Football: Milly Clegg double fires Wellington Phoenix past Adelaide United to keep hopes of avoiding wooden spoon alive

Wellington Phoenix have taken a large step towards avoiding the A-League Women's wooden spoon, defeating Adelaide United 3-1 on Tuesday.

A double to 17-year-old Milly Clegg - celebrating her maiden Football Ferns call-up earlier in the day - was enough to power the Phoenix past Adelaide, and close the gap at the bottom of the table to two points behind Newcastle Jets.

Skipper Chloe Knott opened the scoring in the 19th minute, turning the ball into Adelaide's net from a corner, only for United to hit back straight away through Fiona Worts.

But while it took until deep in the second half for either side to find the next goal, Clegg took the game by the scruff of the neck. 

In the 75th minute, a pass through Adelaide's defence saw Clegg round goalkeeper Annalee Grove, and fire into an empty net to put the Phoenix 2-1 up.

And as Adelaide pushed forward for an equaliser, Clegg sealed the win in the seventh minute of stoppage time, when a deflection left Grove stranded to complete the victory. 

"She's riding a bit of a high," coach Natalie Lawrence said of Clegg. 

"It's been a really good season for her. She's kept herself grounded...and today she showed what she can offer.

"While she's young and the Ferns will be a big step up for her, she's got something that's different. 

"I'm really excited to see how she gets on."

Tuesday's win keeps the Phoenix's hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon in their own hands.

Should Lawrence's side overcome fourth-placed Melbourne Victory on Saturday, and Newcastle Jets drop points away to second-placed Sydney FC, the Phoenix will leapfrog their opposition into 10th on the ladder.