14 Feb 2015

Phoenix, City play out stalemate

8:00 pm on 14 February 2015

Several chances went begging when the Wellington Phoenix stuttered to a scoreless draw against Melbourne City in their A-League football match at the Hutt Recreation Ground today.

Nathan Burns

Phoenix striker Nathan Burns. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The fourth-placed Phoenix were lacklustre in the first half as they looked to lift after back-to-back losses across the Tasman in the last two weeks.

And although they dominated the second half, they weren't able to capitalise in front of a 9,232-strong crowd at their temporary home ground for the next three weeks.

Sitting seventh on the ladder, City continued to test the Phoenix back four and new signing Josh Kennedy let fly with a couple of stinging shots in the opening 15 minutes while David Williams consistently threatened down the right.

City's crunching midfield defence continued to disrupt the Phoenix's flow.

The under-pressure Phoenix were limited to the occasional foray on attack, Nathan Burns and Roy Krishna both creating chances courtesy of good work from Michael McGlinchey and Roly Bonevacia.

Melbourne's first-half pressure went unrewarded, the Phoenix lucky at times to scramble clear as City pounded their goal with nine shots, including seven inside the box, to Wellington's four at the other end.

The home team lifted in the second half but McGlinchey's 64th minute header just failed to find the target.

Krishna broke clear soon after down the right and only a well-timed tackle from City skipper Patrick Kisnorbo allowed keeper Tando Velaphi time to make the save.

A swathe of last-gasp chances in the closing 10 minutes went unconverted, and the Phoenix had to be content collecting a solitary point.

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