Mariners rue soft goals

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson was left ruing two "soft goals" as the Mariners were beaten 2-0 by Wellington Phoenix in the New Zealand capital on Sunday.

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson was left ruing two "soft goals" as the Mariners were beaten 2-0 by Wellington Phoenix in the New Zealand capital on Sunday.

Leo Bertos got the home side off to the perfect start with a simple tap-in in the 10th minute before a superb 61st-minute strike by Paul Ifill sealed the A-League win at Westpac Stadium.

"I thought the goals we conceded were soft," said Wilkinson. "The first one was not tracking runners and the second one was trying to play the offside (trap) and that's cost us."

"I thought we had them on the back foot for a lot of the game, especially in the second half."

"But to be fair we didn't create too many clear-cut chances either. It's a tough place to come but we were pretty confident we could get a result and a couple of pretty soft goals have cost us a draw and one point."

Coach Graham Arnold tinkered with his line-up from last week, bringing Rostyn Griffiths into midfield with Adam Kwasnik making way and pushing Matt Simon further forward.

The change in formation worked to a large extent with Ifill and Bertos not given the time and space they usually enjoy.

"I thought we needed an extra midfielder in because of the way Wellington move the ball around,"explained Arnold.

"They also try and create one on ones out wide with Ifill and Bertos and we tried an extra midfielder in there to stop that.

"I think that Ifill was quite quiet until he scored and the game opened up. I thought in the first half him and Bertos didn't get seen much at all.

"Jess didn't have a save to make. It was just two crucial moments in the game … that's the disappointing thing."