A DESPERATE nine-man Perth Glory has held on for a hard-fought 1-1 draw against the North Queensland Fury at a wet Dairy Farmers Stadium on Sunday evening.
In a physical game which saw Kris Griffiths-Jones blow the pea out of his whistle, the Glory's Naum Sekulovski and Brent Griffiths were both given their marching orders by the 64th minute after collecting their second yellow cards of the match.
That left the Glory scrambling to defend a 1-0 lead set up by a 23rd minute Robbie Fowler header, which they were able to do for 16 minutes until Mark Hughes finally broke the dam wall with his 80th minute header to equalise.
The Fury had a multitude of chances to secure a vital win but were errant in their shot selection and execution, missing time after time, at one point squandering four corners in a row.
The point is a relieving one for the Glory, in freefall after losing 11 of its past 13 games leading into the Fury clash.
And there was plenty of feeling between the two clubs, with marquee man Robbie Fowler returning to his old club and engineering the win.
Fowler was unlucky not to earn a penalty shot in the opening stages, brought to ground in the box by a desperate Mark Hughes challenge.
It was Groundhog Day just after half-time, Hughes bringing him down again but escaping a whistle.
And Fowler was desperately unlucky not to score in the 10th minute when he popped a sweet ball over `keeper Justin Pasfield's head only for it to clatter into the crossbar.
But he got the goal he wanted against his former club in the 23rd minute, heading in a Michael Baird cross to open up a 1-0 lead.
It was the Fury that had the majority of field position for the best part of the first half, but they squandered plenty of chances to make it count.
Gareth Edds missed an open chance in the 17th minute, hitting the right post and was denied by a first class clearance by Joshua Risdon in a passage of play which saw the Fury miss three shots on goal.
Dyron Daal, returning from a knee injury, also missed multiple chances including a one-on-one with keeper Tando Velaphi which ended with his shot sailing over the top of the post.
In the second half the chances began to flow as fast as the North Queensland rain which drenched the stadium in the second half, but they couldn't convert them, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the A-League table.
North Queensland Fury 1 (Hughes 80')
Perth Glory 1 (Fowler 23')
@ Dairy Farmers Stadium