Kerr excites bumper crowd as Glory play a draw

Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

Perth Glory W-league coach Bobby Despotovski says he would welcome the prospect of scheduling a regular home game at Hay Park.

Speaking after his side’s 4-4 draw with Canberra United on Saturday afternoon, Despotovski said he was impressed with the quality of the ground and the 1369 fans.

“I hope that this becomes an annual event for the people of Bunbury and the South West,” he said.

“It was brilliant — there’s 1300-1400 people here, kids enjoying themselves, a beautiful day, nice field to play on and good entertainment in an eight-goal thriller.”

Perth Glory star Sam Kerr celebrates one of her three goals. Kerr was her side’s best in the four-all draw.
Camera IconPerth Glory star Sam Kerr celebrates one of her three goals. Kerr was her side’s best in the four-all draw. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Glory captain Sam Kerr started the match in impressive fashion, scoring the opening goal of the game after just 12 minutes.

Two minutes later she had her second, and her 50th W-league goal, before Rachel Hill added a third to put Glory up 3-0 after only 22 minutes of play.

Canberra captain Ashleigh Sykes brought her side back into the match by scoring the next two goals, the second from the back post after a United corner.

Defender Amanda Frisbie kicks long.
Camera IconDefender Amanda Frisbie kicks long. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Kerr made it a hat-trick after Hill put her into space to be one-on-one with United keeper Haley Kopmeyer just minutes before half-time.

However, United’s Grace Maher scored from a free kick in extra time to bring the score to 4-3 at the break.

The fast pace continued in the second half with both keepers stopping a number of shots before Elise Thorsnes delivered the equaliser for Canberra.

Shawn Billam heads the ball away from a Canberra United opponent.
Camera IconShawn Billam heads the ball away from a Canberra United opponent. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times
Shawn Billam heads the ball away from a Canberra United opponent.
Camera IconShawn Billam heads the ball away from a Canberra United opponent. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Tempers flared as the heat made an impact on the players with three yellow cards handed out for dissent.

The final five minutes of the match were played in a frenzy with both sides trying to score the winner late in the game.

A late burst from Kerr put Patricia Charalambous into space but the substitute failed to make contact with the ball as the match finished in a draw.

Perth Glory striker Rachel Hill looks to get around a defender.
Camera IconPerth Glory striker Rachel Hill looks to get around a defender. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Canberra coach Heather Garriock said she was pleased with her team’s effort to fight back from 3-0 early in the game.

“I think we made it hard for ourselves initially but to be honest I think we played the best we have all season,” she said.

“I think the point of difference, and I know each team says it each week, was Sam Kerr.

Midfielder Raquel Rodriguez looks for a teammate up the pitch.
Camera IconMidfielder Raquel Rodriguez looks for a teammate up the pitch. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

“Her runs in behind and her finishing was exceptional and for her to score a hat-trick in the first half made it hard for us.

“To be honest the character of the girls, the belief and just the want to win, that shone throughout the game we were unlucky not to get three points.”

Garriock said her team enjoyed playing a match in regional Western Australia.

“This place is great, we loved it,” she said.

“We love coming to Bunbury and we have been treated like royalty.

“It is a really lovely place and I am sure we would love to come back again.”

Things got heated between both teams in the second half.
Camera IconThings got heated between both teams in the second half. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Despotovski said while he was disappointed with the draw, he was happy with his team’s performance.

“We knew that we had to win and we just fell short again exactly the same as last week,” he said.

“Scoring four goals in a game of this importance and not coming away with the win is a little bit disappointing.

“Unfortunately you haven’t come away with the three points but you have given everything you have got.”

Glory need to win their next match against Western Sydney and will need other results to go their way to be a chance of making the finals.

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