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Wellington Phoenix secure fourth place with comfortable home win

Wellington Phoenix have secured fourth spot with a seemingly comfortable 3-0 win over Central Coast Mariners. Wellington Phoenix: 3 (Tim Brown '14, Paul Ifill '79, '80) Central Coast Mariners: 0 Venue: Westpac Stadium Crowd: 14,327

On a very wet day in Wellington, the home side adapted better to the conditions with most of the play early and got their reward when vice-captain Tim Brown got on the end of a Manny Muscat cross after Vince Lia's smart through ball and headed home his seventh goal of the season.

The Phoenix were cutting swathes through the Mariners defence but could not add to their lead despite dominating the first 45 minutes and went into the break just a goal to the good.

Wellington picked up where they left off and continued to push forward with Paul Ifill the main source of inspiration in front of a very healthy crowd despite the poor weather.

Central Coast fought back in the last part of the second half but the game looked to be beyond them and they were unable to give coach Lawrie McKinna and veteran defender Andrew Clark a happy send off as the Phoenix capped off their brilliant home and away season when Ifill completed an easy tap-in with just over ten minutes remaining after Chris Greenacre let fly with a shot from close range that deflected off Mariners defenders.

Less than a minute later, Ifill made it 3-0 when he controlled a quickly taken free-kick in the area and placed his shot past Danny Vukovic, compounding the visitors woes and recording their 10th win of the season.

The Phoenix were lining up for a fourth but it did not come although they managed to tee up a home final for next week but their opponents will not be decided until after both Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets take the pitch this weekend.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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