Football: Phoenix defender Thomas Doyle guides seagull to safety after hitting it with ball

Wellington Phoenix defender Thomas Doyle was unable to save his team from defeat Melbourne City on Friday night, but he did play guardian angel to an injured seagull.

Hundreds of the seafaring birds swarmed the field throughout the game at AAMI Park, as the Phoenix fell to their second straight A-League loss, succumbing 2-0.

In the 84th minute, Doyle received the ball and passed it down the left edge of the field, where it struck the bird and left it lying on the field.

The 26 year-old immediately rushed to the seagull's aid, carrying it off the field and placing it on the side-line in front of the ball boy.

This wasn’t the first incident with a seagull being hit at that venue. Two years ago, in the FFA Cup final, Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic guided a seagull off the field, after it had been struck by a pass.

The Phoenix now have a week off, before they host Adelaide on November 24.