Good signs for Victory in A-League win
Melbourne Victory coach Jim Magilton has at last found a few pointers to a brighter future amid the wreckage of a failed A-League season.
With their finals hopes dashed, the Victory belatedly hit form in the penultimate round on Friday night, thrashing finals-bound Wellington Phoenix 3-0 at AAMI Park.
The margin could easily have been much greater, the home side having a host of other scoring chances which they failed to convert, as they dominated the disappointing visitors.
Especially pleasing for interim coach Magilton, who is expected to be handed the reins permanently for next season despite having posted just two wins in 11 matches, was the role youth played.
Midfielder Jimmy Jeggo, 20, who was given his first A-League start by Magilton just a few weeks ago, scored his maiden goal.
It was a scorching 89th minute strike, smashing into the back of the net from long-range.
Fellow youngster Julius Davies, 17, was handed his A-League debut, coming on in the 80th minute.
The agile Liberian-born teenager almost added a goal of his own, having a shot cleared on the line.
The Victory also handed 24-year-old goalkeeper Tando Velaphi his first A-League appearance for the club, Velaphi seizing his chance by keeping a clean sheet as the club rested veteran Ante Covic.
"It's a work in progress," Magilton said of the performance.
"We managed to get young Julius on, who livened things up prior to the game, in the game, I'm sure after the game.
"It's pleasing, when you win 3-0 against a good side, it's encouraging.
"It's probably come a little bit too late. Well, it has come too late, but they are encouraging signs."
The win came with the likes of veterans Rody Vargas, Danny Allsopp, Grant Brebner and Matthew Kemp - all potential victims of a planned off-season clean-out - in the stands, along with injured skipper Adrian Leijer.
The youngsters' good showing was another much-needed dose of good news, after the signing earlier in the week of talented Gold Coast 22-year-old wing-back Adama Traore for next season.