Adelaide United took advantage of a lethargic Wellington Phoenix to smash three goals past them and claim a 3-1 victory in their Hyundai A-League clash.

Wellington have been fast starters in recent weeks of the A-League but it was Adelaide United who were making all the right moves early in this one.

Michael Marrone opened the scoring as he rose highest from a Craig Goodwin corner to nod home past Filip Kurto in the tenth minute and provide United with a deserved lead.

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It didn’t take long for United to increase their advantage against a largely unorganised Phoenix defence as Scott Galloway and Ben Halloran combined down the wing to allow Apostolos Stamatelopoulos to sweep home a second goal from point blank range.

Stamatelopoulos was at the centre of the action as Goodwin continued to make Ryan Lowry’s life a misery and swung a beautiful ball in to be met by Stamatelopoulos and creep past Kurto and the goal-line for a third.

If that wasn’t enough, Stamatelopoulos wrecked Mandi Sosa with a high, late and rash challenge which was upgraded to a red-card to see out the first-half.

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The introduction of Max Burgess provided Phoenix with attacking spark in the second-half and it paid off eventually as Sheridan, culpable of a horror miss earlier, managed to jag back a goal via a tap-in to make a tense final stanza.

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Adelaide, with almost every player sitting back in defence, managed to survive the Phoenix’s onslaught of possession but no end product to secure a vital three points at home.

The win keeps United’s top four hopes alive as they take on fellow top-four contender Melbourne City next week while Phoenix host Brisbane Roar as they look to get back on track.

Adelaide United 3 (Marrone 10’ Stamatelopoulos 16’ 44’)

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Sheridan 73′)

Coopers Stadium

Adelaide United squad:  2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 11.Craig GOODWIN (19.Jordy THOMASSEN 90+3), 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (14.George BLACKWOOD 64′), 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 31.Mirko BOLAND (6.Vince LIA 80′), 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (Red Card 45+2)

Unused substitutes: 1.Daniel MARGUŠ (gk), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ.

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Filip KURTO (gk), 4.Mandi SOSA, 5.Ryan LOWRY (7.Cillian SHERIDAN 57′), 11.David WILLIAMS, 12.Antony GOLEC, 13.Liberato CACACE, 14.Alex RUFER (32. Gianni STENSNESS 80′), 15.Michal KOPZCYNSKI, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c) (23.Max BURGESS 48′).

Unused substitutes: 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 27.Steven TAYLOR.

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo

Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Ilievski Fourth Official: Lachlan Keevers

VAR: Craig Zetter

Feature Image: Phil Radoslovich

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