Team Wellington scored twice in the first half and grabbed a third late in the game to cap off a 3-0 victory over 10-man Southern United at Forsyth Barr Stadium in the ASB Premiership on Sunday.
Ben Harris returned to the top of the league Golden Boot standings with two goals – to move to 10 for the season – while Alex Feneridis was also on target as Team Wellington earned an three important points in the race for the top four.
Chris Bale had two chances to put Team Wellington ahead within the first five minutes as Southern’s Stu Kelly was deemed to have handled in the area and referee John Rowbury had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and awarding Kelly a yellow card.
Bale’s first effort was saved by Southern United keeper Tom Batty only to be called back for moving off his line too early. Second time around Bale went the other side but Batty was again equal to the task.
There was more drama to unfold in the first quarter of the match as Kelly received a second yellow card for a late tackle and given his marching orders in the 16th minute.
With Southern down to 10 men, Team Wellington continued to dominate the half without managing to find a way past keeper Batty.
That was until a corner clearance fell to the feet of Feneridis who hammered his shot into the back of the net. The visitors didn’t have to wait long for their second goal as Harris pounced on a Southern defensive lapse to score in the 37th minute.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first as Team Wellington continued dominate only for Batty to continue denying them time and time again. Another goal always seemed inevitable though and Harris once again found a way through as he slotted home from the edge of the area in the 83rd minute.
Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott said it was job done as his team helped themselves in the race for the top four.
“It was a good win, it was a win which was needed with Hawke’s Bay winning yesterday,” Calcott said. “We came here for three points and we had a good, solid performance I thought.
“Once Stu got sent off, there was only one team that was going to kick on. I thought we probably could have put a few more goals away and we probably could have been a little more clinical in front of goal today but all in all it’s a good positive result away from home.”
Southern United coach Mike Fridge was proud of his side’s effort over the 90 minutes with the team playing the majority of the match down a man.
“I’m disappointed to lose the game but I’ve got nothing but praise for our guys,” Fridge said.
“We lost a man after 15 minutes and it was going to be difficult, Team Wellington are one of the top sides in the competition, so I can’t complain with the effort the team put in.
“I thought the team did extremely well, we worked really hard. For me there’s a lot of positives.”
The result sees Team Wellington jump ahead of Hawke’s Bay into third place in the ASB Premiership while Southern United remain anchored to the bottom of the table and face a probable wooden spoon match against the Wellington Phoenix next weekend.
ASB Premiership 2015-16 – Round 11
Sunday 7 February
Southern United 0-3 Team Wellington (half: 0-2)
TW: Alex Feneridis 34’, Ben Harris 37’, 84’
Southern United: 1. Tom Batty (GK), 4. Jude Fitzpatrick, 5. Jack Caunter, 7. Seamus Ryder (25. Hamish Cotter 90’), 8. Andrew Ridden (27. Ben O’Farrell 68’), 9. Sam French, 14. Stu Kelly (RC 16’), 19. Alex Williams (22. Regan Coldicott 70’), 21. Michael Hogan, 23. David Hayman, 24. Morgan Day
Coach: Mike Fridge
Team Wellington: 22. Alex Carr (GK), 4. Anthony Hobbs, 5. Bill Robertson, 6. Chris Bale, 8. Cole Peverley, 9. Tom Jackson, 10. Luis Corrales (17. Fergus Neil 81’), 12. Andy Bevan, 13. Alex Feneridis, 16. Ben Harris (15. Magno Wieira 85’), 3. Steven Gulley
Coach: Matt Calcott