Phoenix Come Through Good Test Against Petone

The Wellington Phoenix continued their pre-season programme with a 3-0 win over Petone at Memorial Park on Wednesday night.

The Wellington Phoenix continued their pre-season programme with a 3-0 win over Petone at Memorial Park on Wednesday night.

Playing their second game in 24 hours the Phoenix found it hard going in the first half against a well-organised Petone side that contained some good young players.

Coach Graeme Little has Petone well organised and they made the Phoenix work for hard all over the park.

Scoreless at halftime, the Phoenix again made changes in the second spell but they didn-t open the scoring till the 63rd minute and the goal came from an unlikely source.

Hamilton 17-year-old Waikato Ball has been training with the Phoenix this week and he marked his visit to Wellington with a lovely left-footed shot from 25 metres that took a slight deflection before flying into the net.

Two minutes later Matt Ridenton almost made it 2-0 when put through on goal but his right-footed shot was inches the wrong side of the post.

In the 73rd minute the Phoenix did get a second goal with Alex Rufer side footing the ball home after an inch-perfect cross from the left to the far post.

Roy Krishna completed the scoring 13 minutes later. Receiving the ball inside his own half, Krishna put the after burners on to outpace the Petone defence and score with a deft flick over the advancing goalkeeper.

Goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould said Petone was the most organised team the Phoenix had come up against in recent weeks.

“Graeme (Little) has them well structured and in the first half they didn-t give us much space to play in and we lacked the vision to open them up,” Gould said.

“In the second half the pace we had up top with Tyler Boyd and Roy Krishna made the difference and got us the three goals.

“It was also a great finish by young Waikato and it was a good little intro into pro football for him.”