Crystal Thomas absolutely gunned the field as Mackenzie Arnold roamed freely at the back and Brisbane Roar lost their must win match against Perth Glory.
It’s good to have the DUB back.
Roar took to the field without Katrina Gorry (suspended) or Allira Toby, instead bolstered with the DUB debut for Shea Connors. Having torn up the NPL Women’s comp in Queensland for Logan Lightning in 2019, Connors has the potential to light up this Roar squad for the remainder of the season and score crucial goals to seal Finals football.
There were moments where Connors had opportunity to find a breakthrough, however she’ll have to wait another week to find the back of the net. The real story here (annoyingly) is how Perth were prepared for the Roar from the get-go.
Glory are a decent team (and have the potential in their squad to be higher on the table) so good for them. Did their newfound form have to be against Brisbane Roar though? Come on. At least take down one of the Sydney teams for the rest of us.
The other story here, is how Arnold sent numerous Roar fans into cardiac arrest by chilling near the halfway line.
I’m exaggerating, obvs but sometimes it felt like halfway. Arnold liked to play off her line A LOT in this match. The act itself is fine but it lead to some dicey moments.
From the outset, Glory were on the offensive. Seeing Crystal Thomas making great runs down the left within the first two minutes is only comforting to Glory fans. Especially when she won the early corner.
Taking the corner herself, Thomas delivered a great ball to meet an oncoming Morgan Andrews who heads it past Arnold.
It all happened so fast and suddenly Glory were put 1-0 in the first three minutes.
Then it happened, Arnold starting drifting ever forward. We saw it, the commentator saw it and so did Thomas.
Thomas seized her chance in the 12th minute. With plenty of space between Arnold and her goal, Thomas’ simple chip (still, skillz) was all that was needed as Arnold could only turn and watch as the ball crossed the line.
I’m already sick of writing ‘Thomas’ in this report but she was everywhere. Just too good. Thomas’ break away counter heading for a one on one with Arnold was unsettling, but Arnold did well to make herself big for the block before ultimately smothering the ball. A little too close for comfort.
Everything continued to come up Perth Glory as Clare Polkinghorne was called for getting handsy in the box in the 24th after the ball ricocheted off Celia. I’m not just saying this as a Roar fan, but that looked like all chest. Polks pointed to her chest straight away as well so CASE CLOSED.
My armchair refereeing made no difference and for all my whinging (just out loud and to no one in particular) Perth were still awarded the pen.
Despite Arnold picking the right direction, Andrews smashed the pen into the net to make it 3-0 in the 25th.
Just as I started reaching for the wine, Roar pulled one back in the 33rd.
Carson Pickett’s cross was goal bound, forcing Morgan Aquino into a decent block but the ball changed direction as it hit the ground and bounced back over the line. The look on Aqunio and Kim Carroll’s faces said it all.
HT: PER 3-1 BRI
Roar fought their way back into the second half, trying to get away as many chances as they could while the Glory did the same up the other end.
Tameka Yallop though, what a player. Bearing down on goal, Yallop’s first attempt was blocked by an oncoming Aquino but her second attempt found the back of the net in the 57th to make it 3-2.
Roar continued to put pressure on the hosts as Pickett played out of her skin trying to find the equaliser to no avail.
Up the other end Arnold continued to toy with the health of Roar fans everywhere even as Glory sort to take advantage of her positioning.
Glory sealed the nail on Roar’s coffin in 90’+3 as Ayesha Norrie unleashed from distance, beating Arnold to make it 4-2.
Well played Perth. Roar had a chance to draw level with Victory on the table to keep their Finals hopes alive but Glory were just too good on the pitch.
FT: PER 4-2 BRI
By Bree Reidy