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CONTROVERSIAL RED...Heffernan was dismissed for an apparent elbow
STRUGGLING Gold Coast United have given their home fans something to cheer about with a 3-0 victory over 10-man top three hopefuls Perth Glory at Skilled Park on Sunday evening.
The embattled A-League club had gone 13 games without tasting victory but Olyroos defender Zac Anderson's sixth-minute header and a late double to James Brown were enough to end that horror run.
Perth played more than half the match with 10 men after Dean Heffernan was controversially sent off in the 36th minute for leading with the elbow in an aerial challenge against youngster Daniel Bowles.
While the Glory had a handful of good chances to equalise, they were all batted away by United custodian Jerrad Tyson, who was once again rock solid in the goalmouth.
In truth, Gold Coast were in control from the first whistle and wasted little time taking the lead.
Just a few minutes into the contest, Anderson escaped his marker at a free kick and nodded the opener into the top left corner past an outstretched Danny Vukovic.
He can thank Jake Barker-Daish for setting up the opportunity, with the young midfielder impressive throughout from dead ball situations.
They doubled their advantage in the 83rd minute when Brown, who has signed with Newcastle for next season, slotted home his fifth goal for the season after he was played in by Josh Brillante.
Brown was making his long-awaited comeback from an ankle injury, and two other Gold Coast players did the same - former rising star Tahj Minniecon and bullocking target man Dylan Macallister.
But the young utility comfortably showed both of them up by taking his season tally to six goals with his cameo appearance.
He completed his brace deep in stoppage time, with a sweetly-struck free kick from just outside the penalty box that sent the crowd of more than 2000 fans into raptures.
An official attendance figure was not given due to technical problems with the turnstiles at Skilled Park, but most of the fans that showed up went home delighted with the result in Gold Coast's first home game since former owner Clive Palmer was stripped of his A-League license.
United's chances of ditching the wooden spoon were also kept alive with the win, with ninth-placed Adelaide just three points ahead with one game to go and with a worse goal difference.
The tourist strip club will lift themselves from the bottom if the Reds fail to defeat Melbourne Heart next week, and if they manage to beat title contenders Brisbane Roar at home on the last day of the regular season.
Gold Coast United 3 (Anderson 6', Brown 83', 90')
Perth Glory 0
Crowd: Approximately 2000 at Skilled Park, Robina