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Taylor-inspired Phoenix grab first win of season

Captain Steven Taylor pulled off heroic touches at both ends of the park as Wellington Phoenix bagged their first win of the A-League season, 2-1 over Brisbane Roar.

Wellington Phoenix captain Steven Taylor scores a goal during the Hyundai A-League 19/20 between Wellington Phoenix vs Brisbane Roar, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Saturday 23rd November 2019. Source: Photosport

Coming off their worst start to any campaign, with a solitary draw through five games, relief was delivered to new coach Ufuk Talay in Wellington yesterday through goals in each half to classy offshore signings Taylor and Ulises Davila.

Their sharp finishes decided an even, bruising contest, with Brisbane slipping back to the inaccurate ways in front of goal that hampered them before last week's thrilling 4-3 upset of Melbourne City.

Wellington fielded the same XI that drew with Melbourne Victory two weeks ago while the visitors' lone change was the introduction of left winger Jordan Courtney-Perkins, making him the youngest starting player in Roar history.

The 17-year-old Brisbane academy product enjoyed a solid outing but was guilty of squandering his team's best chance during a crucial early period.

Taylor had put his team in front with a dominant header from Davila's cross in the 10th minute, rising above a flat-footed Roar defence.

Minutes later the former Newcastle United centre back denied Courtney-Perkins with an instinctive goal-line clearance after the teenager smashed a close range volley.

Brisbane looked the sharper outfit in the first half but fell away in the second spell after coach Robbie Fowler surprisingly removed impressive Welsh forward Aaron Amadi-Holloway at the break.

Lively Mexican Davila rifled home a left-footed drive from the top of the box for his fourth goal of the season and he looked like adding more as Wellington finished the stronger.

However, Stefan Mauk set Phoenix pulses racing with an 85th-minute goal against the run of play, steering home Brad Inman's assist.

It was the third loss for Fowler's men while Wellington's three points lifts them off the bottom of the ladder, although they'll be back there if Central Coast secure a point today against Western United.