Central Coast Mariners spoiled Wellington Phoenix’s homecoming fixture with a 0-4 victory at the Sky Stadium in Wellington - less than two weeks after being beaten 0-5 by the same side.
Phoenix remain in fifth position after giving up early chances to take the lead and were punished by a clinical Mariners side who ended up scoring four goals to add to the Phoenix’s poor defensive record of 43 goals conceded in 22 games.
Story of the match
After a chance for the Phoenix to take a lead, a quick counterattack by the Mariners was converted by Beni N'Kololo.
That strike gave the visitors the impetus to take control of the game and the Phoenix never really recovered in front of their 18,000 strong crowd.
As the Phoenix pushed forward to try get their equaliser, they were hit on the counter attack again. Jason Cummings slotted in after their first attempt had hit the crossbar and it was 0-2 to the away side.
Only three minutes later the score was 0-3. Moresche converted on 65 minutes and it was only a matter of time before it was 0-4 - although that goal came in added time from Matt Hatch.
Back to the drawing board for the Phoenix
The expectant crowd will have been disappointed with the result, but the fact is that Wellington Phoenix stay fifth in the A League table. Their -14 goal difference is only above basement side Perth Glory, but with a game in hand on fourth placed Adelaide United they will feel that they will be able to finish the season strong.
Their next fixture will be at Eden Park up in Auckland against Western Sydney Wanderers and they will be keen to bounce back quickly and put the nightmare of Central Coast Mariners behind them. Wanderers lay in tenth position in the A League and they will fancy their chances against a side who have won only five games all season.