Women’s reserves finish year on a high

The Wellington Phoenix reserves have signed off from their maiden women’s National League Championship campaign with a win.

The  Phoenix reserves have beaten Central Football 1-0 in their final round match at Fraser Park in Lower Hutt, courtesy of a first half own goal.

It is the reserves’ second win of the competition, after they started the season with a 4-0 win over Ellerslie AFC, and sees them finish eighth on the ladder and level on points with seventh-placed Canterbury United.

Head coach Katie Barrott four changes to the XI which started last week’s 4-1 defeat to Waterside Karori, with 16-year-old goalkeeper Brooke Neary, fullbacks Rebekah Trewhitt and Zoe McMeeken and forward Angela Pivac coming into the side in place of Aimee Danieli, Libby McMillan, Emily Humphrey and Ella McCann respectively.

The Phoenix reserves had a number of goal scoring opportunities in the first 25 minutes but the finishing touch eluded them.

The reserves took the lead in the 28th minute when Central defender Sarah Swinbanks unfortunately turned a near post corner from young Nix winger Phoebe Hawes into her own net.

Hawes was dangerous throughout the match and was unlucky not to score herself.

Barrott went to her bench at halftime with Sienna Candy replacing Pivac and Candy continued her tireless work up front.

But the young Nix were unable to find a way past Sophie Campbell in Central’s goal and the visitors grew in belief the longer it remained 1-0.

Libby McMillan, Mackenzie Bryant, Gigi Freeman and Emily Humphrey all entered the game in the final half an hour as the Phoenix reserves looked for some fresh legs.

Neary was relatively untroubled in the reserves’ goal but Central did strike her crossbar late on and the visitors had a goal disallowed for offside.

Ultimately the young Nix held on to secure the three points and bookended their maiden National League Championship campaign with wins.

Wellington Phoenix reserves:
41. Brooke NEARY (gk), 2. Rebekah TREWHITT (24. Libby MCMILLAN 61st), 4. Marie GREEN, 5. Zoe MCMEEKEN, 12. Ella MCMILLAN (c), 13. Grace BARTLETT (42. Mackenzie BRYANT 81st), 14. Alyssha EGLINTON, 17. Georgie FURNELL (38. Gigi FREEMAN 83rd), 25. Mackenzie GREENE, 28. Angela PIVAC (40. Sienna CANDY 46th), 31. Phoebe HAWES (21. Emily HUMPHREY 83rd).

Central Football:
1. Sophie CAMPBELL (gk), 2. Maddison HUGHES, 3. Lizzie INGHAM (11. Marina ISHIMOTO 73rd), 6. Isla CLEALL-HARDING (17. Saskia PELHAM 55th), 8. Mackenna CHITTENDEN, 9. Mikaela BOUWMEESTER (c), 10. Ruby-Aroha GURNICK, 12. Charlotte NOAKES (7. Paris LIU 73rd), 13. Sarah SWINBANKS (16. Shannon NEWLYN 73rd), 14. Megan THOMAS, 15. Aimee MACNEE.
Unused substitutes: 18. Leonie HECK.

13. Sarah SWINBANKS (Central Football) – 28th og

Photo: Cam McIntosh/Photomac.