It was a tale of two halves here at Newtown Park for the Match Week 5 fixture between Wellington Phoenix Reserves and Canterbury United.
Wellington Phoenix Reserves started with confidence and were exceptional in both their possession and progressive play through the thirds and it wasn’t long until the Reserves got the breakthrough.
Benjamin Waine showing great strength to shrug off a tackle and play in Willem Ebbinge inside the box. Ebbinge set himself and slotted it low beyond Conor Tracey in the Canterbury United goal to take the lead.
Phoenix Reserves kept up their momentum and shortly after it was Ebbinge again on the scoresheet. A quick counter and throw in left the away side short at the back and Waine placed the ball into the path of Ebbinge who tapped it in to double the home side’s lead.
Wellington Phoenix Reserves dominated possession throughout the first half only to come undone right before half time. Canterbury United hit Phoenix on the counter, and despite a great last ditch challenge from Ebbinge, Hoyle managed to finish past Oli Sail to cut the lead by half.
Canterbury came out fighting in the second half and began to take back more of the possession that Phoenix enjoyed in the first half.
A promising attack from the away side led to a corner being delivered into the box and Tom Schwartz jumped highest to send the ball looping over Sail and in for the equaliser.
Late in the second half and Canterbury destroyed Phoenix’s hopes of their first point of the season. Canterbury countered yet again and this time Adam Thurston was the one to curl his effort beyond Sail to complete the comeback and ensure all three points headed back to Christchurch.