Reds back on winners’ list thanks to home glory

Adelaide United have snapped a nine-game winless run and kept their slimmest of Liberty A-League finals hopes alive with an impressive 2-1 victory at home to Perth Glory.

Missing a host of regular starters the Reds were forced to come from a goal down after the Glory took the lead shortly after halftime.

United started well and Reds’ skipper Dylan Holmes fired an early warning, shooting just over after a strong run through the heart of Perth’s defence on 12 minutes.

Ten minutes later and the visitors almost broke the deadlock via an own goal after a curling free kick from Hana Lowry.

Defender Maruschka Waldus got her head on the cross, diverting it goalwards before it was expertly tipped over by Annalee Grove.

Glory finished the half strongly with two great chances but were unable to break the deadlock before halftime.

“I’m really proud because it shows that the group’s got resilience,” United coach Adrian Stenta said.

“And it would’ve been easy for them to just throw their hands up after the season we’re having and say it’s all too hard.”

Perth picked up where they left off and found the back of the net four minutes after the restart.

Cyera Hintzen teed up Lowry who shot across the face of goal where Hannah Blake, who had ghosted through the Adelaide defence, tapped in at the back post.

Glory’s lead lasted just three minutes.

Some strong hustling from Meisha Westland on the right wing allowed Katie Bowler to slip the ball to Holmes.

The central midfielder saw her initial shot blocked, but followed up and slammed her second effort into the upright before the ball bounced off Perth keeper Morgan Aquino and over the line.

The visitors should have retaken the lead within minutes when Blake found herself in a similar position to her goal but squandered the simplest of chances, firing wide from inside the six-yard box.

Adelaide had claims for a penalty waved away just after the hour when Fiona Worts was bundled over inside the area.

Referee Bec Mackie instead awarded a free kick on the edge of the box which MelindaJ Barbieri curled towards the bottom corner, forcing an impressive save from Aquino.

But the Reds did not have to wait long before going ahead, finding the net on 70 minutes through a fine counter-attack finished by Worts.

Glory should have equalised deep into stoppage time through Abbey Green but the visitors were denied by a heroic, lunging save from Grove.

Perth coach Alex Epakis felt there wasn’t much between the two sides.

“It was a performance that was determined by fine margins,” he said.

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