Wellington Phoenix win friendly at Trust House Memorial Park in Masterton


Wellington Phoenix have beaten Wairarapa United 1-0 in a pre-season friendly at a well-attended Memorial Park in Masterton.

An early goal from Sarpreet Singh decide the game, although Wairarapa United gave a great account as they looked to counter and threatened the Nix goal on several occasions throughout the evening.

Wellington Phoenix fielded a mixture of contracted players, academy players and trial-lists, all of who will be hoping to impress Head Coach Mark Rudan before the start of the Hyundai A-League season.

Rudan’s squad started off strong, troubling the Wairarapa defence with some strong play from deep, particularly down the left where Cacace, Singh and Burns were deployed with effect.

Their link up play led to the first goal, instigated by a ball from centre back Fox out of defence, eventually falling to Singh who smashed home from inside the box to give Nix the lead.

Despite the amount of possession Phoenix enjoyed, the home team were always looking to counter but a combined effort from defenders Fox and Lowry were solid in shutting them down. 

Past the 20-minute mark and a great ball from on field Captain, Dylan Fox, to Burns in behind, delivered a perfect cross for Sinclair but unfortunately his shot was smothered by the home keeper, Morris. 

In the second half, it was Wairarapa United who looked to dominate the play and create a few chances to threaten an equaliser. Danny Allen, looked to threated with a header from a set piece in to goal but Nix keeper, Sail, was on guard to catch and relieve the pressure.  

The hosts continued to look for a response – this time through past Nix player Hamish Watson – the striker heading narrowly wide of the post from a corner.

The Phoenix were awarded a penalty for a foul on Cacace who wriggled free of one defender before being brought down inside the box. Louis Fenton stepped up and hit toward the bottom right corner only for Scott Morris to get down well and save.
Both teams exchanged possession in the remaining minutes, but the Nix managed it well and saw the game out to earn the win.

Wellington Phoenix 

Starting XI: Sail (GK), Lowry, Fox (C). Burns, Wallen, Sinclair, Harris, Eillott, Fenton, Singh, Cacace

Subs: Smith (GK), Jones (GK), Hudson-Wihongi, Waine, Philip, Sutton, Whyte

Wairarapa United

Starting XI: S.Morris (GK), R.Morris, Lindsay, Allen, Kaltek, S.Soroman, Belle, A. Soroman, Watson, Hall-Jones, Roubos