A brace from Brendan Hamill paired with strikes from Brendon Santalab and Christopher Ikonomidis provided the Wanderers with a convincing 4-1 win over Wellington Phoenix at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night.

The Wanderers looked to expose Wellington’s defensive frailties early with a flurry of clear cut chances before the ten minute mark.

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Bridge scuffed his shot from inside the area, Carrusca lofted his well over the bar, and a ruthless sliding tackle from Goran Paracki brought Brendon Santalab’s run from the right flank to a grinding halt.

However after a promising start the Wanderers struggled to settle against their cellar dwelling opponents as the Phoenix began to pose some attacking threat of their own.

Roy Krishna, Thomas Doyle and Sarpreet Singh were knitting together some neat moves down the left channel while Andrew Durante was proving difficult to pass at the rearguard.

The opener came shortly after for the Wanderers following some brilliant composure on the counter from Mark Bridge.

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The captain broke though down the left forcing Goran Paracki into a scrambling defensive attempt near the by-line, before slipping a ball across the goalmouth past Dylan Fox and Andrew Durante to supply Santalab with an easy tap in.

Wellington Phoenix responded almost immediately when Matthew Ridenton floated in a free kick from the right wing which fell to the feet of Nathan Burns in the tussle.

Burns flicked it over to Krishna who in turn forced a frantic close range save from Vedran Janjetovic, the parry was scooped up by Sarpreet Singh and the 19-year-old fired it into the roof of the net.

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Krishna flashed some of his blistering pace shortly after the interval and forced a solid save from Janjetovic with his pile driver.

The Red and Black slowly began to carve out more chances than their opponents and were finally rewarded with a second goal in the 68th minute.

Alvaro Cejudo whipped in a corner from the right which was headed home by Brendan Hamill after the defender made a well timed leap above the Wellington defence, rousing the home side into a more confident state.

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Ten minutes later Hamill struck again in almost identical circumstances. Cejudo sent in the corner which was tactfully flicked on by Bridge to allowing Hamill to simply tap it away unmarked at the far post.

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On the stroke of full time Christopher Ikonomidis added his name to the scoresheet with a brilliantly worked goal crafted together with Joshua Risdon.

Risdon lured in Tando Velaphi before slipping it past him to find Ikonomidis, who in turn danced his way past Scott Galloway and eased a shot past an unguarded goal line.

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Western Sydney Wanderers (SANTALAB Brendon 40′, HAMILL Brendan 68′, 78′, IKONOMIDIS Christopher 90′)

Wellington Phoenix (SINGH Sarpreet 42′)

Spotless Stadium (7,041)

Referee: Adam Kersey

Assistant Referees: Owen Goldrick & Andrej Giev

Fourth Official: Ben Abraham

Western Sydney Wanderers: 4. RISDON Joshua, 5. HAMILL Brendan, 6. CARRUSCA Marcelo, 7. LUSTICA Steven, 8. BONEVACIA Rolieny, 11. SANTALAB Brendon, 18. IKONOMIDIS Christopher, 19. BRIDGE Mark (c), 20. JANJETOVIC Vedran (gk), 24. LLORENTE Raul, 33. THWAITE Michael

Substitutes: 3. CLISBY Jack, 10. CEJUDO Alvaro, 16. SOTIRIO Jaushua, 40. SUMAN Nicholas (gk), 42. BACCUS Keanu

Wellington Phoenix: 3. GALLOWAY Scott, 4. PARACKI Goran, 6. FOX Dyaln, 7. BURNS Nathan, 18. SINGH Sarpreet, 19. DOYLE Thomas, 21. KRISHNA Roy, 22. DURANTE Andrew (c), 23. RIDENTON Matthew, 26. CACACE Liberato, 40. VELAPHI Tando (gk)

Substitutes: 1. ITALIANO Lewis (gk), 8. LJUJIC Matija, 12. PARKHOUSE Adam, 14. RUFER Alex, 24. ROGERSON Logan

 

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Bachelor of Journalism student from the University of Wollongong, covering Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2017/18 season.