FLAME REMAIN UNDEFEATED
In cold and windy conditions, South Coast Flame and Parramatta Eagles fought out a 2-2 draw at Ian McLennan Park on Saturday afternoon. Ali Dulleh opened the scoring for Parramatta before goals to Justin Smith and a Matt Mazevski penalty put Flame back on top. Clement Ebahece Waoci though rescued the visitors a point with the equaliser.
The strong wind was always going to play a part in this game, and it was the home side that had that advantage in the first half. Flame having good spells of early possession as Parramatta struggled to adapt to the conditions.
On nine minutes, Flame had their first opportunity. A darting run by Sandy Lowcock down the left saw him square the ball across goal to the awaiting Jonathan Mushaba however the cross fell just in behind the young striker and the chance went begging.
Just five minutes later, a Mazevski freekick from 25 yards out had Parramatta shot-stopper Nikola Bratic scrambling however, the ball grazed the wrong side of the cross bar.
Flame were really piling on the pressure and on 16 minutes, they should perhaps have gone ahead. Lowcock was looking menacing and he weaved past two defenders and made his way into the box however his shot strayed inches wide with the goal at his mercy. A head in your hand’s moment for Flame.
They were made to regret that miss as just two minutes later with effectively their first raid, Parramatta managed to score. Christopher Godoy Bascur let loose a shot from the right edge of the penalty area which was well saved by Matt White however Ali Dulleh was on hand to tap into an empty net as Flame looked on. It was the first goal Flame had conceded this season and it was totally against the run of play.
This did not deter Flame as they continued their barrage on the Parramatta goal. On 26 minutes, Flame had a succession of corners as the Eagles were hanging in. A wicked corner from Smith saw Lowcock free on the far post but the wind carried the ball inches past his outstretched foot.
Flame were finally rewarded for their persistence on the half hour. Another corner from Smith was whipped in with pace and the ball seemed to take a deflection off a defender as it sailed into the roof of the net. Smith was awarded the goal and to be fair, the goal was coming, and it was definitely deserved at that point.
Just ten minutes later and with Flame still on top, Lowcock again weaved his way through the Parramatta defence before being brought down inside the penalty area. Up stepped Mazevski who converted despite tearing a boot in the process. The goal putting Flame 2-1 up at the break.
Just three minutes into the second half, some good work by Alex Pappas down the right saw him cross the ball however Bratic got down well to save with Mushaba lurking on the far post.
On 51 minutes, Parramatta’s Gabriel Gomes tried his luck from range however his powerful shot went straight to White.
Parramatta were enjoying a good spell of possession and their front men were now starting to get in some nice combinations that were threatening. White forced to smother a couple of balls played in behind Flame’s central pairing of Kasey Kulcsar and Carlo Stella.
The visitors managed to get one of these combinations spot on 62 minutes. Simon Ly and Ali Dulleh combined to put Ebahece Waoci through on goal. He neatly tucked the ball past White into the bottom left corner to draw the teams level.
On 74 minutes, Lowcock used his strength and agility to get through two defenders down the right. He appeared to be taken out just inside the box however the officials ruled it outside in a let off for the visitors.
Both teams were pushing for a winner and things got a little heated at times as neither side appeared content for a point.
Despite both teams looking for the winner, the closest anyone got was a late strike from Smith from just outside the box stinging the hands of Bratic who kept it out.
In the end, no further score was added and the draw perhaps favoured Flame slightly as they kept their unbeaten run going retaining fourth spot whilst Parramatta remained two points behind in sixth.
Flame Captain and Goalkeeper Matt White was left lamenting what could have been.
We need to be more clinical in front of goal. Had we taken a couple more of our chances in the first half, we would have made it really difficult for Parramatta to find a way back. Unfortunately, two lapses in concentration gave Parramatta their goals. It was however great to see Matty (Mazevski) get on the scoresheet in his 50th First Grade game for the Club.
Coach George Kulcsar was also left a little disappointed at the missed opportunities.
Despite playing against a decent football side, I am disappointed that we conceded two soft goals as a defensive organisation. This has been our strength and we should have perhaps closed the game out at 2-1 up. Our off the ball movement was significantly better than last week and a more composed approach in front of goal should have resulted in a comfortable victory.
Kulcsar did however find draw some positives from the match.
The introduction and performance of more Under 20 players plus the fact that we continued our unbeaten run certainly outweighs the negatives.
Shout out to teenager Luke Paull who made his starting debut for the club this week.
In the earlier game, a late goal to Lachlan Morgan secured a 1-0 win for Flame and keeps the boys in contention for their first playoff opportunity.
Round 6 | Saturday 22 August 2020 @ Ian McLennan Park
South Coast Flame – 2 (Smith 30’, Mazevski 40’ pen.)
Parramatta Eagles – 2 (Dulleh 18’, Ebahece Waoci 62’)
SOUTH COAST FLAME: 1. WHITE, Matthew, 25. DOWLING, Joel, 15. KULCSAR, Kasey, 7. LOWCOCK, Sandy, 4. LUCAS, Daniel, 30. MUSHABA, Jonathan, 13. PAPPAS, Alex, 6. SMITH, Justin, 10. MAZEVSKI, Matt, 5. STELLA, Carlo, 33. PAULL, Luke.
Substitutes: 34. RIDLEY, Preston, 9. CONNELL, Louis, 11. USHIJIMA, Hiroaki, 29. MORGAN, Lachlan.
PARRAMATTA EAGLES: 1. BRATIC, Nikola, 37. DULLEH, Ali, 11. EBAHECE WAOCI, Clement, 12. FRIDAY, Friday, 8. GODOY BASCUR, Christopher, 4. GOMES, Gabriel, 2. GORIA, Ramiz, 18. LY, Simon, 15. MARTINOVIC, Martin, 3. NICOLAU, Jamie, 6. MASUDI, Elongo.
Substitutes: 28. JALLOH, Mohamedalie, 20. SENIOR, Jake, 51. DAHN, Bulut, 32. JAYEE, Ali, 13. ADELOO, Leonardo.
Report for South Coast Flame | @SCFlameFC
Photo courtesy Pedro Garcia