Wellington Phoenix were on the front foot from the opening kick off, ultimately holding off Newcastle Jets 1-0 at Rockwell Automation Park in Weston. Ben Sigmund's headed goal in the seventh minute was enough for the Kiwi visitors in their second intra-A-League pre-season game. The match was the first such encounter for the Jets.
Carlos Hernandez hit the post in the fourth minute, setting the stage for the Phoenix assault on Mark Birighitti's goal all evening. It was then Hernandez whose corner was headed in by Sigmund just three minutes later for the early Wellington lead. To be fair to Newcastle though, Michael Bridges' two shots in the first fifteen minutes had the Phoenix sweating, as his long-range chip drifted just clear of the bar in the eighth minute and his 13th minute volley did the same.
Both keepers did well throughout the match with Birighitti keeping the Jets close with several brilliant saves. Following up on strong performances earlier in pre-season, James Virgili was dangerous again, cutting in from the right wing and causing the Phoenix defense problems. Yet in the end, Wellington's early goal was enough to head back to New Zealand on a high note.
WPX Sigmund (Hernandez) 7'
Newcastle: Birighitti; Bridges (Goodwin 46'), Brillante, Hoole; Gibbs, Kantorovski (Caravella 62'), Pepper, Regan, Taggart; Virgili, Zadkovich
Wellington: Moss (Spoonley 46'); Fenton (Gulley 46'), Adams, Sigmund (Boxall 57'), Caira (Ridenton 69'); Lia, Thompson (Muscat 46'), Hernandez (Bertsch 57'), Stevens (Rufer 46'); Huysegems, Ifill (Watson 57')