The Wellington Phoenix enjoyed a good pre-season hit out when they beat Stop Out 4-1 at Fraser Park on Monday night.
In freezing conditions the Phoenix quickly warmed to their task and were 3-0 up within 20 minutes through a hat-trick from striker Roy Krishna.
Coach Ernie Merrick began the game with most of his regular starters and they knocked the ball around confidently causing problems for the Stop Out defence.
Krishna’s first two goals came via the penalty spot and, given the problems his side had with penalties at the end of last season, Merrick would have been pleased to see Krishna confidently convert both spot kicks.
Krishna’s third goal was also well taken when the Fiji international found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Michael McGlinchey completed the scoring in the second spell from a free-kick that took a deflection off the defensive wall.
Luke Grimley gave the hard-working Stop Out team something to smile about late in the piece when he scored a consolation goal from close range after good approach play.
Phoenix assistant coach Chris Greenacre was pleased with the performance at such an early stage of pre-season.
“It was a good hit out and we were able to put some of the things we have been working on in training into practice, especially in the first half,” Greenacre said.
“We started with regular first teamers and it gave us a good beginning, but it was also good to get some of the Academy boys on in the second half.
“It was good experience for them and they acquitted themselves well.”