WEEKEND WRAP | 12 JULY
After dominating last year, the Girls Conference League teams kicked off their season with a trip to Norwest to take on Hills United. The Girls teams have seen some significant changes with lots of new faces.
14 GIRLS (LOST 3-4)
A humid morning at Bella Vista Public school played host to an entertaining if not frustrating return to football for the South Coast Flame.
A delayed kick off saw the Flame girls get off to a sluggish start. Hills capitalised on this slow start and found themselves 2-0 up a quarter of the way through the match. The Flame began to find their way and had a strong period which saw them find a goal through Emily Donkin, though the joy was short lived as Hills managed to scrape a goal right on the stroke of half time.
The break and half time discussion seemed to revitalise the South Coast girls as they came out of the gates firing, they were largely dominant for the opening exchanges in the second half and an expertly placed Melody Pierags freekick gave the hosts something to worry about. But on a day where things just would not go the way of the Flame, Hills immediately restored their 2-goal advantage with a free kick of their own. With 5 minutes to play, Alivia Beath found herself one-on-one with the Hills goalkeeper and finished with finesse however it proved to be too little too late as Hills held on to claim a 4-3 victory.
Player of the Week: Melody Pierags
Melody had a strong week in training leading by example. The Flame captain took an opportunity to work on set pieces and freekicks before training throughout the week and was rewarded for her efforts with a well taken freekick to bring the girls back into the game on the weekend.
15 GIRLS (WON 3-2)
Hills FC started the stronger and took full advantage as they punished Flame for poor defending on a corner to take the lead inside 10 minutes. Flame slowly integrated themselves into the game, having good spells of possession and begun to find sharp passing combinations in the opposition’s half but with no end product. However, some nervous moments on the edge of the Flame penalty area when trying to play out from the back gave the hosts more confidence and pinned Flame in their own half.
Against the run of play, Bethany Horton chased down a pass-back to the Hills goalkeeper, stealing the ball off her and scoring into an open net to make it 1-1.
Moments before half time, when again, over-playing from a Flame goal kick, Kellie McIntyre put her body on the line in a goal saving challenge that unfortunately resulted in her injuring her knee and taking no further part in the game.
The second half began much like the first with Hills FC applying the high press and Flame struggling to get out of their own penalty area. Not learning from earlier mistakes and over-playing from a goal kick again, saw an attempted clearance cannon into the oncoming Hills FC striker and into the goal to give the hosts a well-deserved 2-1 lead.
The next chapter of the half was a truly scrappy and physical part of the game where players really stood up and took responsibility, helping their teammates. Some rugged defending from Isabella and Sienna saw off some good Hills FC chances, whilst the devastating pace and trickery from Lauren Brooks and Annabel Suthers up front was causing all sorts of problems for the Hills defence.
Flame’s persistence paid off as Lauren Brooks collected a through ball, turned the Hills defender and goalkeeper inside-out, scoring into an open net to make it 2-2.
Minutes later, Lauren was at it again, this time receiving the ball with her back to goal, she rolled her defender on the edge of the penalty area, and shot, finding the bottom corner to give Flame a 3-2 lead with five minutes remaining, which they saw out to win.
By far, not the best performance by the girls, but a game where they showed determination, resilience, and character to get the win. Lots of things to learn from this game as we move onto a strong Camden Tigers opposition next week at home. We wish Kelly McIntrye a speedy recovery and hope that things are not as bad as they first appeared.
Player of the Week: Bethany Horton
Bethany has been learning to play a new position to last year and has been progressing in leaps and bounds. Her determination to not give up against Hills was a highlight of her performance as well as filling in at CB when needed.
17 GIRLS (WON 3-0)
- No report provided