An 88th minute striker from Tommy Amphlett has given Perth a 1-0 win over Newcastle.
An 88th minute striker from Tommy Amphlett has given Perth a 1-0 win over Newcastle and an invaluable three points in their quest for the National Youth League top spot. Amphlett slid the ball past Jets goalkeeper Matthew Ryan from 12 yards out after a rare moment when the visitors- defence was opened up.
The late win keeps the pressure on league leaders Central Coast with just two matches left in Perth-s season.
At 6PR Stadium in Inglewood, the game began with a high tempo but was devoid of many quality moments early with both sides being restricted to half chances in the opening half hour.
Amphlett-s weaving run after seven minutes saw Ryan called upon to parry the Perth winger-s cross before a Labinot Haliti shot was watched over the bar by Lewis Italiano at the other end.
Amphlett and Haliti were constant menaces for the opposition defences, with both heavily involved in the bulk of their respective team-s attacks.
Perth began stronger after the first half drinks break but it was Newcastle who produced the first meaningful opportunity of the fixture after 36 minutes.
Defender Connor Chapman found space inside the Perth penalty area and his powerful shot forced a good diving save from Italiano from which the hosts countered instantly through Amphlett, whose cross was deflected wide for a corner.
The game-s first truly frenetic period was halted following the resulting corner with Newcastle defender Andrew Hoole forced to seek treatment after a collision in the goalmouth.
Newcastle enjoyed two more opportunities before half time; Chapman heading well wide after finding space from a corner in the 44th minute.
Perth-s A-League defender Josh Mitchell, in his first match back from injury, was carded in the final minute of the first half for a clumsy foul but again the visitors could not hit the target from their 25 yard free kick.
The second half continued in the same pattern as the first, with neither side able to exert midfield dominance and both relying on set pieces for decent opportunities.
Newcastle considered themselves unlucky not to be awarded a penalty ten minutes into the second half when James Virgili went down under pressure from Jack Clisby but the referee was not interested in the Jets- protests.
Haliti and Marko Jesic continued to pressure the Perth defence but all too often their long-distance efforts sailed well over the crossbar.
Perth squandered two free kicks from dangerous positions before striker Ndumba Makeche missed the best opportunity of the match to that point.
Captain Sam Mitchinson weaved his way down the left wing after 79 minutes and crossed to the back post, but an unmarked Makeche could only find the side netting from close range.
The match looked to be heading for a hard-fought draw before Amphlett found space and remained composed to decide the fixture.
Newcastle sent Ryan forward for a corner in the final moments but the move almost backfired with only a timely block stopping Brandon O-Neill from being through on an empty goal.
Perth Glory 1 (Amphlett 88) Newcastle Jets 0