Heart Relief For JvS

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip was a relieved man after his team held out to beat Wellington Phoenix 1-0 on Sunday.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip was a relieved man after his team held out to beat Wellington Phoenix 1-0 on Sunday.

Heart led courtesy of Mate Dugandzic's goal four minutes before the break at LaTrobe City Stadium.

While Heart enjoyed spells on possession throughout the contest in Morwell, they were under siege late in the second half.

Substitutes Daniel Sanchez and Mirjan Pavlovic led the rally for the visitors, and it took some desperate defending - together with the heroics of goalkeeper Clint Bolton - to prevent Wellington from forcing an equaliser in the final moments.

Speaking afterwards, Dutchman Van 't Schip said Heart were fortunate to get away with all three points.

"Of course (we are relieved) because we escaped a few difficulties and they were pushing us at times," he said.

"Before that I think we should have finished it earlier. Especially the first chance of Matt (Thompson)."

Van 't Schip was referring to Matt Thompson's one-on-one with Phoenix goalkeeper Tony Warner two minutes into the second half, a shot that came within inches of doubling Heart's advantage.

"If it becomes 2-0, then of course it is a different kind of match," Van 't Schip said.

"That (the miss) gave them hope of course to come back into the game. A few times we escaped, with the ball on the post and Clint (Bolton) being there on the right spot."

"And on the break, they were lucky as well I think. We had the biggest one-on-ones, with Jason Hoffman and with Mate."

"At the end of course, (we were) relieved with the three points."