Michael McGlinchy bit the hand that used to feed him as the Wellington Phoenix scored a deserved 2-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday evening.
It was a happy return for McGlinchey who scored one of his team’s goals and played a part in the other with a cheeky back heel.
Apart from some half-hearted boos in the early minutes, and a burst after he scored, there was no real animosity from the Mariners fans who adored him for five years.
“It was okay and there were even some fans close to the pitch who were friendly,” McGlinchey said.
“I enjoyed the day and I’m still buzzing over the result which was great for the boys.
“We worked hard for the three points and everyone deserves a pat on the back.”
The Phoenix scored all three goals in the game with a luckless Tom Doyle scoring a bizarre own goal in the 19th minute but the young defender didn’t let it faze him and provided the cross that the winning goal came from.
Mariners goal came against the run of play but the Phoenix bounced back and it was no more than they deserved when they equalised in the 35th minute.
Jeremy Brockie was brought down from behind by Jacob Poscoliero when through on goal and referee Ben Williams pointed to the penalty spot, though didn’t send the defender off as should have happened with him being the last man.
Brockie took the spot kick but hit the crossbar and McGlinchley reacted quickest to head the ball into the net.
The winning goal in the 53rd minute was initiated by a back heel from McGlinchey to Doyle who crossed to the far post where Brockie headed back for Nathan Burns to score from close in.
The Phoenix had to withstand a late burst from the home side and the three points were only secured by a fantastic save from Glen Moss.
Coach Ernie Merrick was delighted with the way his team bounced back from the early setback.
“We tend to make things hard for ourselves by conceding early goals,” Merrick said.
“This time we kept up our momentum with some good attacking football and got our reward.
“Gosford isn’t an easy place to pick up points but the boys deserved this one.”
Wellington Phoenix: Glen Moss, Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante, Tom Doyle, Albert Riera, Roly Bonevacia (Louis Fenton 71m), Alex Rodriguez, Michael McGlinchey (Vince Lia 85m), Jeremy Brockie (Kenny Cunningham 78m), Nathan Burns.