Another late goal by Brendon Santalab has earned the Western Sydney Wanderers their first victory of February, overcoming the challenge of Perth Glory to win 2-1.
Western Sydney's Alberto Aguilar returned to the heart of the defence and added stability following a two week suspension while Perth's Marc Warren also returned.
The Wanderers suffered a concerning setback no more than ten minutes into the match as Dario Vidosic pulled up with a groin complaint and was subsequently replaced by Romeo Castelen who would later play a major part in the final result.
Western Sydney had only won two of their past eight matches however rose three points clear at the summit of the A-league table, pending Brisbane's game against Adelaide.
Both sides endured a frustrating first half with Perth Glory receiving the better of the chances from a 0-0 score-line.
Nebojsa Marinkovic missed a brilliant opportunity to open Perth's account and take the lead just three minutes into the second half but sprayed his shot wide from within 12 yards of the goal.
An even closer chance loomed for the Wanderers' Mitch Nichols who touched the ball past Covic only for it to trickle past the goal as well, after a neat header by Mark Bridge changed the direction of Scott Neville's chipped cross into Nichols' path.
Romeo Castelen found himself in space on the left side during a counter attack before cutting back onto his right foot and unleashing a hard and low driven shot which rocketed off the post and in. This was finally the Dutchman's second goal of the season after somewhat becoming renowned for blundering key chances.
However in what was a rather uneventful game prior, Perth immediately pushed into the Wanderers half where Chris Harold won a penalty off a clumsy foul by Nikolai Topor-Stanley, which Andy Keogh successfully converted to cap off a remarkable couple of minutes.
Brendon Santalab has now won an astonishing fourteen points for Western Sydney this season after making numerous game-changing substitute appearances. His finish in the 85th minute was assisted brilliantly by Mark Bridge before Santalab delivered a stunning touch to dink the ball over Ante Covic for his sixth goal of the campaign. Santalab stated "They call me super-sub! (I've) got to do my job!" when questioned on his sheer desire for the ball in his immaculate finish that won the match, and his ability to make a huge difference off the bench.
Romeo Castelen made an instrumental impact after replacing a dejected Dario Vidosic early in the first half and flourished in a man of the match performance, proving to be a constant nuisance to an otherwise solid Glory defence.
Meanwhile Perth's impressive run of six games undefeated has come to an end as they still sit a point out of the top six of the table.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Castelen 62', Santalab 85') defeated. Perth Glory 1 (Keogh 64' penalty) at Pirtek Stadium (Parramatta)