Connor Pain struck the only goal of the game as Central Coast Mariners defeated Wellington Phoenix in a friendly on Tuesday night.
As preparations ramp up for the upcoming A-League season, the Mariners and Phoenix met at Pluim Park.
The only goal of the match came in just the seventh minute through Pain.
The 23-year-old hit a bullet from outside the box into the bottom corner of Lewis Italiano's goal.
“Tonight, was a really good hit out, as we expected,” Okon said. “At this time of pre-season you want to be matching up against other A-League teams and that’s exactly what we did tonight.
“I thought the performance was excellent, we were really energetic when we didn’t have the ball and that’s an area we talk about a lot. With the ball, I think we created enough opportunities to score more than one but at the end we come away getting important minutes into the legs and no injuries.
“Tonight it was great for Asdrubal to get his first start, he was full of energy and linked up well with the front three. It was a really positive performance and hopefully there’s more of that to come.
“Kwabena Appiah is a nightmare for any opposition player, he doesn’t give you a second to rest. He’s on the right path, he’s a player who can play anywhere in the front line and I really see him being an important player for us.
“There’s competition everywhere. For me it’s not a problem, it’s what we need. If we have that competition than we know we’re going to be a strong team and it’s about winning football games so we need everyone to play their part.
“Last season when teams muscled up on us we struggled to go with them and now with Tom Hiariej and Wout Brama, they give us that steel in the midfield. Everyone else feeds off that which really helps.
“I for one know what Daniel [De Silva] is going to deliver for us. What’s important for him is that we introduce him gradually. There is that temptation to give him more minutes but he had 45 on the Gold Coast, 60 tonight so hopefully for round one he is as fit as everyone else. We’re looking to Daniel for 27 games, not for just one or two games,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners: 18.Tom GLOVER (GK) (1.Ben Kennedy 45’), 5.Antony GOLEC, 15.Alan BARO, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 13.Kwabena APPIAH (12. Trent Buhagiar 74’), 11.Connor PAIN, 21.Kye ROWLES (2. Storm Roux 61’) 4.Jake McGING (16. Liam Rose, 61’), 10.Daniel De SILVA (7. Andrew Hoole, 61’), 23.Wout BRAMA (14. Adam Berry 74’), 9.ASDRUBAL (17. Josh Bingham 45’)
Head Coach: Paul Okon
Wellington Phoenix: 20. Lewis ITALIANO (30. Oli Sail 45’), 2. Daniel MULLEN, 3. Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Goran PARACKI, 7.Gui FINKLER( 14. Alex Rufer 81’), 8.Dario VIDOSIC, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11. Hamish WATSON (9. Andrija Kaludjerovic 61’) 18.Sarpreet SINGH (13. Marco Rossi 73’) 19.Tom DOYLE (15. James McGarry 73’), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (17. Ali Abbas 73’
Head Coach: Darije Kalezić