Herbert laments goalless half

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert admitted failing to find the back of the net in the first half of the 3-0 loss to Adelaide United ultimately cost his side on Friday night.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert admitted failing to find the back of the net in the first half of the 3-0 loss to Adelaide United ultimately cost his side on Friday night.

The Phoenix were impressive in the opening stanza and at times outplayed the league leader in what Herbert labelled as his side's best 45 minutes of the season.

Leo Bertos got plenty of the ball and tormented United's defence early, while Paul Ifil was always a constant threat.

The visitors had a golden chance just on the half hour when Chris Greenacre got on the end of a cross and flicked it toward the far post, only to be denied by United shot stopper Eugene Galekovic.

Herbert was left to lament a scoreless opening 45 minutes and conceded Wellington's downfall was their inability to hold a commanding position before the break despite a dominant first half performance.

"I wouldn't say it was even. Coming in at half time we should have been comfortably in control," he said.

"I think we worked really hard on the performance tonight. I think that was probably the best 45 we've put in for a wee while now, for no return."

"The chances we're getting I think you've got to put those in the back of the net. On the flipside of that, Adelaide were clinical in what they did tonight in the second half."

"Eugene is top drawer and a lot of the stuff he's done tonight to keep it 0-0 at half time. I still think if we'd had put one in, it's all in hindsight, but it would have been a different game."

While the Phoenix have the record for 23 consecutive matches at home without defeat, their record on the road has been questionable, although the opening 45 minutes told a different story.

Herbert denied Wellington's first half was a one-off, extraordinary performance, but what his side is expected to turn in every week.

"I don't think it was amazing, it was expected," he said.

"That's where we are and that's what we're capable of doing. You have to make your own luck but I don't think we got the bounce of the ball. I guess we take something from a positive point of view about what we can do against a side that is certainly setting the bench mark this year."

The Phoenix coach did admit he thought the final score was a flattering result for the Reds.

But, Herbert said matches are won over 90 minutes and and acknowledged Wellington failed to take their chances.

"I do [think the score is flattering)] but at the end of the day the score is 3-0," he said.

"I think we had our chance. We've come to a club that's started the season well and we should have been in a different position after the first 45 minutes."

"It's not a league where somebody is going to dominate you for 90 minutes and I think it's a huge disappointment for us tonight."