Brown disappointed with draw

Wellington Phoenix goal scorer Tim Brown was left to lament another one that got away after his team's 1-1 against 10-man Melbourne Victory.

Wellington Phoenix goal scorer Tim Brown was left to lament another one that got away after his team's 1-1 against 10-man Melbourne Victory.

Brown-s 57th-minute header, which came after Nick Ward had been sent off late in the first half for a second bookable offence, had looked to be enough for the Phoenix until Rodrigo Vergas scored with a late header to hand the league leaders a share of the spoils.

"Overall the players are bitterly disappointed - and they should be," New Zealand international Brown said.

"I think we've got to take a hard look at ourselves because we played well and we've not won and we needed to."

It is not the first time this season the Phoenix have wasted leads.

They did the same against Adelaide in Round 5 then conceded a late sucker-punch against North Queensland two weeks later.

"Tonight goes down as a missed opportunity," admitted Brown. "There have been two or three others during the season."

"That was the top team out there and admittedly they were down to 10 men but I think we had them on the ropes at times."

"It's just a matter of focusing and concentration because that's all it was - maybe a five-minute period where we just sat back a little bit and maybe stopped doing the hard work that had got us to where we were at that stage in the game."

"I think 'bitterly disappointed' would be a good way to describe the dressing room after that."

With Manny Muscat suspended, Troy Hearfield stepped in as right back and his pace going forward troubled the Victory defence, particularly in the first half.

It was fouls against Hearfield that led to Ward-s red card and Matthew Kemp also found himself in referee Michael Hester-s book after a strong challenge on the right back.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert was pleased to see the 22-year-old, who has played most of his career as an attacking midfielder, rise to the challenge in his new position.

"I thought he was very, very good tonight against a side that's probably been the best team away from home," said Herbert.

"You've got to look at the players that want to come and make a difference and he certainly did that tonight."

Victory coach Ernie Merrick refused to be drawn on Ward's red card but did praise his players who battled for more than 50 minutes with just 10 men.

"Our fitness showed through and the boys were committed to getting something out of the game," the Scotsman said.

"We wanted to win. We'll settle for a draw. But I thought the boys really battled."

"We are really disappointed we didn't take all three points. In the second half we thought we played really good football and created better chances."

"Wellington certainly had possession but apart from one good shot close in they were really restricted to knocking high balls into the box which we dealt with really well."

"Given the chances Carlos (Hernandez) and Archie (Thompson) had I thought we could have got all three points."

He added: "Having said that I thought the Phoenix had patches of the game. They played well. They played a lot more confidently than I've seen them play and that's a credit to Ricki Herbert."