Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick had no excuses for his team's performance in their 5-0 drubbing to Melbourne Heart.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick had no excuses for his team's performance in their 5-0 drubbing to Melbourne Heart.

The heavy loss left the Phoenix outside the A-League's top six playoff places and ended a run of good performances that had seen them win six of their past eight matches.

Wellington were off the pace from the start at Westpac Stadium on Sunday and the Heart made the most of the home side's lacklustre display with David Williams scoring a hat-trick after Dutch midfielder Orlando Engelaar fired home an early goal.

Glen Moss's misfortune which saw Robbie Wielaert's 54th minute strike come back off the crossbar and rebound into the goal off the Phoenix keeper's back summed up Wellington's sorry day.

"It was one of those days where everyone had an off day. So the whole team performed very poorly," said Merrick who couldn't remember ever suffering a 5-0 defeat as a coach before.

"Nothing went right. We couldn't get our passing game together. Great credit to the Heart they closed us down. They shut down Carlos (Hernandez). They stopped our midfield and they hit some terrific goals."

Hernandez was industrious throughout the match but couldn't shake the attention of Patrick Gerhardt to really create anything.

Leading goal-scorer Stein Huysegems was also well-marshalled by Jason Hoffman, while Melbourne keeper Andrew Redmayne was equal to everything sent his way.

While Moss could do nothing to stop Engelaar's thunderbolt strike in the ninth minute he was completely out of position on the edge of his area when Williams lobbed him to open his account on 19 minutes.

The Heart striker's second at the start of the second half came on the counter-attack after the Phoenix lost possession in midfield and it was that goal that really broke the home side.

"After that we really struggled," conceded Merrick. Wielaert added the fourth with Moss' assistance just minutes later before Williams rounded off an impressive performance with a lovely curling shot that deflected in off the post.

Merrick refused to use the absence of injured midfielder Albert Riera as an excuse, but the Spaniard was sorely missed.

The Phoenix are also without Paul Ifill (Achilles) and Louis Fenton (shoulder) for the season.

"Injuries have taken their toll but that doesn't allow you to get beaten 5-0," said Merrick.

"That's not a good excuse whatsoever. There are no excuses. We played very poor football."

Heart coach John van 't Schip had plenty of reasons to celebrate.

The win broke a 22-away game winless streak and was his side's first success on New Zealand soil.

"If you can win in Wellington in what I think is one of the most difficult games to win for an away team... this result is good," he said.

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