Glory snatch crucial point
Report by Max Hayden-Evans
Photo by FotoEnzo
A goal from Michael Domfeh deep in stoppage time capped a stirring fightback from NPL WA leaders Perth Glory on Saturday as they grabbed a 3-3 draw with Inglewood United at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium.
The draw means Glory hold a four-point lead over nearest rivals Perth SC heading into the final three matches of the season.
Glory looked on course for their first defeat in 13 matches when they trailed 3-1 going into the final 10 minutes. But Henry Hore threw them a lifeline with his second goal of the game before Domfeh ensured John Gibson's side would leave with a valuable point.
Hore had opened the scoring for Glory on 37 minutes when he made the most of the torrid conditions to spectacularly curl one in directly from a corner.
And Glory almost doubled their advantage just minutes later, only for Domfeh to be denied by the linesman’s offside flag.
After the restart Inglewood began to press and were rewarded for their positive play when substitute Ellis Healing drove his shot past Glory goalkeeper Jackson Lee.
Lee was called upon minutes later and responded in style, denying Inglewood’s Brian Farrell of what would have been a spectacular volley.
Inglewood, the last side to defeat Glory back in Round 10, would not relent however and took the lead on 70 minutes when Alex Salmon’s pinpoint cross was hammered home by Brian Farrell’s diving header. Minutes later, captain Kenny Keogh’s header from close range after a high ball into the box was enough to give Inglewood a third goal and a two-goal advantage with less than 20 minutes on the clock.
But Glory showed why they are top when Hore finished smartly through traffic, ensuring a thrilling finale between two of the league’s top sides.
It seemed Inglewood were destined to hold on to a gritty win that would blast the title race wide open after both Hore and Domfeh narrowly missed chances to equalise. But Glory never know when they are beaten and deep into stoppage time Domfeh was rewarded for his tireless efforts as he capitalised on a loose ball in the box to snatch a crucial point.
Glory coach John Gibson said: “They’ve got this attitude that they never say die. The point may make a big difference at the back end of this season
“We’ve got many challenges ahead of us – but to come here, in tough conditions, it’s fantastic. To stay in the game somehow and then pinch something at the end, I’m super happy with the group and the character they’ve shown.”
Inglewood assistant Saul Lontera said: “I’m disappointed to drop two points at the death like that. We had the better of the game, we controlled it. But, we roll our sleeves up. We’re top four, we go again.”
Glory are at Armadale next week and three points coupled with an Inglewood win over Perth SC would virtually ensure a maiden NPL title for Gibson's exciting youngsters, such is their superior goal difference over their other title rivals Cockburn.
Inglewood United 3 (Healing 54min, Woodall 70, Keogh 73)
Perth Glory 3 (Hore 37, 80, Domfeh 90+3)
Saturday, August 4
Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium
Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistant referees: Josh Mannella, Sorousha Moayer
Inglewood United: 1. Alex DUNN (GK), 2. Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4. Scott BLACKMORE, 7. Kenny KEOGH (C) (12. Feisal ZAW 81.), 8. Jason BARRERA, 9. Alex SALMON (10. Ash ROSINDALE 90.), 15. Brian FARRELL, 16. Jamie MURPHY (11. Ellis HEALING 46.), 17. Rikki SMITH, 19. Connor BECSI, 23. Brian WOODALL (RGK)
Substitutes not used: 6. Milorad VUJACIC, 13. Federico ACHILLI
Yellow cards: Keogh 48, Smith 65
Red cards: Nil
Perth Glory: 1. Jackson LEE (GK), 2. Nic MCDONALD, 3. Sam RINK, 4. Daniel WALSH, 5. Ollie ANNIS, 6. Zayd FARAN (14. Callum TIMMINS 63.), 7. Chok DAU (C), 8. Henry HORE, 9. Michael DOMFEH, 10. Michael MCDOUGALL (12. Jack LEECH 81.), 11. Bayley BROWN-MONTGOMERY (13. Trent OSTLER 81.)
Substitutes not used: 15. Jordan ABRAHAMS, 20. Nicholas SPECA
Yellow cards: Annis 48, Domfeh 53
Red cards: Nil