Super-sub Lyons does it for Lions

Kara Donnellan and Chelsea Randall are off to the Melbourne Football Club. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d400240
Kara Donnellan and Chelsea Randall are off to the Melbourne Football Club. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d400240

Perth opened the scoring in the sixth minute thanks to Josh Pereira, with a long range strike from 35m that managed to find the bottom corner of the net.

It wasn’t until the 35th minute that the Lions capitalised on their set piece dominance and quality midfield play featuring Miki Vujacic, Dean Evans and Gareth McGlynn.

From the second corner taken by Vujacic in the space of a few seconds, Rory Grant poked the ball into the net after the ball was flicked on at the front post by Evans.

From what was nearly the last kick of the first half, Stirling scored another goal from a Vujacic corner. This time Phil Arnold tucked in a header at the near post.

The second half could not have started better for a determined Perth side and within a minute of the restart they were back on level terms.

Kris Gate worked with Liam Boland down the left flank and the latter snuck the ball in at the near post with a clever finish.

After forcing Perth keeper Jason Saldaris into some wonderful acrobatic saves, the home side finally made their breakthrough with seven minutes remaining. Six corners in a row for the Lions saw Jason Gavin’s goal-bound header flicked over the bar and then Rory Grant was denied a point-blank chance by the brilliance of Saldaris.

Substitute Anthony Lyons produced the goods again for the Lions, picking up a perfect through ball from former Glory player Scott Bulloch, and coolly slotted the ball past the diving Saldaris, who had made another quality save just moments before.

The three points were vital to keep pushing toward the top of the table, but Stirling could have played better, according to Lions coach Doug Hesketh.

‘There were some passages of good football but I never thought we got going in the first half, but we just worked extremely hard to get ourselves into a good position,’ he said. ‘I just think as a team we underperformed but to win against Perth and not play your best, I’d take that any day.’

Meanwhile, in Division 1 action Shamrock Rovers and Ashfield played out a 2-2 draw, while Dianella White Eagles beat Morley Windmills 2-1.