NOT THE START WE WANTED
It was a nightmare start to the 2019 season for the South Coast Flame, as they were defeated 7-0 by the Western Condors in their first competitive match at the newly re-developed Ian McLennan Park. Hat-tricks and glimpses of brilliance from both Cristian Martinez and Swaray Taylor-Kamara inspired the away side towards a dominant victory. Both our youth sides secured draws in the previous games, with our U/18’s snatching a 2-2 draw, whilst our U/20’s fought against the odds to secure a 1-1 draw.
Western Condors meant business right from the first whistle, and it showed when they quickly took the lead in just the 2nd minute through Swaray Taylor-Kamara. Cristian Martinez added his name to the scoresheet just minutes later, with a breathtaking volley from outside the 18-yardbox.
South Coast were immediately on the back-foot, and couldn’t settle into any sort of rhythm. After surviving a barrage of attacks, South Coast managed to progress forward through their striker – Louis Connell. In the 16th minute, Connell managed to give himself enough time on the ball to have a shot just inside the 18-yard-box – which narrowly missed the left hand side of the goal. In a game which started so badly, Connell was still positive moving forward.
Just when South Coast thought they were settling into the game, disaster struck again in the 20th minute. Kamara was able to beat South Coast’s offside trap, which saw him one-on-one with Matthew White. White saved Kamara’s initial shot before the striker finished off the rebound.
Condors extended their lead to 4-0, after Gabriel Gomes struck a fantastic free kick from just outside the 18-yard-box. Gomes’ strike slightly glanced the bottom of the crossbar and nestled into the back of the net.
South Coast were hanging on for dear life. A couple of last-ditch efforts from South Coast ensured the first-half scoreline didn’t increase by even more. In the 44th minute, a fantastic link up between Kamara and Martinez had their striker with a clear shot on goal – which was miraculously blocked by a full-stretched Alex Boardman.
South Coast’s nightmare first half was capped off by Kamara yet again, as the striker completed his hat-trick in stoppage time. A miscued defensive clearance from South Coast fell right to the Condors’ lurking striker, who met the ball with a vigorous strike that nestled into the net.
South Coast went into the sheds down 5-0, and the game merely seemed out of reach. South Coast made a pair of substitutions at half time in hope of clawing the game back, but those hopes were dashed in the 56th minute as Martinez grabbed his second goal of the night. A cheap turn-over of possession from the Flame’s midfield was punished as a through ball straight to Martinez followed – which was neatly finished by the Condors’ Number 10.
South Coast’s defence was turned inside out by Martinez and Kamara in the 60th minute, where the tricky duo managed to weave their way through the Flame’s defence to the point where Martinez flicked the ball over the keeper and sealed his hat-trick.
Flame managed to create a couple of chances in the coming minutes. Several crosses from Seiya Oba bothered the Condors’ defence, however nothing resulted of these chances in the end.
As the game drew to a close, South Coast were awarded a penalty for a handball after it struck the hand of a Condors defender. Unfortunately, the penalty struck by the normally reliable Matthew Mazevski bounced off the post and out of the danger zone – aptly summing up South Coast’s night.
The full time whistle blew shortly after ending the miserable evening.
After the match, a dejected Matthew White admitted that tonight was a low-light for the squad, and that the side has a lot of work to do to improve. “We just didn’t show up tonight, things didn’t go our way. We’re lucky that its the first game of the season and that there’s plenty of time to work on what we need to and we’ll hit the training paddock on Monday and come back stronger”.
South Coast need to re-group before their FFA Cup match on Wednesday the 27th of March when they take on local premier league side – Fernhill Foxes. Kick off is 6:30pm at Ian McLennan Park.
Our U/20 squad managed to grab a point in the earlier game, where they drew 1-1. Young starlet Preston Ridley gave the home side the lead after a brilliant combination with Sebastian Arancibia. South Coast were reduced to 10-men early in the second half when Jarrod Pollard was shown a straight-red. Flame managed to hold on to earn a point, in a game where they could’ve snatched a winner.
Our U/18’s started the day with a 2-2 draw. After conceding two early goals in the first half, South Coast were able to claw their way back into the contest through Fabian Zapata and Jonathan Mushaba – however the side had to settle for a draw.
South Coast Flame will take on FC Gazy Auburn next Sunday the 30th of March, at Progress Park in Auburn. Kick off is 3pm for First Grade, whilst the U/20’s kick off at 1pm and the U/18’s kick off at 11am.
South Coast Flame vs Western Condors, 23rd March 2019, Ian McLennan Park
SOUTH COAST FLAME: Matthew White, Alex Boardman, Andrew Bova, Louis Connell, Caleb Grace (Vicoroski), Yuki Mandai (Christie), Matthew Mazevski, Seiya Oba, Jayden Smileski, Justin Smith, Wade Wilton (Lucas)
Substitutes: Andrew Christie, Mohamed Krishban, Daniel Lucas, Johnny Vicoroski, Jayden Nikolovski
WESTERN CONDORS: Alejandro Arregin, Gabriel Gomes, Kaito Ikarimoto, Kizyala Kiemo, Cristian Gerardo Leiva Martinez, Jake Jose Mendes, David Moreira Muller, Joshua Obeng, Jay Takahashi, Hikaru Takase, Swaray Taylor Kamara
Substitutes: Revedacs Adonteng, Oleg Baronov, Samuel Jirjis, Genki Takatera, Mina Youssef
Report written by Jarrod Pollard