23 Feb 2015

Phoenix miss more chances

11:17 am on 23 February 2015

The Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick admits it's frustrating that they're not converting more of their scoring opportunities, but overall he's very happy with his side's play.

Phoenix's Jason Hicks celebrates his equalizer with Roy Krishna.

Phoenix's Jason Hicks celebrates his equalizer with Roy Krishna. Photo: Photosport

A 94th minute equaliser from replacement Jason Hicks earned the Wellington Phoenix footballers a 2-2 home draw with the Newcastle Jets in Lower Hutt on Sunday.

It's the third straight game where the Phoenix have missed numerous chances in the box, but Merrick is still seeing the bright side from their efforts.

The Jets took a shock 2-0 lead at half-time with twin headers from two corners after 11 and 18 minutes.

It was all the Phoenix for the first period after the break, but some great defending from the visitors and some poor finishing from the hosts frustrated the fans, none more so than from star striker Nathan Burns.

The recalled Socceroo somehow missed an ambitious backflick with the goalmouth beckoning from a metre out.

But Fijian striker Roy Krishna finally got on the end of a Ben Sigmund pass across goal to tap in just after 67 minutes.

Newcastle squandered a couple of clear chances of their own after that and they lost a player to a second yellow card when Jets defender Ben Kantarovski was sent off with four minutes of regular time remaining.

The Phoenix earned the point when All Whites midfielder Hicks sent his left-footed equaliser into the top corner from outside the area two minutes from the end of injury time.

The Wellingtonians' winless streak now extends to four games since the Asian Cup break.

The Phoenix sit fourth on the table, five points behind the leaders, the Perth Glory.

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