Wellington Phoenix 4 Stop Out 1
Fraser Park, Lower Hutt
Monday 13th July 2015

A very cold Fraser Park Turf

I’ve always enjoyed pre-season games, it means the real football season is about to start again, it’s usually nice weather, you get to visit different grounds, see teams you wouldn’t normally come up against, catch up with footballing mates who you haven’t seen since the end of the last season and the results don’t really matter.

However that was when I lived in the UK, this was an odd pre-season game as it is in the middle of the season, well sort of. Wellington Phoenix are in Australia’s A-League which plays in summer so for them they are in pre-season mode (incidentally a very long pre-season as the season doesn’t kick off until October). Stop Out on the other hand are in the middle of their season and are currently 7th in the Central League.

Phoenix keeper plucks ball from air from Stop Out corner
Fraser Park isn’t a new ground for me as I have been here before, last time I was playing (and won man of the match, although my teammates were taking the piss with the award as I was in goal and we had lost 11-3!) They now have an artificial turf that are popping up all over Wellington.

Despite it being a bitterly cold evening, about 200 turned up, many finally getting proper use of their Phoenix scarfs, quite a few in Stop Out colours as well.

As the local competitions are midway through their season there are plenty of teams to give the Phoenix games and every year they play a few of the Central League teams, this is the first of 4 games over the next month.

Stop Out pushing forward
As you would expect there is a bit of a gap between the professionals of the Phoenix and the amateurs of the Central League and results from previous seasons indicate that plenty of goals are usually scored. It took the Phoenix 16 minutes to score when Roy Krishna slotted home a penalty and a few minutes after that an almost identical foul resulted in an identical penalty from Krishna to make it 2-0, by half time he had his hat-trick. The crowd response to the goals was fairly muted but that’s probably because it was so cold and no one wanted to get their hands out of their pockets!

Stop Out played well in the second half and held the Phoenix out for 20 minutes before Michael McGlinchey chipped the keeper from a free kick to make it 4-0.

By now my feet despite having thermal socks on were starting to feel like ice cube’s, so I decided to give up and went home. It meant I missed Stop Out’s goal but it really was cold and I wasn’t the only one. 

Still I’ll probably be at Petone Memorial next Tuesday (KO 6:45pm) for their game against Petone, just hope it’s not as cold.