18 Oct 2011

Smeltz out to end unbeaten run of old club

6:48 am on 18 October 2011

The Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz hopes to inflict more pain on the Wellington Phoenix when his former club travels west for Sunday's A-League football clash at NIB Stadium.

The Phoenix are unbeaten after two games but enter this week's clash severely down on manpower, with Vince Lia, Lucas Pantelis and Paul Ifill nursing injuries and Tim Brown suspended after being shown red in last weekend's 2-nil win over Newcastle.

But Wellington midfielder Nick Ward has been cleared to play against the Glory, despite being red-carded by referee Matt Gillett in the closing stages of the victory over the Jets.

The Phoenix appealed successfully to the match review panel, believing the referee was wrong in ruling Ward had fouled to prevent a clear scoring opportunity.

The red card was rescinded, leaving Ward free to play against Perth.

Smeltz, who scored a brace in the Glory's 2-1 away win over Melbourne Heart on Sunday, says Wellington's long road trip this week would further compound their player drain, giving Perth even more of an advantage.

The Glory sit atop of the ladder with Brisbane following their scintillating start to the season, in which they have posted wins over Adelaide and the Heart.