Back to back. Two in a row. A brace. Deuce. A duet.
Call it what you want but the fact is the Phoenix have recorded back to back wins with a victory over Melbourne Heart last night at AAMI Park. The win takes the Nix to ten points following 4 draws and 2 wins and at the time of writing has them sitting in ninth spot equal with Adelaide but below them on goal difference.
The game lived up to its expectation as a battle of the two lowest teams on the ladder as chance after chance went begging in front of goal for both the Nix and Heart. As my BFF and I sat and watched on the first night of our combined family holiday it appeared our trip would start with watching yet another Nix draw that should have been a win. Instead we were treated to a Tyler Boyd burst down the right edge followed by a low cross to Stein Huysegems who sent the ball past some slack defence and into the net. The goal was Huysegems’ second in as many games and would end up being the match winner as the game finished 1-0.
The win is the first ever for the Nix in the city of Melbourne against either the Heart or Victory. The milestone could also be the undoing of Heart manager John Aloisi as his team’s winless streak extended to 17, although I’m sure Hardsy will have more to say on that matter.
While the win is something to celebrate, it can’t overlook the problems that are still occurring week in, week out for the Nix. Accuracy in front of goal remains a major concern with Jeremy Brockie causing fans numerous headaches per game. Last season’ candidate for golden boot is yet to score this season despite plenty of opportunities. Perhaps it could be time to give young Boyd a start and see what he can do if given the same opportunities.
Ernie Merrick has openly spoke of his desire to sign a good attacking midfielder in the January transfer window and with Paul Ifill out for the season and Carlos Hernandez not at 100% the need for a quality attacking player is even more important for the Nix going forward. One that can score goals would be preferable.
With the win in Melbourne ticked off, focus must now shift to the match against the Wanderers on New Years Day in Sydney. With just a five day turnaround the team will stay in Australia although extra players will need to be flown over as cover for a few injuries (Fenton’s shoulder and Huysegems’ hamstring).
The Nix have come up against the Wanderers twice already this season with both matches resulting in draws, something I would’ve gladly taken at the start of the season. Hopefully this time the Nix can finish their chances and make it three in a row.Google+