Hawkesby hat-trick leads Sydney ALW rout

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  • Rachel Lowe
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Sydney FC have thumped Wellington Phoenix 5-0 to tighten their grip on top spot in the A-League Women, with Wollongong local Mackenzie Hawkesby scoring a first-half hat-trick at WIN Stadium.

Rachel Lowe struck in the fourth minute, with Hawkesby's three goals and Cortnee Vine's 38th-minute effort wrapping up three points against the winless Phoenix before half-time.

"Another clean sheet, that's four, and I'm very happy not to concede again," coach Ante Juric told Paramount+.

"We aren't close to our best, we are about 60 per cent and we haven't been outstanding yet so we've got room for improvement."

Juric also turned to his bench in the second half, hinting he was preparing to lose some players, though maybe not as many as he would have liked, to Matildas selection in January.

"There's players I know should be there but I don't think they're gonna get selected," he said.

"People like Remy (Siemsen) are obviously on their (the Matildas') radar and maybe (Jessika) Nash is on their radar, but I'm not sure to be honest.

"After today you'd take Mackenzie Hawkesby, wouldn't you, but I don't think she's in their plans."

Sydney quickly seized dominance when Lowe pounced on a poor defensive clearance and fizzed a delightful half-volley past Lily Alfeld.

The Sky Blues doubled their lead from the spot after Princess Ibini was fouled off the ball in the 13th minute and Hawkesby coolly buried the penalty.

"It was a nothing call, it didn't really feel like we had anything going for us in that realm to be honest," Wellington coach Gemma Lewis said.

"It felt like the odds were stacked against us and we didn't really have much go our way at all and I think that penalty seemed really harsh."

In the 29th, Nash sent a long throw into the path of an unchecked Siemsen, who coolly squared the ball to the back post for Hawkesby to tap home.

For Sydney's fourth, Siemsen found Vine out wide and the winger brushed off Saskia Vosper and coolly finished on the angle.

In the 44th minute, Ibini released Siemsen, who centred the ball for Hawkesby to complete her hat-trick.

Wellington kept Sydney goalless in the second half, even despite finishing the game with 10 players amid a groin injury to Vosper.

Sydney skipper Natalie Tobin was substituted in the 71st minute after injuring her ankle in a challenge.

Lewis, who backed the same starting XI for a third consecutive game, conceded potentially she should have rotated her squad rather than focusing on recovery.

"It just felt like we were pretty soft, pretty passive, pretty lethargic," she said.

"It's one of those where again, that maturity and consistency, we're just not necessarily finding it.

"We tend to have a good performance and then the next game is normally night and day."

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