Wellington Phoenix's disastrous road form costing Kiwi club dearly
There was a time when Wellington Phoenix were masters of winning on the road in the Hyundai A-League.
For example, Phoenix's most recent finals campaign in the 2014/15 season saw them win an impressive seven times on the road.
But this season, they've won just once outside of New Zealand (ironically just up the road in Newcastle).
And they have mustered just one victory in their last 12 matches on the road (D2 L9).
What's more, the team from the NZ capital have lost their last three matches on the road in succession, failing to score a single goal in that time.
Yes, the travel factor for is more pronounced for Wellington than it is for most clubs. Darije Kalezic's men travel internationally every second week, for at least three hours flying time.
But they've proved they can beat it. Though clearly not this season.
Little wonder Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante looked so disappointed after another loss, this time a 1-0 reversal in Gosford on Friday night.
After last week's thrilling 2-1 win over Perth Glory at Westpac, hopes were high that Roy Krishna and Co. could cause some damage up front.
But apart from some efforts late in the game (Phoenix hit the bar in the second half), they rarely looked threatening as they remain on the foot of the table with just four wins for the season.
"We weren't good enough in the first half.
"They [Mariners] pretty much dominated most of it. They didn't create a helluva lot, but they were the more threatening," Durante told Fox Sports.
"We pressed them a little higher in the second half and did not let the centre backs have as much time, and we were probably the more threatening, but we couldn't get a goal.
"So, on the whole scheme of things, they [Mariners] probably deserved the win."
Durante admitted striker Andrija Kaluderovic was down on confidence after his goals slump, and it was affecting the side.
"If you're relying on Roy [Krishna] to score all your goals all the time, it's always going to be difficult. But we need other avenues of goals scorers.
"We're playing for pride, and trying to get off the bottom [of the ladder]," he added.
OTHER MATCH FACTS
- Central Coast Mariners have now ended an 11-game winless streak (D5 L6).
- Central Coast Mariners have now gone three meetings with Wellington Phoenix without defeat (W2 D1); they lost in three encounters with them beforehand.
- Daniel De Silva has scored in three matches this term; two of those games were against Wellington Phoenix.
- Dylan Fox made 14 clearances for Phoenix; nine more than anybody else in this match.