Jeremy Brockie loves scoring goals for the Wellington Phoenix and it hasn’t taken him long to get back into the swing of things.
Back from a loan spell in Toronto where he scored only once, and being away on All Whites duty, Brockie made his first pre-season start for the Phoenix and scored both goals as they beat a Capital Football Selection 2-1 before a good crowd at Raumati’s Weka Park Saturday.
The A-League side trailed 1-0 at halftime, through a Cole Peverley penalty, thanks to what could only be called a lacklustre performance.
Head coach Ernie Merrick made five planned changes at the break with Paul Ifill, Andrew Durante, Ben Sigmund, Reece Caira and Brockie taking the field and they looked a completely different team in the second spell.
Whereas they dropped too deep and allowed the Capital side to pressure them in the first spell, it was the Phoenix who were on the front foot for the whole of the second half.
Within eight minutes Ifill hit the right-hand upright with the keeper helpless, and two minutes later Brockie put the Phoenix level after good work by Stein Huysegems.
Unfortunately Ifill’s contribution lasted only 20 minutes before a hamstring strain forced him off the field.
With all their players already used the Phoenix had to play the last 25 minutes with 10 men, but such was their superiority no-one would have guessed they were a man down.
Despite being well on top the Phoenix couldn’t find the net again till the last minute when Brockie placed a firm left-foot shot just inside the left upright for the winning goal.
After beating Sydney FC 3-0 last week Merrick warned his players not to get carried away and this game was a good lesson for the younger ones in particular.
“The performance was typical of a young team that is unable to be consistent game after game,” Merrick said.
“In a disjointed first half we lacked commitment and seemed to lose our structure. The first 45 minutes was a really flat performance.
“It was much, much better in the second and hopefully some of the younger ones realise now that you don’t win anything without total commitment.
“Once we had the commitment and desire we dominated in the second spell, even in the last 25 minutes when we were down to 10 men.”
Wellington Phoenix: Tamati Williams (James McPeake 62m), Justin Gulley (Louis Fenton 59m), Michael Boxall (Andrew Durante 45m), Luke Adams (Ben Sigmund 45m), Josh Brindell-South (Reece Caira 45m), Tobias Bertsch (Alex Rufer 45m), Manny Muscat, Kenny Cunningham (Joel Stevens 59m), Hamish Watson (Jeremy Brockie 45m), Stein Huysegems, Leo Bertos (Paul Ifill 59m).