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Petkovic plays down heroics
Monday, 5 December, 2005 - 11:00AM
Perth Glory goalkeeper Jason PetkovicGoalkeeper, Jason Petkovic, has played down his role in Perth Glory’s fight back to secure a vital point against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.
Having been 2-0 down at half time the Glory fought back with goals from Nick Ward and Hiroyuki Ishida. But the Mariners looked certain to secure a third goal late on when Stewart Petrie raced past Jamie Harnwell to provide John Hutchinson with only Petkovic to beat, just ten yards from goal.
The Perth custodian though pulled off a stunning double save to preserve the 2-2 score line and guarantee a place in the top four going into the mid-season break.
Glory’s number one said: “I was pleased to make the first save and although the ball went straight back to him (Hutchinson) it took a little while to control it so that gave me time to get up again and make the second save. I had to make a few saves in the first half as well so I was glad to play my part.”
Petkovic admitted the Glory had started the game in a disappointing manner and struggled in difficult weather conditions.
“Maybe it was a combination of things but we didn’t start well and it was important that we fought back and got the two goals. We didn’t want to lose and we wanted to make sure we finished ahead of this break in the top four.”
Glory coach, Steve McMahon also praised his side’s determination to battle back after the break.
“It was a game of two halves, that’s for sure. Some people might question our team spirit but not after that. If anyone does question the players’ attitudes they just need to watch that second half performance,” McMahon insisted.
“We needed to have pride in ourselves, we needed to dig in and the players showed that they were prepared to work hard to get back in the game.”
Glory fight back to earn a point
Sunday, 4 December, 2005 - 8:00PM
Perth Glory came back from a two goal half time deficit to draw 2-2 with Central Coast Mariners on Sunday evening at Members Equity Stadium.
In Matt Horsley’s last game in professional football, the first half was one that the Glory hero would want to remember but the second typified the player’s battling spirit throughout his career.
On eight minutes Horsley lost his footing and the defender’s slip allowed Stewart Petrie to supply John Hutchinson, who easily dispatched his shot into the right-hand side of the goal beyond an outstretched Jason Petkovic.
Glory came close to an equaliser two minutes later when Nick Ward’s shot from 20 yards was deflected just wide of the Mariners goal, having been supplied by Billy Celeski’s run down the right.
But by the 12th minute Glory were 2-0 down. Horsley slipped again while trying to clear a ball swung in from the left. This time Petkovic saved Hutchinson’s shot but the ball fell to Petrie’s feet and he duly slotted home from close range.
The wet and blustery conditions were not doing either side any favours but the Mariners seemed to adapt more comfortably.
The tide was well and truly against the home side in the first half but Bobby Despotovski seized on a loose clearance down the left and pulled back to Celeski who twisted and turned into the box but only produced a weak shot that did not trouble Vukovic in the visitors’ goal.
Damian Mori should have pulled the trigger just after the half hour mark when he got in front of his man in the box but pulled the ball back behind Despotovski as a wasted opportunity.
At the other end, former Glory midfielder Andre Gumprecht went close as his shot whistled just wide of the far post after Harnwell had slipped trying to clear a left wing cross, allowing Petrie to supply his team mate.
Throughout the first half Glory gifted possession too cheaply though and the men in purple looked out of sorts.
Mori’s rasping shot from an indirect free kick forced a good save from Vukovic in first half stoppage time but it would need a fight back after the break. And, despite early frustrations after the interval, the Glory eventually clawed their way back into the game.
Mori headed just wide from Coyne’s cross on 49 minutes but Petkovic had to pull off another good save to deny Gumprecht when he showed good footwork to get into the box and produce a curling right foot strike.
Two minutes later the Perth side pulled one back when local youngster, Nick Ward cut in from the left to drill in a powerful right foot shot which flew into the bottom right-hand corner to make it 2-1.
Although it was far from fluid football, the Glory kept on pushing and the spirit of the day was summed up in the home team’s equaliser.
Horsley launched a long, driven pass from deep in his own half which substitute, Hiroyuki Ishida, raced on to. The ball skipped off the slippery turf as Ishida battled with Andrew Clark, beating the defender to the ball despite a distinct physical disadvantage, and squeezed the ball past Vukovic, who was caught in no mans land, for his first goal for the club.
The Mariners looked set to retake the lead on 79 minutes but Jason Petkovic had other ideas, saving Harnwell’s blushes after he had given the ball away on the halfway line.
Petrie raced onto the Glory defender’s lapse and managed to square for Hutchinson, just ten yards out. Petkovic raced off his line and spread himself to make one save and reacted quickly to get up again to thwart the striker’s second attempt when he would have expected to score.
Celeski also had to make a vital goal line clearance from Hutchinson’s header from a corner to preserve a point going into the mid-season break.
Perth Glory: Petkovic, Tarka (Kovacevic), Horsley, Harnwell, Coyne, Celeski, Colosimo, Ward, Caceres (Ishida), Mori (Fa’arodo), Despotovski.
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