Phoenix, Mariners agree draw was fair

Wellington and Central Coast both agreed Sunday's Hyundai A-League goalless draw was probably one for the purists and one that neither side really deserved to win.




Wellington and Central Coast both agreed Sunday's Hyundai A-League goalless draw was probably one for the purists and one that neither side really deserved to win.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium in a dogged battle at a windy Westpac Stadium in Wellington, though goalkeepers Mark Paston and Danny Vukovic were kept busy.

It was the Phoenix's fourth draw in as many games, their 10th unbeaten game at home and first clean sheet of the season in what was their 50th Hyundai A-League game.

"They are a tough side to score against but we just can't seem to find that elusive goal," said coach Ricki Herbert.

"They've only conceded four out of eight games now so we're not the only side that's struggled."

"But we're good enough and I think that's the frustrating thing. We are on that brink. I'm not going to change my thinking ... but it's about three points."

Despite the run of draws Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante said the belief in the team remained strong.

"We know we're a good team. We've got quality players all over the park. There is a good self-belief in this team."

"It's frustrating that we're not getting the results, the three points, but we're just going to keep doing what we're doing - keep battling along."

"We have created a lot of chances over the last few games, aside from this one where we probably didn't create too many."

"We'll turn it around. It's not all doom and gloom. We're four games undefeated. We would obviously like to get the three points but everyone's staying positive."

Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna was reasonably satisfied with his side's efforts in the tough conditions.

"Credit should go to the defence first but I still think we could have done a bit better with the ball even though the conditions were hard and we were away from home," said the Scotsman.

"There were times we just rushed it and we could still have done better with the ball."

In fact, the Mariners did find the back of the net in the 10th minute when Nicky Travis got one past Paston but it was ruled out for offside.

"We couldn't see it because there was no replay but we phoned back to Australia and they've told us it was offside," said McKinna.

"It was a great goal. It deserves to have been a goal. From where we were sitting, we thought Matty Simon had a man up his backside but the report is he was off."

"The Phoenix copped a goal in the 94th minute last week so it balances out so we've no complaints about that."