In a vast improvement from their performance 24 hours earlier in a draw with Petone, Wellington Phoenix beat Miramar 3-0 at Alex Moore Park on Wednesday night.
Only seven contracted players started the game with assistant coach Chris Greenacre, in charge with Ernie Merrick at an FFA coach’s meeting in Australia, not taking any chances with players who had pulled up tight from the previous night’s exertions.
“I was probably being ultra-cautious but we can’t afford injuries in pre-season so I wasn’t prepared to take risks,” Greenacre said.
“It gave youngsters like Logan Rogerson, James McGarry and Ruairi Cahill-Fleury an opportunity to start and they took their chance well.”
It took the Phoenix 20 minutes to open the scoring through Kwabena Appiah who was set up by McGarry.
Leading 1-0 at halftime, the Phoenix made it 2-0 three minutes into the second spell with Appiah again the scorer, rounding the goalkeeper and slipping the ball home after being put through by Cahill-Fleury.
Cahill-Fleury added the third goal in the 77th minute with some lovely touches in the penalty area before forcing the ball over the line.
It was a free-flowing game with Miramar playing their part by going forward at every opportunity.
“They had pace at the top but we dealt with it and created a a few opportunities,” Greenacre said.
“We passed the ball a lot better than the previous night and moved it quicker.
“Dura led by example and helped the young players express themselves.”