Botic steers Western ALM victory over Glory in Ballarat

March 9, 2024 BY

Highlight: Noah Botic’s 53rd minute goal sealed the deal in Western United’s 1-0 win last Saturday in Ballarat. Photo: WILL MURRAY/ AAP IMAGE

AFTER Noah Botic’s fourth goal in sixth games delivered Western United a 1-0 win over Perth Glory, coach John Aloisi says the striker’s purple patch is reward for grinding through a tough A-League Men season.

Botic’s well-taken finish in the 53rd minute proved enough for cellar-dwellers United to claim all three points at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium and snap Perth’s six-game unbeaten run.

Olyroos striker Botic should have made it 2-0 in the 84th minute when he tried to finish Rhys Bozinovski’s cutback from close range, but instead he accidentally flicked the ball up and handballed it.

It was a frustrating end to an otherwise impressive showing from 22-year-old Botic, who has found form after a rough 12-game scoring drought.

“We said at the start of the season Noah needs to play regular football,” Aloisi said.

“He has to be playing on a consistent basis, and even though we haven’t got experienced players up top around him, he needs to find a way to get through difficult situations

“It’s been difficult, it has, for him and for us as a team, because we haven’t been winning games, creating chances, not putting them away, and as a striker the pressure can build on you

“But Noah never shied away, kept on working on his game in training, always looking to improve, and that’s why I had belief that he would turn it around – and he is.

“He was excellent today.”

Perth should have equalised in the 90th minute after Darryl Lachman headed a corner on to the bar, then Daniel Bennie volleyed the follow-up, from point-blank range, over.

There was also a contentious moment when Perth’s David Williams rifled home on the hour mark, but it was called back for a foul from Adam Taggart on Kane Vidmar in the lead-up.

Aloisi was adamant it was a foul, but Perth assistant coach Nahuel Arrarte, standing in for coach Alen Stajcic who was out via a yellow card suspension, was less convinced.

“Haven’t had a chance to look back at it,” he said.

“From where I was… I thought it looked like a fair goal.

“Once we go back and analyse it and watch the game again we will have a clearer picture from a different angle, but from where I was, I didn’t see anything wrong with it.”

The victory, United’s 50th in the ALM, was arguably deserved, with skipper Josh Risdon, who slipped through Botic for the goal, superb.

“We controlled the game and dominated the game from start to nearly finish – we felt that we could have won that a lot easier than we did,” Aloisi said.

It was a frustrating result for Perth, who will remain at least seven points outside the finals places this round.

“Personally, I believe we were poor today. We didn’t play our best game,” Arrarte said.

“We went on a really good run of six games undefeated and now we’ve just got to make sure that we put this performance and result behind us and concentrate on the upcoming games.”