Ten man Perth Glory have produced their bravest performance of the A-League season to secure a 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets at HBF Park.
Glory went 2-0 up after just 24 minutes of Saturday night’s match courtesy of goals to Ciaran Bramwell and Darryl Lachman.
But the match was turned on its head in the 35th minute when Glory defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
The Jets pulled a goal back in the 59th minute courtesy of a stunning strike from Roy O’Donovan, but the visitors couldn’t find the equaliser despite creating a glut of chances.
Glory’s players were left gasping for breath by the end of the match following their monumental defensive effort with just 10 men.
Captain Diego Castro was particularly crucial in winding down the clock in the final 10 minutes, weaving his dazzling moves to keep the ball away from Jets players.
The result ended Glory’s five-match winless run, lifting them into seventh spot.
The 11th-placed Jets have now lost five straight matches.
It was action galore in an opening half that featured a disallowed goal, a red card, and two Glory goals.
O’Donovan had his goal ruled out for offside in the sixth minute, and the Jets were down 2-0 by the 24th minute when 19-year-old Glory striker Bramwell and defender Lachman scored their first A-League goals.
Bramwell struck truly in the 17th minute after Bruno Fornaroli squared the ball and Osama Malik fooled the Jets’ defence with a dummy step-over.
Alarm bells were ringing seven minutes later when Lachman was left free in the box to head home Neil Kilkenny’s corner.
But the red card to Aspropotamitis gave the Jets a lifeline.
Aspropotamitis was booked earlier in the match for an accidental trip as both he and his opponent ran for the ball.
But his second yellow card was blatant, with Aspropotamitis sticking out a leg to bring down Ramy Najjarine just outside the box.
The Jets pushed hard for the remainder of the half to get a goal back, and they gave Glory plenty of scares – the biggest of which when the ball cannoned into the crossbar in the 44th minute.
The Jets finally got the breakthrough when O’Donovan looped the ball over goalkeeper Liam Reddy’s head with a spectacular strike using the outside of his right boot.
But the equaliser never arrived, with Reddy producing some important saves to get his side home.