The Wellington Phoenix reserves have made a dream start to life in the women’s National League Championship.
The Phoenix reserves have beaten Ellerslie AFC 4-0 in their opening round match at Michaels Ave in Auckland, with New Zealand age-group international Ella McCann scoring a hat-trick.
Emma Main was also on the scoresheet, with Main, Mackenzie Barry, Zoe McMeeken and Manaia Elliott all released from the first team to play for Katie Barrott’s side.
Elliott rattled Ellerslie’s crossbar just a handful of minutes into the match with the reserves on top from the opening kick-off.
McCann opened the scoring in the 14th minute, tapping home a perfectly placed right wing cross from Main, who was also created the reserves’ second goal midway through the first half.
Ellerslie goalkeeper Petra Wedlake was unable to hold on to a Main free-kick and McCann pounced on the loose ball and beat Wedlake.
Main made it 3-0 in the 36th minute when she beat Wedlake with a long-range free-kick.
The hosts made life more difficult for the Phoenix reserves in the second half, but they were unable to deny Ella McCann her hat-trick, with the striker finding the back of the net in the 77th minute with a shot from outside the box.
Barrott was able to clear her bench in the second half with Libby McMillan, Georgie Furnell, Rebekah Trewhitt, Phoebe Hawes and Mackenzie Greene all taking to the field at Michaels Ave.
The Wellington Phoenix reserves will play their first home game in the women’s National League Championship next Sunday, when Southern United will visit Fraser Park.
Wellington Phoenix reserves: 22. Charlotte EAGLE (gk), 4. Marie GREEN, 5. Zoe MCMEEKEN (2. Rebekah TREWHITT 72nd), 9. Ella MCCANN (25. Mackenzie GREENE 83rd), 11. Manaia ELLIOTT (31. Phoebe HAWES 72nd), 12. Ella MCMILLAN, 13. Grace BARTLETT, 15. Lara SMITH, 18. Mackenzie BARRY (24. Libby MCMILLAN 63rd), 20. Emma MAIN (17. Georgie FURNELL 63rd), 40. Sienna CANDY.
Ellerslie AFC: 1. Petra WEDLAKE (gk) (c), 2. Courtney BEALE, 5. Tayla HAWES (23. Dee MOSCA 83rd), 6. Hollie LEONA, 8. Cilla FA’AFUA (25. Hannah BARCLAY 83rd), 9. Kimberley OOSTERBEEK, 10. Kathryn GOW (7. Vibha GODHA 33rd), 14. Abby Wright, 15. Marilia ROCHA XEREZ BRAGA (28. Sarah JESSUP 63rd), 16. Britney CUNNINGHAM-LEE, 26. Lyric DAVISON (19. Ashley FILLET 83rd).
9. Ella MCCANN (Wellington Phoenix reserves) – 14th, 24th & 77th mins
20. Emma MAIN (Wellington Phoenix reserves) – 36th
25. Mackenzie GREENE (Wellington Phoenix reserves) – yellow – 90th