Phoenix blitz GCU

The Wellington Phoenix broke its run of draws in emphatic fashion with a 6-0 thrashing of Gold Coast United in its Hyundai A-League clash at Westpac Stadium.

The Wellington Phoenix broke its run of draws in emphatic fashion with a 6-0 thrashing of Gold Coast United in its Hyundai A-League clash at Westpac Stadium.

After weeks of missed chances, which resulted in it earning the record for consecutive draws with six, the Phoenix finally found its goal-scoring boots with Daniel grabbing a brace and Tim Brown, Chris Greenacre, Paul Ifill and Troy Hearfield also on target.

Ifill had a hand in three goals before rounding off an excellent performance with the fifth just before the hour mark.

But in reality the home side could have had more with Ben Sigmund having a first-half effort come back of the crossbar and Ifill unlucky not to open the scoring inside the first two minutes.

Instead after dominating the first half, it had to settle for a 1-0 half-time lead. But unlike in previous weeks when the Phoenix has failed to hold onto its advantage it put Gold Coast to the sword.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert was understandably delighted at the turn around.

"I'm chuffed. To me that's got to be one of the best performances in the A-League since it started against a team that have been very good this year," he said.

"I was really please with just how clinical we were really. All round the pitch we were tight and tidy and we took the opportunities extremely well. People shifted the ball effectively and it was a real 90 minute performance."

Both coaches made just one change to their respective starting line-ups from last week with Manny Muscat returning at right back for the Phoenix and midfielder Zenon Caravella coming in for striker Tahj Minniecon for Gold Coast.

Herbert had hinted earlier in the week that Chinese Under-23 striker Jiang Chen might get a start up front with Greenacre but Daniel's recovery from a knee injury meant Chen started on the bench and Ifill partnered his fellow Englishman up front and the moved clearly paid off.

Shane Smeltz, in his first match in Wellington since moving across the Tasman, was jeered by the crowd whenever he touched the ball.

But those touches were few and far between and when Smeltz did get involved he was quickly closed down by Andrew Durante and Sigmund.

The Phoenix started brightly with Ifill missing a super chance in just the second minute.

Kristian Rees then made two important clearances under pressure before, in a rare foray into the Wellington half, Jason Culina fired his free-kick straight at Mark Paston.

Rees was then injured going for a 50-50 ball with Daniel and was replaced by Matt Osman on 23 minutes.

The pressure final bore fruit for the home side in the 28th minute with Daniel slotting home the opening goal.

Defender Tony Lochhead, in his 50th game for the Phoenix, put Ifill through to the by-line and the Englishman crossed the ball into the six yard box for the onrushing Brazilian.

The Phoenix could have doubled its lead minutes later when Ben Sigmund rose above the defence to connect with a Bertos corner but the defender saw his effort rattle the crossbar and the home side had to be content with a 1-0 half-time lead.

The Phoenix didn't take long to put the game beyond the reach of Gold Coast though, with four goals put past substitute goalkeeper Stuart Higgins in 11 minutes.

Higgins was introduced at half-time for Jess van Strattan who picked up a back problem, and he found himself picking the ball out of the back of his net in the 48th, 53rd, 54th and 59th minutes as the Phoenix rediscovered its mojo.

Firstly a pinpoint accurate ball from Ifill close to the halfway line forced Higgins to rush well outside his area but he was beaten to the ball by Brown, who rounded him and calmly slotted home for his second goal in as many matches.

Ifill was the provider again for Daniel's second, a simple tap-in, before the 6,571 crowd broke into a huge cheers when Greenacre shrugged off the attentions of Michael Thwaite to slot the ball past a hapless Higgins a minute later.

It was Greenacre's first goal since the 1-1 draw with Brisbane in August.

After assisting in three goals, Ifill then made it five for the home side when he held up the ball well, turned and fired it home.

The home side wasn't done though and substitute Troy Hearfield fired in the sixth to round off the Phoenix's best ever win.

Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg was gracious in defeat.

"I think Wellington were much better and deserved their moment of glory or moment in the sun."

"They played very well and wanted it more. The fact that after yesterday they dropped to the bottom of the ladder gave them a bit of added desperation."

Wellington Phoenix 6 (Daniel 27' 52', Brown 47', Greenacre 53', Ifill 58', Hearfield 81) Gold Coast United 0