Perth sealed a fitting goodbye by beating Macarthur 2-1 in what was a typical Glory performance of this season: coming from behind and scoring late on.
Lachlan Rose scored for Macarthur in the 43rd minute, completely against the run of play. But Glory fought back in the second half, scoring two headed goals in the 69th and 74th minutes, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
The result moved Glory into seventh position, one point behind sixth-placed Sydney FC, with just four games left.
Zadkovich will be pleased with his team’s resilience as they enter the final four rounds. “Belief is very big in that dressing room, and that’s what I’m most proud of today,” he said.
Going into this match, a win was of utmost importance as they continue to push for a top-six spot, which was evident from their dominant start to the game.
As early as the second minute, Adam Taggart was sent through and one-on-one with Filip Kurto, but the Pole prevailed and kept the scores at deadlock for the time being.
Ryan Williams was the next to fire wide after excellent wing-play from Trent Ostler found him in a great position, but he couldn’t guide his shot between the posts.
Despite Glory being firmly in control and chances aplenty, it was Macarthur who struck first as Lachlan Rose’s left-footed strike into the bottom corner found its way past Cameron Cook.
Unaffected by the setback, Glory came out strong in the second half and continued to create, hitting the crossbar and forcing Kurto to make a number of terrific stops.
Glory’s pressure paid off in the 64th minute, when Taggart bravely bundled in Ryan Williams’ floated ball into the back stick, scoring his third since his return. Five minutes later, it was Mark Beevers’ turn to send beers flying, as he thumped home a header from Jacob Dowse’s curled free-kick.
As has become customary for Glory at Macedonia Park this season, the drama didn’t end as, with just moments to spare, Luke Bodnar fearlessly threw his body to block a goal-bound Craig Noone shot, keeping his team’s top-six hopes alive.
Trent Ostler reminds us of just what he is capable of
Ostler, 20, made his second appearance for Perth this season in the win over Macarthur FC. It was almost exactly a year to the day since his A-League Men debut, and it was perhaps his finest performance so far.
The shrewd winger made four key passes and eight crosses before being substituted in the 76th minute, earning him well-deserved applause from the adoring home fans.
It will be interesting to see if Ostler starts away at Melbourne Victory next week, as his previous injury woes suggest he may well be rested.
The men in purple will fight to the end
Time and time again this season, Ruben Zadkovich’s team has come from behind to earn them a multitude of points, and with this mentality and fortitude of character, Glory may well be in the top six by the time they travel to Sydney for undoubtedly the biggest game of this season thus far.
The question now is, will they be able to perform away in the two of the most intimidating stadiums with the most passionate football fans nationwide?
We will see.
Perth Glory 2 (Taggart 69′, Beevers 74′)
Macarthur FC 1 (Rose 43′)