Two soft penalty decisions and an own goal that should not have been allowed have over-shadowed an entertaining affair in Perth where the Glory jumped off the foot of the table with a 3-1 win at home over the Central Coast Mariners.
The Glory were the better of the two sides on the night, however the match was to be settled by a string off poor refereeing decisions that left the Mariners in third place on goal difference behind the Western Sydney Wanderers on a night where all three teams fighting for second spot dropped points.
In Jacob Burns last home game, the Glory captain won a dubious penalty after just 6 minutes when John Hutchinson - celebrating a milestone of his own as he lined up in his 200th game for the Yellow and Navy - challenged the Perth skipper for the ball, and seemed to win it fairly in all eyes but that of the referee's, who pointed to the spot. Steve McGarry stepped up and slotted home to see the Mariners concede inside the first 15 minutes for the first time since November 2012.
Central Coast hit back with a taste of irony 10 minutes later when Kim Seung-yong was brought down softly in the box. Even the most avid Mariners fan would admit that it was paid cheaply, but the second penalty of the game saw Nick Fitzgerald find the net from 11 yards to even the ledger once more.
Sidnei Sciola broke the deadlock on 71 minutes when a pinpoint Chris Harold cross found the head of the winger, who would have struggled to miss from such close range. Liam Reddy could do nothing as Sciola headed home from all of 2 metres and restored Perth's advantage.
The icing on the cake came not long before full time, as Zac Anderson banged the ball home into his own net from the edge of the box in a spectacular effort as he attempted to intervene on a through ball intended for Sciola. The goal should not have been allowed, however, as replays showed the Sciola had been offside and Anderson would not have tried to block the ball if the Perth player had been onside and in no position to make anything of the chance.
The Mariners thought they scored a consolation goal in injury time, only for the linesman to rule Bernie Ibini offside after John Hutchinson's shot was parried by the keeper to Ibini's feet. Though no replay was provided, it was clear Ibin was played on by no less than four Perth Glory defenders, and the referee was simply lucky that the goal wouldnt have affected the result anyway.
Phil Moss said in the presser that many players will be fearing the chop after this fixture, and I certainly have to agree.