27 Feb 2016

Phoenix beat Melbourne City

5:23 am on 27 February 2016

The Wellington Phoenix beat Melbourne City 2-1 in their A-League clash in Wellington with all the goals coming in a frenetic opening 20 minutes.

Louis Fenton celebrates a goal for the Phoenix.

Louis Fenton celebrates a goal for the Phoenix. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Phoenix's striking stocks took a blow before kick off with Blake Powell's injury, but his loss was barely felt early on as the home side got off to a flyer.

Up 2-0 inside the first 15 minutes with goals to Louis Fenton and Matthew Ridenton, it looked they could run away with the game in Andrew Durante's 200th game for the club.

But the classy Aaron Mooy pulled one back for the visitors just minutes later.

Melbourne City stay fourth on the table, while the Phoenix are ninth.

Despite City's best efforts late in the second half - on a night when the windy conditions made it difficult for the players - Phoenix's rearguard held off the visitors to record a welcome win.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has praised his side's resilience as they ground out just their sixth win of the season.

"The pleasing thing was everyone did their jobs," said Merrick.

"We scored two good goals from open play and defended when we had to. All in all, Glen Moss made one crucial one-on-one save but other than that I don't think he had much to do."

"I was just really impressed today with the structure. The backline was rock solid. Manny Muscat had one of the best games he's had in a long time. We had eleven players up for it and the two goals we scored were good goals. All in all, it was a tough game with our backs to the wall and everyone did a really good job," he said.

With Hamish Watson suspended and Roy Krishna and Blake Powell injured, Merrick started with an unconventional front two of Louis Fenton and Matthew Ridenton, who responded by both netting goals.

"Having known the players for a while, they're pretty attacking minded - they're virtually attacking midfielders. Young Ridenton has been surprising us at training with what he can do in various positions," said Merrick.

"We've now beaten every side in the top five. They knew they could do it and they did it."