South Coast Flame welcomed Nepean to Ian McLennan Park on Saturday. The Flame performed well overall with just one defeat on the day.
U13 Boys| South Coast Flame 0 Nepean 0
The under-13s have a difficult game facing up to one of the top sides in the division. The side struggled to match the intensity of Nepean with the visitors showing a high degree of hunger and desire in the match. There were very few clear cut chances in the game with neither goalkeeper having many saves to make. Mladden Milosevic almost opened the scoring when his effort cannoned back off the crossbar. It was a strong defensive showing in the second half from the hosts and there were a couple of chances for the Flame in the final moments but it wasn’t to be meaning the game ended scoreless.
Player of the Week: Mladden Milosevic
Mladden showed his versatility over the weekend, starting in the backline and working his way up front when needed. Displaying true Flame values by always putting in for what the team needed throughout the game. He was solid in the backline snuffing out Nepean’s threats along with his teammates, and when thrown forward worked on his specific player tasks to try and help the team get the win, and almost got the winner had the crossbar not got in the way.
U14 Boys | South Coast Flame 1 Nepean 0
A rematch of sorts against Nepean FC who knocked the Flame boys out of the Bathurst Cup on penalties. From the first whistle to the last, it was the Flame who had control of the match. Controlling possession and creating numerous chances, the first half performance was missing a deserved goal. The second half was more of the same, but the side kept knocking on the Nepean door. In the 50th minute with good build-up play, the Flame boys worked the ball into Jake Morris who slipped the ball to Willem Robaard and placed the ball over the Nepean keeper with his left foot. The Flame managed the remaining few minutes by keeping hold of the ball to earn the victory.
Player of the Week: Jimmy Skarvelis
Improved focus on executing player actions at training. Instrumental in creating opportunities in the front third against Nepean.
U15 Boys | South Coast Flame 0 Nepean 1
The under-15s lost for the first time this season as the side went down 1-0. In the first half, the team made a lot of basic mistakes and conceded a weak goal. The approach changed in the second half and Flame a period of dominance in the match before being reduced to 10 men. They showed great character after going down to 10 men even creating a few chances. The Flame could perhaps consider themselves unlucky not to come away with more from the match.
Player of the Week: Dylan Griffiths
Dylan had a great game as he adapted to playing a different position and worked hard when the side went down to 10 men.
U16 Boys | South Coast Flame 2 Nepean 1
The Flame started the game well dominating possession for large parts of the first half but to no avail. It was in fact the visitors who would make the breakthrough in the 14th minute when a mix-up at the back gifted Nepean a 1-0 lead heading into the break. Flame despite having reasonable control over the game, found themselves behind. Despite this, the boys remained composed after the break and were rewarded with an equaliser just after the hour mark through Zac Birch. Three minutes Keegan Rea netted what would be the winner. This was a great test of character for the Flame who battled to come from behind.
Player of the Week: Nick Hailstone
Excellent attitude at training and great performance on the weekend.
U18 Boys | South Coast Flame 1 Nepean 0
There was a similarity to the playing styles of both sides as the game developed. Using the width of the field and looking to play forward featured heavily as both sides looked to gain ascendency.
It was Nepean who had the better of the opening exchanges and if it were not for the safe hands of Keeper Matthew Gazivoda, Nepean would have had early goals. In fact, Matthew was called upon no less than 6 times in the opening stanza making crucial saves.
A surge on the right flank by Nepean in the 22nd minute was defended by Xander Alston.
After this, the Flame were reduced to 10 men.
Both sides settled for the remainder of the first half with good ball movement and some desperate defence, but they went to the break scoreless.
In the second half, Nepean countered in the 53rd minute when a cross was volleyed high in front of goal.
In the 54th minute, an interception by Right Back Mason Videla was carried forward at pace.
A deft one-two with Andrew Balaska saw Mason in space down the right flank. His cross found the outstretched foot of Andrew, whose run-in support was perfectly timed. The deflection found the back of the net at the near post and the Flame took the lead 1-0.
Nepean were a little shell-shocked but sought to play a patient game.
Moving the ball around and testing the tiring legs of the 10-man Flame. Defenders Ethan Hawkin and Liam Marsden were called upon many times to spoil and clear. Noah Lehn showed good versatility playing in the unfamiliar left back position.
The Flame remained resilient for the remainder of the match, playing positive football right to the final whistle. They held out Nepean’s desperate attack including another memorable diving save by Matthew in the dying seconds.
A character-building victory for the Flame 1-0.