Phoenix and HBU claim wins

Logan Rogerson of the Phoenix U-20 dribbles into the penalty box. Wellington Phoenix U-20 vs Hamilton Wanderers, Stirling Sports Premiership, FMG Stadium, Waikato, New Zealand. 10 December 2016. © Copyright Image:

The Wellington Phoenix U-20s and Hawke’s Bay United have underlined their credentials after recording wins in round eight of the Stirling Sports Premiership today.

A dominant second half from the young Phoenix side saw them defeat Hamilton Wanderers 4-0 at FMG Stadium in Hamilton thanks to a double from Ruari Cahill-Fleury and late goals from Max Mata and Alex Rufer.

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Andy Hedge, the Wellington Phoenix U-20 coach, was pleased with his side’s strong finish as they climbed the ladder to level with four other teams on 13 points but in fifth place on goal difference.

“We are really pleased with the result but more so with the performance,” said Hedge. “On the back of last week’s performance [loss to Hawke’s Bay United] where we weren’t as good as we should have been the attitude today was first class right from the first minute. We are over the moon really.”

Cahill-Fleury, an 18-year-old centre forward, missed a good chance early in the first half but rallied in the wet conditions to net twice in the second half.

Logan Rogerson, who came to life in the second half to be the game’s outstanding individual, set up the first goal with a pinpoint cross which Cahill-Fleury tapped home for a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute.

Logan Rogerson of the Phoenix U-20 in action. Wellington Phoenix U-20 vs Hamilton Wanderers, Stirling Sports Premiership, FMG Stadium, Waikato, New Zealand. 10 December 2016. © Copyright Image:

Logan Rogerson of the Phoenix U-20 in action. Wellington Phoenix U-20 vs Hamilton Wanderers, Stirling Sports Premiership, FMG Stadium, Waikato, New Zealand. 10 December 2016. © Copyright Image:

“[Logan] was outstanding,” said Hedge. “He was enjoying himself and playing with a smile on his face. The only thing he didn’t get today was a goal which he deserved. He created two and was superb.”

Rogerson continued to cause Wanderers all sorts of problems in the midfield and Cahill-Fleury found space in the box and hammered home for his third goal of the season.

Godwin Darkwa, one of the heroes of Birkenhead’s historic Chatham Cup win, created the best chance for Wanderers late in the match with a weaving run but he was denied by Phoenix keeper Lewis Italiano.

The Phoenix finished like they had a point to prove with Mata coming off the bench to make the most of a mistake from Mark Evans and Rufer slotted home a penalty in injury time to earn the Phoenix their fourth win of the season.

Earlier in the day at Peter Johnstone Park in Mosgiel, Southern United were looking for their first win of the Stirling Sports Premiership. They dominated Hawke’s Bay United in almost every facet apart from the scoreboard as they went down 3-0.

The hosts had 20 shots on goal to Hawke’s Bay’s three in the first half but it was the visitors who took a 2-0 lead into the break after some superb work from keeper Joshua Hill and expert finishing on the counterattack.

“We were clinical at both ends of the pitch,” said Hawke’s Bay United coach Brett Angell. “Our keeper was superb and we were clinical at the top end where we managed to put the opportunities we created away. The most important thing today was the result. Our performance was not as strong as I would have liked it, but we got what we came for in the three points.”

Southern United coach Paul O’Reilly could not hide his disappointment as his team lost their seventh game from eight matches.

“You can look at the positives but to be honest with you it is getting frustrating,” he said. “We are making mistakes and conceding shockingly poor goals that nobody else in the league concedes at the moment. Until we stop doing that we will keep missing out on the points.”

Hawke’s Bay United’s Samuel Mason-Smith looked likely to open the scoring in the 13th minute when he broke on the counter but his effort was cleared off the line.

The semi-finalists from last season were not to be denied as Angus Kilkolly finished on another counter four minutes later to score the opener and his second goal of the season.

Five minutes later and Andrew Ridden blasted powerful drive from 25 metres out which drew and incredible save from Hill to keep a clean sheet.

Southern kept coming and Andrew Mulligan’s shot was saved in the 31st minute only for Hawke’s Bay United to catch them short on the counterattack once again. They streamed downfield and Mason-Smith made the most of the space to slot home. Southern went into the sheds 2-0 down after they failed to make the most of a strong wind advantage and a plethora of goal scoring chances.

Both teams had their chances after the break, with Danny Furlong and Daniel Ledwith missing chances to keep Southern in the contest.

Hawke’s Bay finished the game off with Mason-Smith adding his second in the final few moments again on the counterattack to complete a clinical performance from limited chances.

Round eight of the Stirling Sports Premiership concludes tomorrow when Canterbury United host early frontrunners Eastern Suburbs and Tasman United will look for their first home win when they host defending champions Team Wellington.

Stirling Sports Premiership Round 8 Results
Wellington Phoenix U-20 4 (Ruari Cahill-Fleury 57’, 72’, Max Mata 88’, Alex Rufer (pen) 90’+2’) Hamilton Wanderers 0
HT 0-0

Southern United 0 Hawke’s Bay United 3 (Angus Kilkolly 17’, Samuel Mason-Smith 31’, 89’)
HT 0-2


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