A-League Review: Ball downs Melbourne City
David Ball swept home a second-half winner as Wellington Phoenix dented Melbourne City's hopes of catching A-League leaders Sydney FC.
Ball completed a fine counter-attack by converting fellow Englishman Gary Hooper's pinpoint cross from the right 13 minutes into the second half for the only goal of the game at Eden Park. City poured on the pressure in a bid to find an equaliser but found home goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic in fine form. The win enhanced the Phoenix's top-six hopes, moving them to within three points of second-placed Melbourne, who remain 10 adrift of leaders Sydney FC.
Carl Robinson's first game in charge of Newcastle Jets saw them claim a point in a 1-1 draw at Western Sydney Wanderers. Former Vancouver Whitecaps boss Robinson was in the stands to watch the Jets' 4-3 defeat of the Central Coast Mariners last weekend and he would have been delighted his players built on that display with a battling performance at Bankwest Stadium.
They endured a miserable start as Wanderers' skipper Mitchell Duke fired home a fifth-minute penalty after Bobby Burns senselessly tripped winger Bruce Kamau having tracked him into the box. When Duke struck a post shortly after, and with the home side dominating, it looked like being a long evening for the Jets, but they eventually established a foothold and Matt Millar grabbed a deserved equaliser with 16 minutes to go.
The point lifts the Jets off the foot of the table, ahead of Central Coast, while Jean-Paul De Marigny's Wanderers remain in eighth.