WEEKEND WRAP | 1 AUGUST
The boy’s teams have adapted really quickly and well to life in NPL2 Youth which is a step up from the AYL. Opponents this week, Rydalmere Lions were NPL1 Youth last year and the competitive spirit our boys showed this week shows that as a club, we are setting a high benchmark. Three wins and two narrow loses was the outcome this week.
Let’s get into the match reviews.
13 BOYS (WON 2-0)
Another home game this weekend and it was a tough start with the opposition applying high pressure against us and creating some chances. We had patches of good football as well in the first half and took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Start of the second half, we started to assert ourselves and control the tempo of match. Once again, throughout the match, chances were created but the finishing touch was missing. Eventually scoring a second to grind out a 2-0 victory.
Player of the Week: Euan Williams
Excellent week at training with a fine match day performance.
14 BOYS (LOST 0-1)
There’s no easy games in NPL football, and this was certainly the case this weekend as the boys took on second placed Rydalmere Lions.
It was immediately noticeable from kick off that the Rydalmere team were going to be a tough opposition, pressing hard and high to really limit the Flame’s decision-making time. That said, as the Flame have shown through the season, the early stages of the first half were pretty even and whilst at times the high pressing game of the Lions forced a few errors, it was showing signs of being a close match.
Midway through the first half, Rydalmere’s press and intensity was rewarded when an unmarked player was allowed enough time to drill one past our stand in keeper to make it 1:0 to the Lions. The remainder of first half played out in similar fashion with limited shots on goal from both teams.
The second half started off in similar vein, with the flame certainly not taking a backward step in enthusiasm. Early in the second half, Flame were dealt a crucial blow having had a player dismissed for what was deemed a last man challenge. Being a man down put the boys on the back foot, however not long after, we were reduced to none after another line ball decision went against the team.
This required some serious reshuffling of formation and the reality of playing a quality opposition with nine players was always a difficult ask. The Lions were good enough to hold possession however to the Flame boys’ credit, they kept them scoreless in the second half. All things considered, a pretty gutsy display.
Some valuable lessons learnt against quality opposition this week will give the boys a good understanding of how they need to adjust against the better sides in the competition. Bring on next week.
Player of the Week: Harry Allman
Stepped up from the 13’s to play out of position as goal-keeper and did a great job.
15 BOYS (LOST 1-2)
As the boys looked to continue their great run of form, we had a great start to the game with the boys pressing high and fast giving Rydalmere no time to get into the game.
It didn’t take long for us to open the scoring when in the 6th minute Noah Durante was brought down in the box after some nice build up play. Zac Birch stepped up to convert a very well-placed penalty.
It wasn’t long after we went one up that Rydalmere started to get back in the game with both teams going at each other end to end. As we went in at halftime 1-0 up, the boys knew we were in for a tough battle come the second half.
That it was with the boys working hard to stop an incredibly determined Rydalmere. It wasn’t until the last 11 minutes of play that Rydalmere scored from a penalty and then the killer blow and match winning goal in the last two minutes ending any chance of us getting something out of the game.
In the end, we definitely deserved to get something out of the game but it wasn’t to be. There was a lot of positives and a lot of learnings to be taken away as we look to regroup and bounce back next week.
Player of the week: Ryan Thompson
An unforgiving defensive performance as well as his strong leadership on the field showing how to lead by example in his actions. Well done Ryan.
16 BOYS (WON 1-0)
This week we welcomed Rydalmere Lions to the Fire Pit. The game started off as a very even game with only one shot in the first 15 minutes.
Our boys played some good football but allowed the Lions opportunities to penetrate forward by giving the ball away cheaply too often. The game remained fairly even throughout the first half, but we were able to capitalise on a set piece by Danny Merola and a finish to Liam Marsden.
The second half was a similar even battle with both teams looking on top at times with our boys creating two great opportunities and Mathew Gazivoda making some great saves at the other end. With 10 minutes to go, Rydalmere were throwing a lot forward but with great character and resilience, our boys were able to hold them out and walk away 1-0 winners.
Player of the week: Julian De Freitas
Work ethic and positivity.
18 BOYS (WON 6-1)
After the disappointment from last week’s loss to Granville, we were desperate to win.
From the whistle it was the visitors though who were in control pushing the Flame deep in our half. Rydalmere were creating a number of opportunities early and if it weren’t for our scrambling defence, our outstanding keeper and their inability to find the back of the net, we could have found ourselves at least two down.
The Flame were growing into the game as the first half wore on. On 43 minutes, we got the breakthrough. A corner was taken, the ball was meet from Ryan Chard and he glanced his header across the keeper to find the back of the net. Just a minute later though, Rydalmere found an equaliser courtesy of an error from the back four. All square at half time.
The second half was a totally different Flame side. We were in control of the ball and were creating opportunities at will. We didn’t have to wait long for our second. It was Ryan Chard to put us 2-1 up.
Flame looked like a side that was after more goals and 12 minutes later, Chard got his hat trick. But Chard was not finished there, he got his fourth two minutes later from a direct ball from our keeper. Chard won the race to the ball and with the Rydalmere keeper coming out, Chard chipped the keeper to make it 4 -1.
Flame were now on fire and were after more goals. The fifth came from a great cross from the right side and Corey Burling jumped above their defence to head home.
Right on full time, a free kick near the touch line found Hasan Ayoub who let fly with a wonderful shot on goal leaving the keeper helpless and rounding out the scoring 6-1.
It was a win that Flame need, congratulations to Ryan Chard on his feast of goals. We are back in action on Wednesday night against Stanmore.