Wanderers SC moved into the top four of the ASB Premiership on Sunday with a 2-1 win over the Wellington Phoenix in front of almost 1000 fans at Toll Stadium in Whangarei.
A goal in each half was enough to settle the outcome for Darren Bazeley’s team as Andre de Jong’s 15th minute effort combined with a 74th minute goal to Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi saw off the challenge of the Phoenix who got on the board via Jason Hicks’ 80th minute strike.
The result moves Wanderers into third position – one point ahead of the Wellington Phoenix – before the three remaining round 11 matches being played on Sunday.
De Jong opened the scoring for the home side in the 15th minute, home after Noah Billingsley’s cross fell to the attacking midfielder in the Phoenix area. Hudson-Wihongi doubled the advantage in the 74th minute, collecting a through ball behind the Phoenix defense to home beyond goalkeeper Lewis Italiano.
It’s a goal they would need as Hicks gave the Phoenix a life line with 10 minutes to go, powering home direct from a free kick 25 metres from the Wanderers goal but they couldn’t find the second goal they needed to get back on level terms as Wanderers put together back-to-back for the first time.
Wellington Phoenix coach Andy said his side had trouble dealing with the defensive work rate of their opponents but liked what he saw from the three youngsters pitched into late in the second period.
“We were poor,” said, “but I think we were poor because the Wanderers were very good.
“They pressed us all game for 90 minutes, they worked really hard and they were absolutely superb I thought today.
“The three young lads coming on at the end started to give us a bit more momentum and we scored a decent goal through Jason Hicks.
“In particular Joe Bell, Ruariri Cahill-Fleury and Cherbel Khouchaba put an injection of life into us. They did really well and they’re coming on brightly.”