Mark Paston of the Phoenix shows his disappointment after
conceding a goal during his team's A-League match against
the Melbourne Heart at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Mark this one down as a character-building exercise for
the Wellington Phoenix.
Down 2-0 after 16 minutes, the Phoenix battled back to
register a resilient 3-2 win over the Melbourne Heart at
Westpac Stadium tonight.
The result should give their A-League campaign the shot in
the arm that it so desperately needs after they went the past
three games without a win.
At times it was ugly - particularly in the opening spell -
but you can't deny the Phoenix showed ticker when they so
easily could've dropped their lip.
Striker Jeremy Brockie has a funny habit of drifting in and
out of games but he found the perfect time to put his mark on
this outing as his two second-half goals gave the Phoenix the
Having come back out for the second spell 2-1 down, the
Phoenix had the better of the second 45 minute stanza but
looked for long periods like they wouldn't be able to find
the killer blow.
Few teams put as many balls in to the penalty area from the
flanks as the Phoenix but it finally paid off when yet
another ball in to the box saw Louis Fenton earn a penalty in
the 66th minute and Brockie made no mistake with his spot
With the momentum and a vocal home crowd of 6410 behind them
the Phoenix continued to press and Brockie nailed the
go-ahead goal in bizarre fashion in the 71st minute.
As a Dani Sanchez strike was deflected from long range,
Brockie was first to pounce on the loose ball and the All
White tucked it in to the corner of Clint Bolton's net.
The upshot was the Phoenix were given a lead they would never
relinquish, which will have left coach Ricki Herbert a
The opening 45 minutes provided plenty of entertainment as
the Heart opened the scoring with two early goals in the
space of as many minutes and four players were shown yellow
Firstly, Golgol Mebrahtu directed a gorgeous free kick in to
the back of Mark Paston's net after Phoenix skipper Andrew
Durante had given away a foul at the top of the box in the
The Heart then added to Durante's misery as a David Williams
ball across the face of penalty area struck Durante's foot
and wrong-footed Paston and found it's way in to the
Phoenix's goal only two minutes later.
The Durante own goal sparked the Phoenix in to life as they
surged during a busy period that was capped off when Fenton
pulled one back for the home side.
Vince Lia won the ball deep in Heart territory and managed to
flick the ball on to Fenton who buried his second goal of the
A-League season and left Heart goalkeeper Bolton with no
Despite a flurry of chances at both ends neither side could
land a killer punch and they went to the break with the Heart
From there it was left to Brockie's goals in the second spell
and the Phoenix's next game comes on New Year's day when they
meet the Roar in Brisbane.
Wellington Phoenix 3 (Louis Fenton 21, Jeremy Brockie pen 66,
71) Melbourne Heart 2 (Golgol Mebrahtu 14, Andrew Durante og
16) HT: 1-2
- Daniel Richardson of APNZ