Wellington Phoenix club coach Ricki Herbert left Shepparton last night pleased with his players' reactions in a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart in a A-League pre-season soccer match in Melbourne.

As was the case against Brisbane Roar in Dunedin the previous week, defensive errors cost the Phoenix with Melbourne's Jason Hoffman and David Williams scoring in the 27th and 54th minutes.

The Phoenix stormed back into the game, playing some neat football on a very bumpy pitch, as Spanish trialist Dani Sanchez netted in the 63rd minute and Leo Bertos grabbed an equaliser with a long range free-kick 14 minutes later.

Buoyed by the goals, the Phoenix finished strongly and twice went close to scoring again.

The overall performance left Herbert feeling satisfied with what he and his team had got out of the trip.

"A trip across the Tasman is important at this time of the year as it gets us back into the mode of travelling and training," Herbert said.

"The goals we conceded were very disappointing but the response from our players was very good.

"The first goal was well constructed and well taken by Dani.

"A strong focus for me was looking at our trialists. We brought Dani on for the second half and changed our shape a bit.

"He was good in the front third of the pitch, he took his goal well and linked up well. He certainly hasn't done his chances any harm."

Young centreback Bryan Bran also drew praise from Herbert who was pleased with the 19-year-old's solid display alongside skipper Andrew Durante.

Herbert said the way his team bounced back from the setbacks, and finished so strongly, was the most pleasing aspect of the night.

"It shows we are a step closer physically to where we need to be on October 9 (the opening league game against Gold Coast)," he said.

- NZPA