Brown smashes Phoenix to first away win

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The Wellington Phoenix have finally broken their away curse and earned their first away win of the season via a one nil win over the Perth Glory, courtesy of a Tim Brown thumper after just 41 seconds.

The home crowd had barely sat down when Tim Brown opened the scoring from nowhere with his second thunderbolt in as many games. There was a moment of head tennis on the edge of Perth’s area, the ball fell into Brown’s path, he strode into the shot and thumped a half-volley past Velaphi.

Perth should have leveled it up just five minutes later. Baird strode into a gaping hole in the middle of the Phoenix back four and had what seemed like forever to beat Paston. The big Kiwi stood up and saved well.

In the 20th minute a dreadful mistake by Griffiths almost played Ifill in. His backpass to Velaphi was woefully underdone but a heavy first touch by Ifill saw the ball run past Velaphi and safely over the byline to save the Glory defender’s blushes.

The early goal had given a Phoenix side desperately short on confidence some needed self-belief and Bertos and co. were looking more incisive than they had in some weeks.

The game had plenty of niggle and a huge collision between Vinnie Lia and Scott Neville saw the Glory man limp off and be replaced by Jamie Harnwell, but not before being issued with a yellow card.

A lot of the game was being fought in the middle third and possession was changing hands regularly in a scrappy first half. The Glory had the better of the last ten minutes but the two sides went into the break separated by Tim Brown’s fantastic strike.

The Phoenix nearly started the second half in exactly the same fashion as the first. A poor defensive header by Jamie Coyne and a slow reaction by Andy Todd gave Ifill the chance to nick it but his strong half-volley was well saved by Velaphi.

On the hour mark Perth withdrew the man who’d had their best chance, Michael Baird, and replaced him with Robbie Fowler. The momentum had well and truly shifted to the home side and the Phoenix were struggling to hold the ball.

With just over twenty minutes to go Paston had to come to the rescue once again. Burns played a great little ball in a tight area to find Coyne in behind but Paston was out brilliantly to smother Jamie Coyne’s toe poked shot.

Herbert changed Greenacre for Daniel and Ifill for MacAllister in quick succession with the Phoenix still struggling to hold the ball.

With ten to go Jacob Burns threw himself into one too many challenges. Daniel got to the ball first, Burns came flying in and earned himself a second yellow card. He’d been treading a fine line all game and his indiscretion may have cost his side any chance of a last push.

The Phoenix closed the game out with only a few nervy moments against the ten men to halt their slide down the table. The overriding emotion will be one of relief for the Phoenix after a frustrating stretch of results, while Perth continue their miserable run.

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