Wellington Phoenix have sent a message to the rest of the A-League that they are serious finals contenders as they put Newcastle Jets to the sword on Sunday afternoon at Westpac Stadium. It was a 4-1 win for the Phoenix as they beat Newcastle who look drained from three straight weeks of away matches, but still have two more to come.
The hosts wasted no time in getting on top of the match and were determined to stay there as they hit the lead in just the third minute. The Jets defense was just completely napping as they allowed Jeremy Brockie to make a run well in to the box, before drawing defense. That allowed him to cross for Nathan Burns coming at the far post with time to score easily.
Newcastle just didn’t look in the match at all as they were comprehensively outplayed by the hosts. Wellington looked continually dangerous, with Brockie, Burns and Michael McGlinchey terrorizing the Jets defense again and again but not finishing their chances.
Four minutes before the end of the half Wellington managed to find their second goal as Burns was able to make a run in to the box and saw Birighitti come out and try and smother the ball. But Burns’ momentum took him forward, along with the ball spilling through and crossing the line before Birighitti could recover. That goal capped Wellington’s domination of the first 45 minutes and saw Phoenix head to the break 2-0 up.
The Jets started the second half much better than they had played the first as they really started to go on the attack. Newcastle had the bulk of possession in the opening 15 minutes of the half but they really couldn’t create clear chances for all of that possession.
The Jets were made to pay for not making that possession count as they fell even further behind as Wellington were able to score their third goal. Yet again Michael McGlinchey was involved as a counter let Wellington score again as Burns crossed in for McGlinchey who was there to score the goal giving Wellington a 3-0 lead.
Newcastle could well have come through and pulled a goal back in the 69th minute as Jeronimo was played clean through. But despite the fact that Jeronimo had plenty of time he was denied as Andrew Durante jumped in and made a saving challenge.
After looking more in the match in the second half Newcastle did get their goal thanks to a stunning counter attack in the 89th minute. After it seemed like Burns would score again, Newcastle stopped the effort and went on the counter, allowing Joel Griffiths to put away a perfect cross, to score a consolation for Newcastle.
Unfortunately for the Jets that wasn’t the last goal of the match as Wellington found one more goal in the final minute of stoppage time. A free-kick allowed _ Gorrin to send it in, catching the keeper out of position, it fell to Durante who was left with a simple header to seal the 4-1 win.