Edwards praises Glory belief after shock win over leaders
Nick Montgomery of the Mariners looks to challenge Glory matchwinner Shane Smeltz. Pic: Getty Images

Perth Glory interim coach Ian Edwards made the ideal start last night then hailed his team's self-belief.

Glory ended an eight-game winless streak stretching back to December 21 with a shock 2-1 victory over league leaders Central Coast Mariners at nib Stadium.

The home side fell behind early but clawed their way back and found the winner through marquee man Shane Smeltz midway through the second half.

"When you've got belief in what you do, you can build on that," said Edwards, who replaced the sacked Ian Ferguson early last week.

"The guys in the room are extremely experienced and good players.

"The win moved Glory off the bottom of the table and into eighth place, four points out of the top six and a finals spot, with six games to play. It was the perfect way to mark a new era under Edwards and assistant Gareth Naven, who were appointed in a caretaker capacity until the end of the season.

Central Coast, fresh from a nine-day break following their 5-0 drubbing of Wellington, started well but wasted plenty of chances in the first half.

They took the lead in the 13th minute through in-form Bernie Ibini, who finished neatly under pressure after Daniel McBreen caught Steven McGarry in position.

But Glory replied soon after when Travis Dodd breached the tightest defence in the league to level the scores in the 27th minute.

Dodd latched onto a superbly weighted pass over the top from Nick Ward, controlling the ball with his first touch before finishing calmly from close range. Dodd's goal ended Glory's four-match goal drought - a dry spell that lasted 387 minutes - bringing much relief to the vocal home support.

Young full-back Josh Risdon went close to putting Glory in front on 64 minutes when his shot from 25m struck the crossbar.

But the home side didn't have to wait long for Risdon to find Smeltz with a perfect cross a minute later.

Smeltz's header had too much power for Central Coast keeper Matt Ryan, who did well to get a hand to the ball but couldn't keep it out.

Although the Mariners pushed hard for an equaliser Glory held out and Central Coast coach Graham Arnold was less than impressed with his side's efforts.

"It was probably the worst performance since I've been at the club," Arnold said.

"We were totally out-enthused and we were second to everything.

"If you have four or five players that have an off night, you get punished for it, and we got punished for it and got the kick up the backside that hopefully we need."

After overcoming the league leaders, Glory face an equally stiff test next week when they travel to red-hot Western Sydney.

The West Australian

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