Attacking Phoenix U-20 pay the price against more experienced Canterbury United

Passages of quality play proved not enough against a robust Canterbury United as the Weenix passed up the chance to go fifth in front of several hundred at Newtown Park.

Phoenix U-20 started brightly against the older, more-experienced Canterbury United with A-League players Adam Parkhouse and Louis Fenton lively in attack.

Nix goalkeeper Oli Sail produced a series of good saves from Dragons winger Juan Chang as Canterbury countered effectively.

A turnover in midfield then saw Canterbury take the lead as Chang picked out Stephen Hoyle, and while Sail got a good hand to his shot, he was unable to prevent it finding the net.

A misunderstanding at the back helped Hoyle to his second in the 37th minute before Sarpreet Singh had the Dragons 'keeper scrambling with a long-range drive just before half time.

It was a horror start to the second half rendering Head Coach Andy Hedge's half-time talk moot as the unfortunate Jake Williams directed home a morale-sapping own goal just four minutes into the second stanza.

Nix midfielder James McGarry almost pulled a goal back with a strong shot, tipped brilliantly around the near post as Weenix enjoyed a solid period of dominance.

But against the run of play Andre de Jong was gifted far too much space and finished comfortably past an exposed Sail. 

Phoenix U-20 continued to press forward and Ruairi Cahill-Fleury finished sharply to give Phoenix U-20 the goal their passing play deserved, but the Nix ultimately fell short against a physical and clinical Canterbury side.