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Phoenix snatch draw with Glory
By Justin Chadwick
06:57 AEST Sun Nov 25 2012

Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz scored his first goal of the season but Wellington Phoenix still managed to grab a share of the spoils in a 1-1 A-League draw at nib Stadium on Saturday night.

Smeltz, who had missed five of the previous six games due to a combination of injury, personal reasons and international duty, gave Perth the lead in the 62nd minute with a beautiful strike from the edge of the box.

But Phoenix grabbed the equaliser 11 minutes later when in-form striker Jeremy Brockie outsmarted Steve Pantelidis with a clever chip before drilling the ball through the legs of Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

In an added blow for Perth, returning skipper Jacob Burns will miss next Friday's clash with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

The result saw Perth (11 points) slip to fifth spot, while Wellington (nine) remain in seventh.

Perth enjoyed the better chances in the opening half, but couldn't find a way past goalkeeper Mark Paston.

Paston produced a sharp save to deny Billy Mehmet's powerful strike in the 14th minute, while the custodian produced an excellent reflex save in the 22nd minute when his left boot kept out Travis Dodd's header.

The Phoenix's best chance of the half fell to Louis Fenton, whose mistimed close-range strike was easily saved by Danny Vukovic.

Glory defender Josh Risdon went close to breaking the deadlock in the 53rd minute when his 25-metre thunderbolt rebounded off the upright.

But Smeltz found the back of the net in fine style when the Kiwi international easily wrong-footed Andrew Durante before sending a pin-point strike to the right of Paston.

However, celebrations soon turned to misery for the 7982 crowd when Brockie, who scored two goals in last week's 3-0 triumph over Newcastle, dinked a ball over Pantelidis before beating Vukovic in a one-on-one situation.

The clash was the first meeting between the two sides since Perth's 3-2 extra-time triumph in last season's minor semi-final.

"I don't think it was our best performance. I'm very disappointed," Glory coach Ian Ferguson said.

"To get ourselves into the lead and then give away a silly goal - the manner we defended that was pretty poor."

Wellington coach Ricki Herbert said he was pleased to come away with a total of four points from trips to Newcastle and Perth.

"To finish strongly tonight was a real positive after being in Newcastle last week and having international players away in China recently," Herbert said.

"I thought everyone contributed really well."


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