After having had a positive result midweek, the boys continued their positive football however they fell just short against Nepean FC going down 1-0. Zeke Prisuda’s long range effort was the difference.
Flame changed around their format and right from the outset, the team looked a little more balanced and controlled as they took the game to Nepean. Both sides sparring in the early stages with controlled possession and a couple of half chances.
The first real chance of the game occurred in the 22nd minute when prolific Nepean striker Mathew Welch found a little bit of space inside the box before pulling his shot across goal from 15 yards.
Just moments later, Welch again had a golden chance as Matthew Grossley played a neat ball through for the striker to go one one one with Armand but the Flame shot stopper got out well to cit down the angle and block his shot. This was a good little spell for the visitors.
Flame were trying to play football and on 33 minutes, a gorgeous exchange of passes led to an opportunity for Daniel Cooper who snapped his shot from 20 yards just wide of the right post.
With no score at half time and the game on the line, it was the coaches turn to inspire their respective teams with a half time pep talk.
Flame came flying out after half time and just 2 minutes in, Matthew Mazevski weaved his way past a couple of defenders and let loose with a forceful shot that forced Nepean’s Thomas Hamilton into a flying save. From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Mazevski again just outside the box but his low left foot strike this time went agonisingly wide.
On 57 minutes and almost out of nothing, Zeke Prisuda picked up the ball over near the left touchline about 30 yards out, he cut back in a few yards before curling a shot that dipped just inside the top left corner. It was a low percentage shot but in this case, it come up trumps for Nepean as they hit the lead and somewhat against the run of play in the second half.
Disappointed, Flame looked to turn up the pressure and on 66 minutes, Justin Smith danced his way into the box but Hamilton was once again up to the task pushing his shot away. From the resulting corner, Carlo Stella found himself unmarked 6 yards out and on the back post but the ball just seemed a little too high as he struggled to keep it down with the goal as his mercy.
With Flame well on top, a well worked move on 70 minutes found Jack Balmforth in the box. He manged to get a shot away with the ball just going the wrong side of the post.
With 10 minutes to go, a great switch found Balmforth on the left. Some fancy footwork saw him create an opportunity to get a cross in. Cooper looked destined to score only to find Edward Stewart flying across to block was looked like a dead set goal.
Flame were getting desperate as time ticked past 90 minutes and with players pushed forward, a cross found Balmforth on the back post where he calmly finished only to find he was ruled off side.
Nepean managed to hang on but not before Mathew Welch was sent off for using foul language late in the game.
Flame can consider themselves a little unlucky they did not get more out of the game. This was echoed by comments from Coach George Kulcsar;
“Football like life can certainly be unfair at times and I believed that we should have come away from tonight’s game with at least a point if not all 3. Very pleased with application of all the players after a tough road trip midweek, but we need to improve the quality of our final 3rd play to start climbing the ladder“.
Round 4 @ Ian McLennan Park
Saturday 27 March 2021
South Coast Flame – 0
Nepean FC – 1 (Prisuda 58′)
SOUTH COAST FLAME
1. Nicholas ARMAND, 2. Darren JONES, 12. Jack BALMFORTH, 11. Gerard BRUSCINO, 9. Louis CONNELL, 7. Daniel COOPER, 15. Kasey KULCSAR, 4. Daniel LUCAS, 10. Matthew MAZEVSKI, 6. Justin SMITH, 5. Carlo STELLA
Substitutes: 3. Lachlan MORGAN, 32. Eugene ARKU, 14. Joel DOWLING, 17. Preston RIDLEY, 41. Deakin SOUTHERN
In the earlier Under 20 fixture, Flame put up a gallant effort but fell 3-1 to Nepean. It was the visitors that got off to a flying start going two up inside 8 minutes. First Diab Finianos put Nepan ahead before Mitchell Mclintock doubled their lead.
Credit to Flame, they settled things down and started to claw themselves back into the game. The boys won a penalty on 24 minutes which Dany Elhamra neatly tucked away giving them some hope.Unfortunately, a defensive error on 50 minutes saw Finianos pick up his second and put the game away at 3-1.
The boys battled hard and will need to stop gifting the opposition goals if they are to get some results however there was some very encouraging signs coming from that performance.