The A-League’s newest side have officially put the rest of the competition on notice.
A first half brace from Matt Derbyshire saw Macarthur FC comfortably beat Perth Glory 2-0 on a glorious and Good Friday night at Campbelltown Stadium.
The win was Macarthur’s third in a row – the first time they’ve won three consecutive games in their history – and the result sees them move up to second on the ladder, just three points behind the Central Coast Mariners.
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“Delighted with the way we played, which then gives you a chance of getting the three points,” said Macarthur coach Ante Milicic.
“Also the clean sheet is important for us. That’s three in a row now and it gives us a platform to build.”
For the Glory, the loss begins a tough three-match roadtrip with their next match against defending champions Sydney FC on Wednesday.
“It’s just about getting the boys back up and approaching Sydney with a different level of enthusiasm and mentality,” said Perth coach Richard Garcia.
“The team doesn’t not perform on purpose, it’s about getting everything right on the night.”
It was one of the best opening 45 minutes of football the home side have produced all season and they thoroughly deserved their early lead.
Just 10 minutes into the game Derbyshire rounded off an excellent team goal. A superb deep ball from Benat Etxebarria found Ivan Franjic at the back post and the fullback headed across to Derbyshire, who then poked the ball past Liam Reddy and into the net.
The defending was questionable from the Glory, who allowed Derbyshire far too much space to get
It wasn’t the only occasion during the first half that Perth were left in all sorts at the back, but it wasn’t until the 43rd minute that Macarthur doubled their lead.
Markel Susaeta, again so instrumental all game, collided with Sebastian Langkamp in the box and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. The VAR had a long look at it and despite the call appearing to be a soft one, the decision was ultimately upheld and Derbyshire stepped up to score his 10th goal of the season.
The home side went into the break with the most comfortable of leads and continued to settle into it in the second half.
Darryl Lachman cleared Franjic’s effort off the line as Perth survived conceding a third, with the visitors going on to show a bit more fight in the second half.
Carlo Armiento made an impact off the bench for the Glory, but Macarthur were content to sit back and defend their lead, in the end successfully.
FIRST FROM THE SPOT
Macarthur were awarded their first penalty of the season when Markel Susaeta collided with Sebastian Langkamp in the box and Matt Derbyshire converted the spot kick. It may have been a touch contentious, but the VAR is there to get rid of the howler and there have been far worse calls than that one, which is why it’s understandable the initial decision was upheld.
Ante Milicic has created a formidable defence in Macarthur’s first season. The A-League’s newest side are the only team in the competition not to concede a single goal from penalties or free kicks.