FLAME CLAIM FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON
South Coast Flame finished off a positive week by defeating FC Gazy Auburn 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. Dominic Esoghume gave Gazy Auburn the lead in the 18th minute before the Flame asserted their dominance and notched up their first win of the season. Our youth sides claimed important wins, with our U/18’s comfortably winning 5-0 and our U/20’s winning 1-0 after a very nervous match.
In what was a very scrappy start to the match, neither side was able to settle into a rhythm as both teams cheaply gave away possession in the opening minutes.
Flame’s first chance of the match came through Louis Connell, after the striker used his lightning speed to attack down Auburn’s right-side. The cross that followed was met by the head of an Auburn defender.
Gazy Auburn took the lead in the 18th minute through Esoghume. A corner from Auburn was not dealt with properly by the Flame’s defence, and the cross that followed was met by the head of Esoghume.
Following the opening goal, Connell continued to threaten Gazy’s defence as he viciously attacked Auburn’s by-line. The cross that followed this attacking movement was destined for Caleb Grace, until the cross was cleared by Auburn’s defence.
Flame looked to break Gazy’s defence through Hiroaki Ushijima and Seiya Oba. The Japanese duo asked questions of Auburn’s defence – however couldn’t take their chances.
South Coast pushed for their first goal of the match, however the side continued to cheaply give away possession at crucial times particularly in the last third and were kept goalless
Gazy looked to add to their tally as the half progressed. In the 35th minute, Esoghume picked up the ball on the edge of the Flame’s penalty box and was allowed time and space to turn and shoot. The shot that followed sailed over the bar.
South Coast were awarded a penalty in the 44th minute, when Ushijima was fouled in the penalty box after a dangerous run with the ball. The penalty that followed was struck viciously by Matthew Mazevski, which left Auburn’s keeper with no chance of saving the shot.
Both sides went into the sheds at half-time with a goal each.
The second half started in a less frantic fashion than the first half, but the Flame continued to push for their second. In the 53rd minute, Oba was able to give himself enough space to cross the ball from the left wing. Oba’s cross narrowly missed Connell and went out for a goal-kick.
The Flame finally took the lead in the 61st minute through substitute Yuki Mandai. Both Oba and Grace chased down the ball to keep it in the field of play, allowing Mandai to slot the ball underneath the keeper.
Just several minutes later, the Flame scored their third goal through the dangerous Ushijima. Andrew Christie was able to slot a pass through to Ushijima, who beat the keeper at the near post to extend South Coast’s lead.
The Flame looked to extend their lead as the second-half progressed and looked to utilise the creativity of Mazevski to create more chances. At times, Mazevski turned Auburn’s defence inside-out with his dazzling footwork as the Flame pushed for a fourth.
Mandai looked to make an impact from the bench as the game drew to a close. In the 85th minute, Mandai cut the ball from the right-wing onto his left foot. The curling shot that followed sailed over the bar.
Mandai’s shot would be the last true chance of the match, as South Coast notched up their first win of the 2019 FNSW State League.
After the match, South Coast’s Captain Matthew White was delighted with a clean-sweep of wins across all grades – and hopes that these positive results will continue going forward.
“It was really good to get 3 points across all three grades today. First grade really turned it around from last week after getting that win in the FFA Cup and continuing on today – getting that 3-1 win against Gazy. I’m really proud of the boys”.
Our U/20 side won their first game of the season, after defeating Gazy Auburn 1-0 in an extremely tense fixture. South Coast’s performance wasn’t up to standard, however the side’s resilience proved crucial as they snatched a late winner. Abdullah Al Okla scored the winner for the Flame, after some brilliant attacking football from Jarrod Shelton.
Our U/18 squad had a comfortable 5-0 win in the earliest game, which started off the day in the best possible fashion. A hat-trick to Jonathan Mushaba along with goals from Ryan Chard and Michael Sitnikoski capped off an emphatic win for the Flame.
South Coast face a huge test across all three grades next weekend, as they host State League heavyweights Nepean FC at Ian McLennan Park. U/18’s kick off at 3pm, U/20’s kick off at 5pm and First Grade kick off at 7pm.
Sunday 31 March 2019 @ Ian McLennan Park – 3.00pm
South Coast Flame – 3 (Mazevski 44′, Mandai 62′, Ushijima 69′)
FC Gazy Auburn – 1 (Esoghume 18′)
Report by Jarrod Pollard