Is there a more frustrating team than Wellington Phoenix?

Their 2-1 upset win against the Brisbane Roar saw the Nix register their first good performance since January and it’s this inability to produce performances week-in week-out that has stifled the Phoenix’s season to the point where they will be lucky to scrape a finals place.

Six games remain this season, 18 points on offer. But with only one of those games taking place against a team further down the table, a finals place appears to be a long shot.

Based on current form, one would say that is too much to ask. The win over Brisbane was just the second away win of the season and the good performances have been interspersed with too many poor ones to suggest this was anything more than freak incident.

Though if there is one thing Phoenix fans are good at it’s raising their hopes, so on that note, let’s look at the positives.

Shane Smeltz was terrific against the Roar. The finish for his opening goal was as terrific as Adam Parkhouse’s cross and he arguably played the most important role in the second with a defence splitting pass to Kosta Barbarouses.

His link up play has been his greatest asset since rejoining the club and last night was no different as the striker turned in his best performance of the season.

Though he may not have the legs to hunt the ball down like he could in his prime, the Kiwi showed last night that he has the brains to make up for his ailing athleticism.

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Roy Krishna certainly has a lot to thank for Smeltz. So often an isolated figure in the Phoenix front line, the link up play was a joy to watch, and at a time when they needed it most.

Periphery players Matthew Riddenton, Adam Parkhouse and Dylan Fox all put in solid defensive displays at the back. The later made a strong claim for man of the match after replacing the injured Marco Rossi in the first half.

With the likes of Gui Finkler, Roly Bonavacia and Tom Doyle all missing from the starting 11, there will be hope the team can build on this performance.

If that is the case, fans may look back on the game as the defining moment of the season

Those with memories can look back on performances that have shaped the club. A 6-1 win at home to Gold Coast United, a 3-1 finals win over the Newcastle Jets in 2010.

Time will tell whether the performance against Brisbane will be remembered in such light.

As of right now, it was their most important win of the season. We can forgive the optimism.

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