The Wellington Phoenix had to settle for one point when they were frustrated by Melbourne City in a scoreless draw at the Hutt Recreation Ground on Saturday evening.
Despite making most of the running, especially in the second half, the home side couldn’t turn their dominance into goals.
Their cause wasn’t helped by a succession of free kicks as Melbourne disrupted their progress with a succession of free kicks that saw six of their players issued with yellow cards.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick was disappointed to only take a point from the game but was happy with his team’s performance, except in front of goal.
“I thought it was a good performance and felt we should have taken all three points,” Merrick said.
“We had a good first half and an even better second half when we created numerous chances up front.
“I also thought we should have had a penalty when Nathan Burns was fouled because the offence was in the penalty area.
“Burns, McGlinchey and Krishna caused havoc up front and the midfield were sensational.
“I’m really disappointed with one point but we ran out the game well which shows how fit we are.”
Merrick was also disappointed that Melbourne were allowed to continually disrupt the Phoenix’ rhythm by fouling.
“Melbourne committed 22 fouls but the ref kept letting it go” he said.
“He showed them six yellow cards and I think it should have been more.
“The game was a great spectacle for the fans though and the venue was first-class.”
Phoenix fullback Louis Fenton was pole-axed by a City attempt on goal but Merrick doesn’t think there will be any lasting effects.
“He was concussed and had to go off but he seems to be making a good recovery.
“We will be monitoring him over the next few days but I’m sure he will be fine.”
Wellington Phoenix: Glen Moss, Louis Fenton (Michael Boxall 51m), Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante, Manny Muscat, Albert Riera, Alex Rodriguez, Roly Bonevacia, Michael McGlinchey, Nathan Burns, Roy Krishna.