BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, December 19, 2011
American forward Alex Smith returned to action for Wellington Phoenix and scored his first goal of the season but it was not enough to achieve a result on the road against Melbourne Victory.

Smith's short term contract with Wellington was recently extended through January 16 but he had missed the previous two games with a foot injury.

Melbourne struck first in the 4th minute when Archie Thompson headed home a cross past Wellington keeper Anthony Warner for a 1-0 lead.

In the 22nd minute, Melbourne went up 2-0 when Wellington midfielder Vince Lia redirected a hard low driving cross into his own net for an own-goal.

In the 24th minute, Melbourne put the game out of reach when Diogo Ferreira hit a magnificent volley from 20 years into the top right corner past a diving Warner for a 3-0 lead.

In the 84th minute, Smith got Wellington on the board when he collected the ball on the right side. He then beat his defenders to move into the box and fire a low and hard shot past Ante Covic to make the score 3-1.

With the loss, Wellington fall to sixth place in the 10 team league.

Wellington return home on Friday to host seventh place Newcastle