No penalty call irks Herbert

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert believes gun striker Paul Ifill was 'incredibly unlucky' not be awarded a penalty in the 84th minute of Friday's come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert believes gun striker Paul Ifill was 'incredibly unlucky' not be awarded a penalty in the 84th minute of Friday's come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Ifill, who had a barnstorming second half, was blatantly brought to ground inside the penalty area, but referee Gerald Parsons, who had an indifferent night officiating, did not blow his whistle.

Had the Barbadian been awarded the penalty and subsequently converted, it would have secured an insurmountable two-goal buffer for the visitors.

Bruce Djite and Osama Malik had scrambled some late goal-bound flurries deep into injury time which, if any had come off, would have seen the home side force a draw and left Wellington feeling justifiably annoyed.

"I think (Ifill was) incredibly unlucky," Herbert said.

"I haven't had a chance to see the replay but (commentator) Ross Aloisi, unbiasedly, said it's in an absolute certain penalty."

"The consequence too of (Ifill) getting booked after that is just kind of bizarre."

"But the game's done and dusted and I spoke to the referee afterwards ... I just asked for a bit of feedback to be fair and open."

"If you make a mistake, you make a mistake. We all make them."

"It's not a witch-hunt by any stretch, it's done and dusted - it's finished and we move on."

Herbert felt Parsons was receptive to his feedback.

"The good thing about it is he was," Herbert said.

"I think there's always got to be some open dialogue."

"It was done in a very respectful, professional way and we move on."

The win was the Phoenix's fourth on the trot on the road, a remarkable figure for a club with a previously long-standing Hyundai A-League reputation as road kill.

The Reds fired the first shot in the 10th minute when Bruce Djite goaled on the back of Dario Vidosic picking his opponent's pocket in the penalty area, but Wellington fought back quickly and admirably at a venue which has not been kind to them over the journey.

Ifill dished to fellow experienced hand Tim Brown for a close-range 13th minute goal before Spanish import Dani Sanchez took advantage of the hosts' inability to properly clear a set piece with an opportunistic goal seven minutes out from half-time.

The fact Wellington had to guts the victory out after trailing pleased Herbert, not to mention the fact it was just the Phoenix's second win at Hindmarsh in nine attempts.

"It probably does (make it more satisfying) on this ground because we never really get a lot from here," an elated Herbert said. "I'm delighted."

"It was a real tough game. We bounced back really well and defended when we needed to tonight, which was good."

Herbert heaped special praise on Ifill, who, with just a touch of better fortune on Friday, could have easily equalled the season-best brace he registered against Melbourne Heart at Westpac Stadium the previous week.

"I told everybody in the media two years ago, he (Ifill) is the best player in the league," Herbert said.

"He was hindered at the back of last season by a pretty bad injury."

"It's taken a little bit to get him back this year and he's had some groin problems, but he's a real talent."

"He's such a great guy, he's very easy-going ... probably the worst trainer I've ever had but he's special."

"He's going back-to-back 90 minutes now and that's good."

Phoenix captain Andrew Durante noticed the Reds' early desperation but otherwise was untroubled with what the home side tried to throw at his side.

"They (Adelaide) started off quite well and getting an early goal was helpful," he said.

"To be fair, they looked like a side that was at the bottom of the table ... they weren't really confident, they came on raids at us, then turn out and go back again - and that suited us."

"Our form on the road previously hasn't been the best so our game plan is generally (to) make sure we're solid in defence and don't get beaten easily and we did that again tonight."

"We were solid and they just couldn't break us down. You could tell they were a side lacking confidence."

The same can't be said for the high-flying but previously unfancied outfit from across the Tasman.

"We were given no chance at the start of the year," Herbert said. "We're in the mix, we're a chance, but we've got to keep working hard."

"We've just got to keep battling away and doing what we're doing and hopefully the points keep coming for us."