio in the minutes which preceded Maclaren's goal, but both shots were blocked by Glory goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
Jack Clisby was a dominant figure in defence for Glory and even made a couple of attacking runs that put his Western Sydney counterparts under pressure.
Rising star Daniel De Silva was also impressive in his first-half appearances with his pace and skill along the left wing.
Glory's dominance continued in the second half, with Edwards and Adrian Zahra both going agonisingly close to scoring.
Maclaren capitalised on a loose ball in the 58th minute to net his second of the day before brilliantly curling a ball over the head of Manos two minutes later to complete his second National Youth League hat-trick of the month.
Baressi pounced on rare defensive blunder in the 80th minute to give Western Sydney something to take away from the match.
However, a desperate Zahra intercepted an overhead pass on the halfway line and kept a cool head as he carried the ball towards goal and casually finished past Manos.
Perth Glory 4 (Maclaren 24m, 58m, 60m, Zahra 90m)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Barresi 80m)
Played at Intiga Stadium
Perth Glory: 1. Jack Duncan, 2. Jack Clisby, 3. Brandon O’Neill, 4. Matthew Davies, 6. Cameron Edwards, 7. Daniel De Silva (18. Blamo Qua Qua 46m), 8. Ryan Edwards, 9. Jamie Maclaren, 10. Adrian Zahra, 11. Harry O’Brien (5. Sean Troup 59m), 14. Alexander Castiello (15. Joseph Knowles 59m).
Unused substitute: 12. Luke Radonich (GK)
Yellow cards: Ryan Edwards 30m, Matthew Davies 85m,
Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Thomas Manos (20. Blake Tuxford 73m), 2. Shayne D’Cunha, 3. Daniel Alessi, 5. Nicholas Olsen, 6. Yianni Perkatis (12. Joshua Barresi 58m), 7. Lawrence Hanna, 8. Jake McGing, 9. Mark Cindric (13. Sean Symons 46m), 10. Alusine Fofanah, 11. Jaushua Sotirio (4. James Baldacchino 58m), 15. Martin Lo.
Yellow cards: Nil