Victory, Glory deadlocked

Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory have fought out a 0-0 draw in a thrilling National Youth League clash that wasn't short on chances.

Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory have fought out a 0-0 draw in a thrilling National Youth League clash that wasn't short on chances.

On a windy Sunday afternoon at ME Bank Stadium, the Glory enjoyed the better opportunities but lacked finishing power after losing last week's hat-trick hero Reece Vittiglia to a broken arm midway through the first term.

Both sides continued attacking throughout the second half but the defences held firm, although Melbourne missed several late chances, with skipper Aziz Behich fluffing his lines during injury time.

The result sees Perth climb into third on the National Youth League table as Melbourne climbs into fourth. The pair are still trailing table-topping Sydney FC however as the Sky Blues look to defend their inaugural youth title.

The hosts opened aggressively as returning striker Anthony Skorich set up a flowing move that saw regular senior player Scott Bulloch square the ball to Cameron Edwards who fired over when he should have done better.

But the Glory suffered a huge blow 22 minutes in when Vittiglia was bundled over the byline, landing heavily on his arm and immediately indicating it was broken.

Perth was reduced to 10 men for the next few minutes as Vittiglia was attended to and Melbourne almost took advantage. In the 24th minute, Glory defender Steven Hesketh played Matthew Demo onside but the towering striker sent his effort wide from 10 metres out before seeing another chance saved by Alex Pearson two minutes later.

On the half hour, Perth's Ryan Pearson had a shot saved by Victory stopper Sebastian Mattei but that was the best of the opportunities before the break.

The second period saw both sides amp up the attack in order to claim the three points.

Ten minutes after the re-start Edwards produced a promising run into the Victory box but Mattei brilliantly smothered the ball at his feet to snuff out the opportunity.

Pearson and Bulloch continued to threaten with shots at goal but couldn't find a clinical touch, while the only time Mattei was exposed, Antonio La Verde was on hand to head clear on the line after Edwards nodded on target with seven minutes remaining.

Perth substitute Clayton Arnez fired a powerful effort from 25 metres over the bar during injury time, before Melbourne produced a late flurry.

The impressive Tedros Yabio almost earned a penalty when he went down in the box, but was carded for a dive, while skipper Behic fluffed his lines moments later as his first touch was heavy and he scuffed a shot over the woodwork after a great cross from Stephen Hatzikostas.

There was still time for the Glory to miss one last chance as the hosts countered with venom. But Skorich waited too long to pull the trigger and was forced to pass to Howard Fondyke, who was effectively closed down by some desperate Melbourne defence.

Perth Glory 0 Melbourne Victory 0