SOUTH COAST SETTLE FOR DEADLOCK WITH CONDORS
South Coast Flame returned to Chopin Park to face the Western Condors on Saturday evening, in a match where a winner could not be found – and the sides had to settle for a 2-2 draw. A Matthew Mazevski double was enough for the Flame to steal the points after the Condors lead twice – thanks to goals from Chun Him Yau and Jake Jose Mendes.
It was the third meeting between the two clubs in 2019. The Condors triumphed 2-1 in their FFA Cup clash and 7-0 in their Round 1 fixture – although South Coast have been awarded the points for the league fixture after the Condors fielded an ineligible player.
The trip to Chopin Park is considered one of the toughest away trips on the calendar, and the Condors nearly made the trip even tougher as Yau nearly had an opener in the 6th minute, but a timely intervention from Jayden Smileski saved the Flame.
Yau opened the scoring in the 11th minute after he was able to connect with a loose ball off a corner, and head the ball Ito the back of the net.
The Condors looked to threaten the Flame goal following the opening goal, but couldn’t find a second.
Mazevski equalised for the Flame in the 27th minute after he thundered the ball into the bottom right corner, after picking up the ball on the edge of the box
The game was well in the balance, as both sides had good attacking chances, but neither side was able to break the deadlock.
Mazevski would threaten the Condors again in the 38th minute, after firing yet another dangerous shot towards the Condors’ goal – however the shot was blocked before it was able to test Brayden Brennan.
The Condors had their second of the evening in the 52nd minute, after Mendes and Cristian Martinez were able to counter-attack after a cheap loss of possession by South Coast. Mendes was able to finish the ball into the bottom-right corner and give the Condors the lead for the second time in the match.
Martinez continued to threaten down the Condors’ right wing, but to his credit – Smileski was able to contain the dangerous attacker who has a habit of scoring goals.
The Flame continued to lose the ball frequently as a whole, which allowed for the Condors to threaten for a third goal.
South Coast’s prayers were answered in the 76th minute after they were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box. Mazevski was able to convert the penalty – as he usually does – to level the scores.
Both sides pressured for a winner, and continued to attack each other – however neither side found a winner as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Club Captain Matthew White was happy with how the team handled one of the toughest road-trips in the State League, and acknowledged the change that the Flame has experienced since their encounter in Round 1.
“Chopin Park is always a difficult place to play at – the facility is very different to ours at Ian McLennan Park. We were definitely up for the challenge though, the team handled the situation very well” White said.
“The two previous encounters with the Condors were not ideal for us. The massive change between our game this time around and the previous ones is the physicality we brought to the game and the ability to grind out the game to at least get a point. Saturday night just showed football is not always pretty.” White added.
The first-grade side still sit in third place on 18 points.
Our youth squads enjoyed success in the earlier matches, with the U/18’s winning 3-1 and the U/20’s winning 2-1. The U/18’s have broken into the top five, currently sitting fifth on 18 points. Our U/20’s are on equal points with 5th place UNSW, however have an inferior goal-difference – but only by one goal.
The club as a whole sits in third-spot in the club championship, behind Fraser Park and Central Coast United.
South Coast make another road-trip to Western Sydney next Sunday, the 16th of June – as they travel to FC Gazy Auburn. U/18’s kick off at 11am, U/20’s kick off at 1pm and First Grade kick-off at 3pm.
Report by Jarrod Pollard