Star Melbourne City striker Jamie Maclaren has scored a double and gone past the A-League 100-goal mark to lift his side to victory over Perth Glory.
Star striker Jamie Maclaren has scored his 100th and 101st A-League goals to lift Melbourne City to a 3-1 win over Perth Glory at HBF Park.
A Chris Ikonomidis thunderbolt in the 31st minute put Perth ahead in Wednesday night's clash, but a Glory own goal and Maclaren's strikes either side of half-time sent City on their way.
The result extends City's lead at the top of the ladder to six points, and they have a game in hand on second-placed Central Coast and third-placed Sydney.
Glory are now 10 points adrift of sixth spot and face a huge battle to make the finals.
Maclaren spent the first two seasons of his A-League career at Glory but he left after being starved of starting opportunities.
It was clear his lack of game time in Perth still burns.
"You know what, I scored my first goal at this ground," Maclaren told Fox Sports at halftime after notching goal No.100.
"I wasn't good enough for Perth Glory. So I'm just proud to reach this achievement."
City entered the match without star striker Andrew Nabbout (groin), but his replacement Marco Tilio caused Glory all sorts of problems in the first half.
The match was a lockout due to Perth's recent COVID-19 scares, and even Glory owner Tony Sage wasn't initially allowed to attend the match.
That was until Sage found a loophole and agreed to be a 'ball boy' for the game.
Sage liked what he saw when Ikonomidis opened the scoring with a rocket from the edge of the box in the 31st minute.
City were back on level terms five minutes later when Glory defender Luke Bodnar scored an own goal when his attempt to clear Tilio's flashing cross went horribly wrong.
The mood became even more sombre for Glory when Maclaren popped up in first-half stoppage time to head home from close range to bring up his milestone goal.
It took Maclaren just 144 games to reach triple figures - the fastest in Australian National League soccer.
Tilio almost scored in the 50th minute when his shinned strike cannoned into the upright.
But it mattered little, with Maclaren making it a personal double in the 68th minute when he headed home from close range.
"I think it's the mentality," City defender Scott Jamieson said of Maclaren's hot form.
"You talk about players who are hungry ... every day it's the mentality of doing more finishing, to want to get better.
"It's a full credit to him, we're lucky to have him. Hopefully he stays for a lot longer."
FASTEST TO 100 GOALS IN AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL LEAGUE SOCCER
144 games - Jamie Maclaren
156 games - Besart Berisha
182 games - Frank Farina
194 games - John Kosmina