Wellington Phoenix win battle of cellar dwellers
SIMON PLUMB AT EDEN PARK
The Wellington Phoenix have clawed their way off the bottom of the A-League table with a much-needed 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Perth Glory in Auckland.
Jeremie Brockie's 41st minute effort, a diving header from close range, was the only goal of the game at Eden Park, which also saw a gutsy debut from All White Ian Hogg and a first start for Isaka Cernak.
Perth are now last in the league.
The Phoenix marginally deserved the win, but didn't make life easy for themselves - seemingly reluctant to push for more goals and in doing so, inviting Perth to attack.
But with captain Jake Burns and Shane Smletz out injured, Perth offered little in attack.
Paul Ifill went within a whisker of finding a second in the 89th minute, but his curling effort shaved the outside of the right post from a tight angle.
The Auckland crowd was half that of last year's visit from the Phoenix however, with 11,566 turning out compared to more than 20,000 last year.
The attendance is the second highest 'home' crowd of the Phoenix's season so far however, behind the opening day which saw 12,057 turn out, and almost double the size of their last match in Wellington.
- © Fairfax NZ News