Wellington fail to make City pay for missed chances

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A five goal thriller rounded out the Easter long weekend action in Wollongong with Melbourne City coming out on top.

Both City and Wellington Phoenix had spells of dominance, however Melbourne came home far stronger with the wind in their sails. Wellington showed resilience as they came from behind to draw level on two occasions, however City proved too strong.

City’s early pressure paid off as the deadlock was broken just after the quarter hour mark. Curtis Good headed home from a Craig Noone corner as he rose highest to give his side a deserved 1-0 lead.

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The lead should have been doubled when Nabbout inexplicably struck his shot over the bar from inside the six-yard box a few minutes later.

Going behind seemed to spring the hosts into life, as they began to grow into the game and mount more substantial attacks.

The tide changed again as Florin Berenguer went close. He forced an exceptional save out of Oli Sail down low to his right.

City were made to rue their missed chances as Tomer Hemed then levelled for the Phoenix after being picked out with a pinpoint low cross from David Ball. Hemed then finished with aplomb as Tom Glover could not keep his powerful strike out.

Jamie Maclaren restored the visitors lead before half-time. The in-form striker registered his 13th of the season as he lashed home a left-footed strike from the edge of the box. He drove at the defence as Tim Payne showed him onto his weaker foot, but the shot rifled past Sail into the far side netting.

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The first big chance of the half fell the way of the visitors. City sprung quickly onto the counterattack, and found Wellington exposed on the break. Noone and Maclaren found themselves baring down on goal. James McGarry however cut off the passing option of Maclaren for Noone, whose strike was then saved by Sail.

City were made to pay again for their missed opportunities as Ulises Davila worked space onto his left foot after dropping the shoulder twice to cut inside. His curling effort from the right side of the box went into the far bottom corner past a helpless Glover.

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Substitute Marco Tilio restored City’s lead after he was picked out by an Connor Metcalfe cross. He rose highest and headed into the far side of the net.

Maclaren had the chance to seal it no more than a minute later. He was played in behind but scuffed his shot wide. Substitute Stefan Colakovski then had his shot desperately blocked by Payne as the Nix hung on for dear life.

Curtis Good cleared a last-minute Louis Fenton header off of the line to maintain City’s advantage.

That is how the action finished. City bouncing back from their mid-week loss to Western United to restate their claim for the title.

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Hemed 39’, Davila 56’)

Melbourne City 3 (Good 17’, Maclaren 45’, Tilio 83’)

WIN Stadium

Referee: Alireza Faghani

Assistant Referees Owen Godrick, & Matthew McCorist

Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

Wellington Phoenix: Oliver SAIL (GK), Louis FENTON, Timothy PAYNE, Joshua LAWS James MCCGARY, Alex RUFER (Cameron DEVLIN 45’), Clayton LEWIS (Mirza MURATOVIC 86’), Ulises DAVILA, David BALL, Jaushua SOTIRIO (Benjamin WAINE 45’), Tomer HEMED (Charles LOKOLINGOY 80’)

Unused subs: Stefan MARINOVIC (GK), Sam SUTTON

Melbourne City: Tom GLOVER (GK), Nathaniel ATKINSON (Scott GALLOWAY 21’), Nuno REIS (Adrian LUNA 62’), Curtis GOOD, Ben GARUCCIO, Connor METCALFE, Royston GRIFFITHS, Andrew NABBOUT (Stefan COLAKOVSKI 80’), Florin BERGENGUER, Craig NOONE (Marco TILIO 80’), Jamie MACLAREN

Unused subs: Naoki TSUBAKI, Matthew SUTTON (GK), Taras GOMULKA

Feature Image Credit: Chris Ball

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Chris Ball
Football fanatic, supporting some, at times, hard to follow sides.
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