Perth Glory’s young pups produced a battling goalless draw against Newcastle Jets in Wednesday’s A-League clash at HBF Park.
The new kids on the block brought the Jets down to earth as they looked for their third consecutive win to push into the top six.
They were outplayed in the first half but stepped up after the break in a game that ended dramatically in time added on.
The Jets’ Daniel Penha was shown a red card after flooring Giordano Colli with an elbow to the face.
A scuffle broke out and Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy who raced out of goal, and Colli were yellow-carded.
Glory’s match day squad had an average age under 23-years-old with two 17-year-old’s, an 18-year-old and a couple of 19-year-old’s in the mix.
Aidan Coyne, one of the 17-year-old’s made his starting debut with two other academy graduates Joseph Forde, 18, and Trent Ostler, 19, both making their first appearance from the bench.
Eight players were the core last year’s NPL side.
Stand-in coach Ruben Zadkovich, in his second game, had promised to bring in young blood.
He had no option with at least 12 key players unavailable.
Striker Andy Keogh was the latest casualty
Newcastle dominated the first-half with almost 80 per cent possession at one stage but they wasted chances.
They had 11 shots but none were on target.
Glory sat back as Newcastle moved the ball, looking for gaps in the home side’s defence.
Glory looked to pounce on mistakes, concentrating most of their attack on the right wing, where Adrian Sardinero wasted an early opportunity.
They were lucky when Penha found Dane Ingham at the far post but his cut back went harmlessly across the face of the goal.
Newcastle had a couple of wild long range shots but Glory had a huge scare when a poor Coyne back pass was intercepted but Beka Mikeltadze pushed the ball wide of the far post.
Glory’s Ciaran Bramwell should have done better, powering a header wide from a corner but they were hanging in before the break when Lucas Mauragis skimmed the crossbar.
Glory looked rejuvenated after the break and will be wondering how they didn’t go ahead when a Nick Fitzgerald header was finger-tipped onto the post by Jack Duncan and scrambled off the line.
Newcastle regained control as Penha, Mauragis and Ingham went close but a dogged Glory dug in.