A first half goal to Michael McGlinchey has sealed all three points for Wellington Phoenix on a cold, wet, windy night in Wellington against the Central Coast Mariners.
Wellington Phoenix 1 (McGlinchey 9’) Central Coast Mariners 0
The Run Down
The home team didn’t take long to strike at Westpac Stadium and it was former Mariner, Michael McGlinchey who fired the first and only blow in the ninth minute of play.
Finding himself on the end of a Roly Bonevacia through ball, McGlinchey still hand plenty to do and calmly fired into Paul Izzo’s bottom corner.
With the absence of Jacques Faty, Liam Rose played as a make shift centre back and looked very composed in the heart of defence despite the difficult conditions in New Zealand.
The Mariners hitman, Roy O’Donovan was starved for service throughout the match but the Irishman made the most of his half chances drawing saves from Glen Moss across the 90 minutes of play.
Connor Pain was once again asking the questions for the Mariners and created havoc on the left wing, delivering crosses into the box in tandom with Scott Galloway on the left flank.
On the right, Storm Roux covered plenty of ground in defence and attack whilst combining well with Kwabena Appiah for a raft of plays into the Phoenix back third.
Paul Izzo proved that he is one of the best young goalkeepers in the league, making a string of impressive saves in the dying stages to keep the Yellow & Navy in the contest but unfortunately, the Mariners couldn’t find a way past Moss at the other end.
Full attention now turns to a Thursday night affair with Melbourne City in Melbourne on January 19.
1-0 Wellington Phoenix: McGlinchey 9’
McGlinchey picked up possession from just outside the box and dribbled into the area after receiving Bonevacia’s through ball. McGlinchey put his shot bottom corner to take the lead at Westpac Stadium,
Paolo in the press
“We found it a bit difficult in the first half,” Okon said. “Wellington denied us space and we found it hard to get the ball through midfield to our attacking players.
“We adjusted a bit at half time and saw an improvement, a little bit of momentum without being too dangerous but we lacked that final pass and that decision.
“Wellington had one or two crazy moments at the end, but they deserved their win and we will go home and prepare for another big game in five days against Melbourne City in Melbourne so hopefully we don’t have any players who are struggling fitness wise.
“We didn’t concede a goal for 85 minutes which we haven’t managed to do in the New Year, that’s a positive we can take from it and we move on.
“We’re eager and hungry to get our third win of the season, we came very close against Melbourne City and Sydney where we finished the game with real disappointment because we didn’t get more from it but again we need to keep working hard on the things that are letting us down.
“That mid to front third we need to have more composure and better decision making but I thought defensively tonight we were quite sound, the average age of our back four and keeper tonight was 20 or 21, we’re a club that gives opportunities to young players and tonight was no different.
“As the younger players gain more experience they become better footballers, at the moment that’s what’s available and we have no issue in using young players. I don’t think there’s a young player in the country who wouldn’t want to come to the Mariners because we’re playing so many young players.
“There were moments in the second half where we looked dangerous but Wellington have two experienced defenders in Rossi & Durante, as well as Glen Moss but we will continue to work,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners: 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c) (6.Blake POWELL 84’), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Kwabena APPIAH (12.Trent BUHAGIAR 73’), 14.Adam BERRY (5.Harry ASCROFT 73’), 16.Liam ROSE, 22.Jake McGING
Substitutes not used: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21.Michael NEILL
Yellow cards: 4’ Appiah
Wellington Phoenix: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA 97.Gui FINKLER 70’), 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Michael McGLINCHEY (11.Hamish WATSON 64’), 13.Marco ROSSI, 17.Vince LIA, 19.Thomas DOYLE, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 99.Shane SMELTZ (12.Adam PARKHOUSE 80’)
Subtitutes not used: 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 5.Ryan LOWRY,
Yellow cards: Doyle 66’
Saturday 14 January, 2017
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners
Referee: Jarred Gillett