5 Feb 2024

Wellington Phoenix go down 3-2 to Newcastle Jets

8:43 am on 5 February 2024
Goalkeeper Brianna Edwards of Wellington Phoenix

Goalkeeper Brianna Edwards of Wellington Phoenix Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Wellington Phoenix missed a rare opportunity to claim back-to-back A-League wins in a 3-2 loss to the Newcastle Jets.

The Phoenix were off to the best possible start in Newcastle when Mariana Speckmaier put the Welllington side in front 1-0 inside the first five minutes.

Newcastle fullback Zoe Karipidis levelled in the 33rd minute as she drove a ball into the Phoenix box from 35 yards out looking for Sarina Bolden, but it evaded the Philippines striker and everyone else and bounced into Wellington's net.

The Jets took a 2-1 lead five minutes into the second half when Elizabeth Copus-Brown smashed home Newcastle's second goal in off the crossbar with a thunderous strike.

Moments later Isabel Cox drew Wellington level when she was slipped in behind by Macey Fraser, rounded the goalkeeper and cooly finished into the unguarded net.

Sarina Bolden put the Jets back in front midway through the second half with another top drawer finish to seal the advantage in the five-goal thriller.

Phoenix coach Paul Temple said his goalkeeper Brianna Edwards put in a standout performance.

"It's really hard to take for Bri because she made some great saves in the game," Temple said.

"But they hit two absolute screamers. It's so demoralising, not just for Bri [Brianna] but for the team, when you see those goals go in."

The defeat is Wellington's eighth this season, all by a one-goal margin, and sees the Phoenix slip to ninth on the ladder, a point behind the Jets, but just two points off the top six.

"As frustrating as it is, it's part of football and building a new team," said Temple of his ninth-placed side.

Temple made three changes to the XI which started last Sunday's win over Canberra United, with Football Ferns Mackenzie Barry and Michaela Foster returning from injury in place of the injured Rebecca Lake and Hope Breslin, who moved to the bench, while Edwards replaced the suspended Rylee Foster in goal.

The Wellington Phoenix have a fortnight to prepare for their next match against Western United with their round 16 fixture against Adelaide United postponed to next month due to the Football Ferns' Olympic qualifiers in Samoa, on Wednesday.