The Wellington Phoenix reserves have come agonisingly close to their first win of the inaugural National League Championship season.
Oliver Colloty has scored a stoppage time penalty to secure Melville United a 1-1 draw with the reserves in their third round match at Sky Stadium in Wellington.
Colloty sent young goalkeeper Alby Kelly-Heald the wrong way from the spot to cancel out Adam Supyk’s opening goal.
The left back gave the reserves a deserved lead in the 66th minute, after the hosts took control of the match in the second-half.
The Phoenix reserves are now seventh on the league table.
Head coach Chris Greenacre named an unchanged XI, rewarding the side that started the 2-2 draw with Auckland United last Sunday.
There were a few goalscoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes. A long-range shot from midfielder Fin Conchie in just the sixth minute was one of the brightest moments for the reserves, while Kelly-Heald reacted well to deny Melville United from a tight angle midway through the first half.
Greenacre was forced to make a change before halftime, with forward Josh Tollervey suffering a head knock and replaced by Kaelin Nguyen in the 37th minute.
The reserves made a much brighter start to the second-half, with Riley Bidois heading narrowly off target before Supyk had a shot blocked in the box just moments later.
Melville ‘keeper Max Tommy also made a great reflex save to deny the reserves the opening goal in the 53rd minute.
There was nothing Tommy could do to stop Supyk’s strike from the edge of the area midway through the second-half.
Unfortunately for the reserves, they were unable to hold on for the remaining half an hour, conceding a penalty in second-half stoppage time, that Colloty duly converted.
The Wellington Phoenix reserves make their first trip across Cook Strait next weekend to play Christchurch United on Saturday.
Wellington Phoenix reserves: 1. Alby KELLY-HEALD (gk), 3. Adam SUPYK, 4. Lukas KELLY-HEALD, 5. Isaac HUGHES (c), 6. Dan MCKAY, 7. Noah KARUNARATNE (18. Ben WALLACE 87th), 9. Riley BIDOIS (2. Joseph CHIARI 87th), 10. Charlie BEALE (17. Sebastian BARTON-GINGER, 90th), 13. Matthew SHERIDAN, 14. Joshua TOLLERVEY (11. Kaelin NGUYEN 37th), 16. Fin CONCHIE
Unused substitutes: 20. Callum KENNETT (gk)
Melville United: 1. Max TOMMY (gk), 3. Aaron SCOTT (c), 4. Luke SEARLE, 5. Campbell BROWN (7. Harry CHRISTENSEN-ROSE 70th), 8. Liam HAYES, 9. Ryen LAWRENCE, 10. Jerson LAGOS GIRALDO (19. Raheem HUNTER 87th), 12. Oliver COLLOTY, 14. Sean LIDDICOAT, 15. Stafford DOWLING (11. Quinton KIPARA 46th), 17. Joshua GALLETLY
Unused substitutes: 20. Conor JAMIESON (gk), 2. Braeden QUILTER-PHIPPS
3. Adam SUPYK (Wellington Phoenix) – 66th
12. Oliver COLLOTY (Melville United) – 90+ pen
17. Joshua GALLETLY (Melville United) – 23rd