Men’s reserves fall short in Christchurch

Another narrow defeat for the Wellington Phoenix reserves in the men’s National League Championship.

The Phoenix reserves have been beaten 2-1 by Cashmere Technical in Christchurch, a week after losing 1-0 at home to Napier City Rovers.

Technical led 2-0 at halftime, with Kaelin Nguyen pulling a goal back for the reserves in the second half, but both sides should have scored more.

Chris Greenacre made four changes to the XI which started last week’s defeat to Napier, with Seth Karunaratne, Anaru Cassidy, Ryan Watson and Josh Tollervey returning to the side in place of Isaac Hughes, Fergus Gillion, Josh Rudland and Charlie Beale.

Zander Edwards put the hosts in front in the 17th minute when he nodded home a left-wing cross from Aiden Barbour-Ryan.

Centre back Tom Schwarz doubled Cashmere Technical’s lead half a dozen minutes later when he converted a penalty. Phoenix reserves goalkeeper Alby Kelly-Heald guessed the right way but wasn’t able to keep out Schwarz’s pinpoint spot kick from the bottom corner.

Technical continued to lead 2-0 an hour into the match and Greenacre decided to clear his bench, bringing on Nguyen, Noah Karunaratne, Matthew Sheridan, Joseph Cornille and Daniel Makowem.

The reserves eventually found the back of the net in the 81st minute when Nguyen pounced a loose ball from a Sheridan corner.

But the young Nix were unable to beat Matthew Foord in the Cashmere goal a second time and left Christchurch empty handed.

The result leaves the Wellington Phoenix reserves eighth in the 10-team competition.

They will return to Fraser Park next Sunday to host Eastern Suburbs.

Wellington Phoenix reserves:
1.Alby KELLY-HEALD (gk), 2. Xuan LOKE, 4. Seth KARUNARATNE (13. Matthew SHERIDAN 61st), 5. Anaru CASSIDY (20. Joseph CORNILLE 61st), 8. Dan MCKAY (c), 9. Josh TOLLERVEY (11. Daniel MAKOWEM 61st), 10. Ryan WATSON (7. Noah KARUNARATNE 61st), 14. Jackson MANUEL, 15. Hayden THOMAS, 17. Gabriel SLOANE-RODRIGUES (12. Kaelin NGUYEN 61st), 18. Ben WALLACE.

Cashmere Technical: 5. Andrew STORER (c), 6. Tom SCHWARZ, 7. Jacob RICHARDS, 9. Aiden BARBOUR-RYAN (21. Declan TYNDALL 90th), 11. Yuya TAGUCHI, 12. Jordan SPAIN, 14. Cory MITCHELL, 16. Zander EDWARDS (4. Caleb COTTOM 74th), 17. Lachie MCISAAC (3. Sam RICHARDS 90th), 19. Lyle MATTHYSEN, 22. Matthew FOORD (gk).
Unused substitutes: 1. Alexander BOOMER (gk), 2. Danny KANE.

16. Zander EDWARDS (Cashmere Technical) – 17th
6. Tom SCHWARZ (Cashmere Technical) – 24th pen
12. Kaelin NGUYEN (Wellington Phoenix reserves) – 81st

14. Jackson MANUEL (Wellington Phoenix reserves) – yellow – 73rd
11. Daniel MAKOWEM (Wellington Phoenix reserves) – yellow – 90th