Victory held by Phoenix

Wellington has held defending champion Melbourne to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining Hyundai A-League clash at Etihad Stadium, stretching the Victory's winless streak at home to four.

Wellington has held defending champion Melbourne to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining Hyundai A-League clash at Etihad Stadium, stretching the Victory's winless streak at home to four.

The home side looked destined for their first home win of the season, when Carlos Hernandez opened the scoring in just the fourth minute but Wellington rallied strongly and Tim Brown secured an equaliser after 30 minutes. The Phoenix probably had the best of the chances for the remainder of the game but were unable to put them away and had to settle for a share of the points.

Both teams move to six points after six games, one point clear of bottom-placed North Queensland. The result was a particularly poor one for Melbourne which has failed to get three points from any of its four home games this season and its return of six points is its worst start to a Hyundai A-League season in the club's five-year history.

Melbourne started the game with a bang taking the lead inside four minutes. After Ney Fabiano was brought down by Vince Lia just outside the box, Hernandez stepped up to take the free kick and delivered a cracking shot over the wall which Mark Paston had no hope of stopping.

But Wellington wasn't deterred from playing attacking football by the scoreline and former Phoenix man Glen Moss was called on to produce a stop when Chris Greenacre's cross was well met on the volley by Daniel in the 18th minute.

Melbourne had a chance to make it 2-0 seconds later when Ney Fabiano headed a cross from Archie Thompson wide, while Moss had a few nervous moments when he fumbled a ball and Rody Vargas had to clear.

An industrious approach yielded an excellent equaliser from the Phoenix on the half hour. Matthew Kemp coughed up the ball on half way and Greenacre swept the ball forward. Daniel's cross from deep on the right found Paul Ifill, who flicked it on to Brown to scramble home.

The attacking chances continued to flow, with Hernandez unable to beat an advancing Paston, before Moss pulled off a great save when Andrew Durante was left alone from a corner. Ney Fabiano then headed another opportunity wide and in the dying minutes of the first half Greenacre's low shot was blocked by a very busy Moss.

The frequency of the chances dried up in the second 45, with Wellington having the best of them. Leo Bertos' free kick was deflected over the bar, while Brown headed wide from the resultant corner.

Paston was then equal to Pondeljak's angled shot, before Hernandez and Thompson both failed to connect with dangerous crosses. Robbie Kruse made his debut for Melbourne replacing Ney Fabiano, while Marco Rojas was also handed his first appearance, replacing Daniel with 15 minutes left.

Late on, Jon McKain pulled off an excellent block from Nick Ward's cross, then departed with a knee injury, while Grant Brebner headed a shot in injury time just wide.

Melbourne Victory 1 (Hernandez 4) Wellington Phoenix 1 (Brown 30) Crowd: 17,644 at Etihad Stadium