Jeremy Brockie's goal-drought comes to an end

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 05:00 20/01/2014
Jeremy Brockie
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
BACK IN BUSINESS: It had been some time since Jeremy Brockie last saw a shot of his hit the back of the net.

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During a goal-scoring drought, which dates back to November 4, Wellington Phoenix striker Jeremy Brockie had tried most things to bring on a flood.

Lucky haircuts and special items of kit all got a work out, as the second-top scorer in last season's A-League wondered where the goals went.

Eventually relegated to the bench by Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick, Brockie had run out of tricks come Saturday and his team's clash with the Melbourne Victory.

Cue some intervention from one-year-old daughter Piper.

"I put a few pairs [of boots] on the floor and said 'go and choose a pair' and she chose the green ones. She was licking them and kissing them for me and I thought 'that's good enough for me'," Brockie said.

He almost got a chance to see if Piper's pick were the right ones in the 47th minute of Saturday's eventual 5-0 flogging of the Victory, but Merrick decided the Phoenix were getting beaten in midfield, so Matthew Ridenton got the nod to replace a limping Carlos Hernandez.

He eventually trotted on at the 80-minute mark and quickly buried a left-foot shot past Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe to relief of the entire Westpac Stadium, let alone himself.

It was the kind of brilliant finish Brockie has become known, although he'd got the point where he'd have been happy to celebrate the ugliest of goals.

"I would've taken one off the bum. If I wasn't looking and it smashed me in the face. Anything," he said.

"But it was a great ball by Albert [Riera] and, at 3-0, I didn't have any pressure on to hit the back of the net and as soon as it left my foot it felt like it was going in cleanly."

Given his difficulties in front of goal, which have included a botched penalty for the All Whites and a couple of missed tap-ins in Phoenix colours, Brockie said there was no panic when Riera put him through.

"Nah and that's probably what it's been like in the last couple of weeks, to be honest. I get in a position and a million thoughts run through my head so it was good tonight."

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