19 Oct 2014

McGlinchey has last laugh for Phoenix

7:41 am on 19 October 2014

The Phoenix footballer Michael McGlinchey had the perfect answer to boos from his old club fans as he helped manufacture a 2-1 A-League away win for Wellington over Central Coast.

Michael McGlinchey (L) of the Phoenix celebrates a goal with team mate Nathan Burns.

Michael McGlinchey (L) of the Phoenix celebrates a goal with team mate Nathan Burns. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The All Whites midfielder scored a first-half equaliser and was involved in the build-up to Wellington's 53rd-minute winner from the outstanding Nathan Burns.

The Phoenix rallied after conceding a calamitous early own-goal from defender Tom Doyle, who showed his character by putting that disaster behind him to produce a superb cross that set up the winner.

McGlinchey, who was granted an early termination of his contract last month after five seasons with the Mariners, started quietly but became increasingly influential.

He headed home from close range in the 35th minute, when he was first to the ball after Jeremy Brockie blasted a penalty against the crossbar.

Brockie earned the spot-kick when he was fouled by debutant Jacob Poscoliero, who was named ahead of more-experienced defender Zachary Anderson.

Shortly after halftime, McGlinchey's clever back heel released left back Doyle whose fine cross to the far post was headed across goal by Brockie to Burns, who netted from close range.

McGlinchey, who was substituted in the 85th minute, hardly celebrated his goal and didn't appear affected by regular booing from sections of the home crowd.

"He was just fantastic. He didn't let it get to him," Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said.

The Mariners coach Phil Moss didn't criticise the portion of home fans who heckled McGlinchey, saying they were entitled to voice their opinion about a player who didn't want to be at their club.

The Mariners scored first in the 12th minute, following a communication breakdown in the Phoenix defence, which resulted in goalkeeper Glen Moss coming off his line, only to see Doyle slide the ball past him into an unguarded net.

"I thought the goal was against the run of play - that's what happened to us last week," Merrick said.

"Last week, we put our heads down and, this week, we didn't so the character the boys demonstrated was first class."

The Mariners enjoyed a good spell after their goal, while the Phoenix worked their way back into the game before the break.

The Phoenix just held on at the end, after two of the Mariners' substitutes had great chances to equalise with just over ten minutes to go.

Nick Fitzgerald headed against a post and Moss made a great save to push away a goal-bound shot from Glen Trifiro.

The Central Coast coach Moss felt the Mariners gifted both goals to the Phoenix.

"Ironically, I thought the overall performance this week was much better than last week," Moss said.

"Last week, we get three points. This week, we get nothing to show for it."