Wellington put boot into rivals

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March 08, 2015 11:42:13 UK

New signing Joel Griffiths scored his first goal for Wellington Phoenix to propel them to a 2-0 home win over premiership rivals Adelaide United.

In his first home game the former Newcastle Jets star continued the positive effect he had had on Ernie Merrick’s side in his debut last weekend.

With the veteran striker joining the attack for the final half-hour, Wellington came from behind to win 3-2 away at Melbourne Victory. Merrick introduced him at the same stage against the Reds and saw him break the deadlock 11 minutes from time.

Leading scorer Nathan Burns grabbed a second goal three minutes later, his 12th of the campaign, to push the Phoenix temporarily into top spot.

Griffiths, who was unceremoniously dumped at the end of his third spell with the Jets in January, showed his predatory instincts when he put his new club in front at Hutt Recreation Ground.

Louis Fenton got away from his marker down the left and sent in a low cross that Griffiths got a touch to at the near post despite the attentions of two defenders and diverted past keeper Eugene Galekovic.

The second arrived with Wellington’s next attack, which was initially halted for a foul when they had an advantage. Roly Bonevacia made the set-piece count, delivering an inch-perfect free-kick into a crowded penalty area for Burns to head powerfully past Galekovic.

Having already secured their league-leading 11th win of the season, the home side almost finished with what would have been the goal of the campaign.

A move down the right saw both Alex Rodriguez and Bonevacia play back-heels before Burns, having beaten a man inside the area, fired his shot just wide of the far post.

Adelaide are 1.57 to win their next game against Central Coast, who are 6.00 with the draw 3.80.

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