April 20, 2015 12:52:39 UK
Jamie Maclaren’s hat-trick gave Perth Glory a positive end to a hugely disappointing week as they beat Melbourne City 3-1 at nib Stadium.
Glory abandoned their attempts to challenge their finals ban during the week, accepting a punishment that will see them placed seventh in the table.
Supporters of the long-time leaders voted with their feet in the home finale, the 5,821 crowd around half the usual figure.
But after being bossed in the first half by a City side who could have been four up at the interval, they took advantage of the visitors being reduced to 10 men shortly before the break.
City had Paulo Retre sent off after he picked up two cautions in less than a minute, the first for a crude tackle on Danny De Silva and the second for obstructing Denis Kramar.
Retre’s dismissal came just after the Glory had taken the lead, Maclaren running onto a De Silva chip and beating keeper Tando Velaphi.
It’s nice to win and give them something back.
Danny Vukovic had made a string of good saves in the first half, but could do nothing to prevent City, who are 15.00 to win the Grand Final, equalising seven minutes after the interval when Aaron Mooy curled a superb free-kick into the top corner.
Maclaren’s second goal came from a cute finish as he capitalised on a loose ball after De Silva put pressure on Velaphi.
He rounded off his first A-League hat-trick three minutes from time when substitute Chris Harold delivered the perfect cross from the right for him to net from close range.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe, who has done so much right for the club in his first full season in charge, praised supporters after the game.
“I was just pleased for them. They are hurt as much as we are hurt, and the fact that they still came to support the boys is testament to them,” he said.
“It’s nice to win and give them something back. We’ve had an unbelievable year but also an unbelievably tough year. We’ve got to deal with that and go and get better, and learn from whatever has gone on. It will be interesting.”
Perth Glory are 3.00 to win their next game against Western Sydney Wanderers, who are 2.20 with the draw 3.30.
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