WESTERN Sydney Wanderers have moved a step closer to the A-League finals after a rare double for centre-back Brendan Hamill helped them to a 4-1 victory over cellar dwellers Wellington Phoenix.
It was a tame start to the match as both sides failed to create any clear cut opportunities. Chris Ikonomidis went closest to finding the opener in the initial exchanges, as a beautifully struck free kick smashed into the woodwork.
But the game soon burst to life just before the break as a goal rush saw the deadlock broken and then restored within the space of two minutes and three seconds.
Both sides were without their top goal scorers in Oriol Riera and Andrija Kaluderovic but the man who replaced the former deputised capably. Brendan Santalab providing the final touch for the Wanderers once again after a neat pass and some expert composure by skipper Mark Bridge set up the striker for the easiest of tap-ins.
However, the elation didn't last long for the home side, as a new-look Nix - boosted by a new credo provided by caretaker coach Chris Greenacre - hit back with rapid precision.
'Start enjoying your football again', Greenacre told his men throughout the clash - and the quick fire goal to young gun Sarpreet Singh would have helped them to do just that.
The winger was the beneficiary of some great forward pressure from the last-placed Nix, and slammed home with aplomb to level up the scores just prior to the break.
Out of the sheds, it was a slow start for both sides, before an unlikely source proved the match winner for Josep Gombau's side.
Centre-back Brendan Hamill struck twice in ten minutes to put the Wanderers in prime position to cruise home to victory.
On the first occasion, it was aerial prowess which saw the defender rise highest to nod home and snatch the lead for his side - out bustling Goran Paracki to do so.
Not long after, it was the aftermath of another corner which helped Hamill to secure a rare brace, with his left boot providing the final touch to put his side nearly out of sight with just over ten minutes to play.
His strike wouldn't be the last however, as a neat forward surge from Josh Risdon brought keeper Tando Velaphi a long way off his line. Socceroos hopeful Ikonomidis the eventual beneficiary as the Lazio loanee utilised his quick feet to manufacture an angle to strike into an open net.
The cake well and truly iced for a well-deserved victory which further punishes the Phoenix after a tumultuous week where they parted with head coach Darije Kalezic.
The Wanderers now move into fifth spot on the table, edging out Adelaide United - who have a game in hand - by a point while the Nix continue to languish at the foot of the table.
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