Late Mata double secures famous derby win for Phoenix U-20


A second-half brace from Max Mata earned Wellington Phoenix U-20 a 2-1 win against champions Team Wellington in the Stirling Sports Premiership at David Farrington Park on Sunday.

In what was a physical local derby, the nominal home side Team Wellington took the lead midway through the first half thanks to a Ben Harris header. 

Yet Phoenix U-20 worked their way back into the game after going behind and Mata struck the equaliser late in the second half.

Just as the game appeared destined for a draw, Mata stepped up again in the 92nd minute to score his second of the afternoon and seal a 2-1 comeback win for Phoenix U-20.

After a hard-fought start to the match it was Team Wellington that went in front on 21 minutes when Harris headed in from close range at the far post.

As the first half wore on, Phoenix U-20 began to impose themselves on the contest and created some good openings, but were unable to add the finishing touch.

Just before the break the home side came close to extending the lead through a Joel Stevens header and were only denied by a brilliant Oli Sail save.

Phoenix U-20 continued to create opportunities after the interval and went within a whisker of equalising on the hour mark as Ruairi Cahill-Fluery’s cross found Logan Rogerson umarked at the far post, but he was unable to convert from close range.

In the 76th minute the visitors’ pressure finally told as Mata eased the ball into an empty net from the edge of the box after Team Wellington failed to clear.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Rogerson driove into the box and cut it back for Mata who tapped in from close range to secure the 2-1 victory and his side’s first three points of the season.