A BRACE from the head of Besart Berisha and a Panagiotis Kone volley helped the hosts to a 3-1 victory after Andrew Nabbout’s early strike put the visitors ahead.
The Green and Black held onto the lead in the second half with a disciplined display at a warm GMHBA Stadium in front of over 10,000 fans.
Western United head coach Mark Rudan praised his players as a reshaped Green and Black outfit came back from an early goal down on Sunday.
Rudan said using marquee Panagiotis Kone a little higher up on the pitch closer to Berisha was a tactical tweak that helped, while debutant Jerry Skotadis put in a tigerish and energetic display in centre midfield.
“Jerry’s done really well and is knocking on the door. Jerry’s come in and stepped up. Really proud of him,” Rudan told reporters after the game.
“We saw something in him and with his persistence and work ethic, he’s made his A-League debut and did really well.”
United’s win helped them break a three-game losing streak. Western United is now fourth on the ladder with 13 points.
Rudden said he felt the team had been performing better than results suggested.
“It’s a funny old game. In the last three games we’ve won every facet in terms of stats except the one that’s most important, that’s the scoreboard.
“Today… our first-half performance we did enough to win that game. And in the second half, they [United] rolled up their sleeves, were very disciplined. Very structured in terms of our game plan.”
Berisha’s double had the home fans off their seats singing the striker’s praise.
Rudan praised Berisha’s resilience and fiery nature.
“We’ll never take that out of him. He understands now, however, that as a football club he needs to adhere to certain values and it’s not about him or myself or the players.”
Next Friday night, United travel to the Sunshine State to face Brisbane Roar.