Phoenix stinging in the rain

An error-strewn display from the Wellington Phoenix cost them three points against an impressive Melbourne Victory side in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday night, as the Australian side took out the match 4-2.

An error-strewn display from the Wellington Phoenix cost them three points against an impressive Melbourne Victory side in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday night, as the Australian side took out the match 4-2.

In cold and wet conditions, the Phoenix were unable to find their first win of the season and were given a lesson in how to take your chances as the Melbourne side secured a crucial away win.

Despite the disappointing result, Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert was able to take some solace from the fact that his side's overall display was considerably better than their previous outing against Queensland Roar.

"We didn't play badly but there were four critical decisions and four critical mistakes. That's going to cost you - and it did. It's a little unfortunate that we played worse against Queensland and came away with a point, but that's football sometimes," he said.

Herbert was quick to stress that there were no excuses for the loss or for any individual errors, despite the difficult conditions.

"We've only got ourselves as a team to blame. The conditions were difficult and shifting the ball wasn't easy. We wanted to play the style of attractive football we know we're good at, get the ball forward and be competitive. The conditions, unfortunately, didn't allow that - but it wasn't easy for them either."

Given that the Phoenix back four were often criticised last season for some of their soft displays, Herbert was particularly disappointed that his new-look back four allowed four goals.

"We got exposed at the back a few times," Herbert said.

"From our perspective it's a case of being better at dealing with threats at the back."

Meanwhile, Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick had a more positive outlook on the match.

"I thought we played well tonight, and we caused them a lot of problems up front," Merrick said.

The Scotsman paid tribute to his South American recruits and also to Danny Allsopp in particular, as the big striker scored two of his side's goals and created another.

"I thought the South American boys played well. They created the space for Danny (Allsopp) to cause trouble."

Allsopp put in an impressive shift, but played down his performance.

"The guys gave me good service tonight, which makes my life a lot easier."

"I was able to get into good positions because of the quality of ball I received. It allowed me time and space in their third."

Melbourne is at home next week for the first time in the competition after a string of matches away, while the Phoenix travel to Adelaide for their first away match of the campaign.