South Coast Flame travelled to face Hills United at Bella Vista Public School on Sunday. It was mixed results for the Flame with one win, one draw and one loss.
U14 Girls | Hills United 2 South Coast Flame 0
The girls travelled up the M7 to meet a technically strong Hills United FC side. The sides were no strangers to each other as they met in the Bathurst Proctor Park Challenge as well as in a preseason friendly.
The early exchanges saw attacking moves from both sides looked to commit players forward to break the deadlock.
Despite some early possession for the Flame, Hills hit the front in the 11th minute thanks to an exceptionally struck free kick that hit the apex of the goal before finding the back of the net.
In search of an immediate equaliser, the girls continued to play with freedom but found themselves coming unstuck as Hills launched an efficient, fast counterattack and found the Flame net once more ten minutes before the half time interval.
Hills United went into the break with a 2-0 advantage.
The second half was a much more cagey affair as the Sydney-based side began to lock up shop and deny the South Coast girls any time or space when progressing forward.
As the minutes began to tick by, fatigue became a factor and Hills maintained possession for large passages of play and ultimately killed the contest with the side running out 2-0 winners.
In a performance that improved as it progressed, it was a valiant effort by the girls against arguably the strongest side in the competition.
Player of the Week: Maddison Day
Maddy enjoyed a really strong outing in which she executed tactical instructions competently and consistently challenged the Hills defenders with forward runs from deep. Her versatility was a large asset to the team as fatigue became a factor. Well done Maddy!
U15 Girls | Hills United 0 South Coast Flame 0
Bella Vista Public School played host to an intriguing contest between two of the competition heavyweights. The fixtures previous games implied that this match would be full of goals.
The Flame were in the ascendancy for the majority of the first half and can count themselves unlucky to be denied on several occasions by the Hills’ number one.
They thought they had the lead when under 14’s player Maddison Day found the bottom left corner following some good combination play, only to be denied by the offside flag.
Hills weren’t without their own chances in the first half but an organised defensive display kept the sides level going into the break.
With the second half, came some tactical adjustments from the home team and they began to grow in confidence and control more of the ball.
Despite this, the better chances fell for the Flame as Samantha Shallcross was denied by a terrific save and Day found the outside of the side netting.
In what was far from a boring 0-0 game, a draw was probably a fair result.
Player of the Week: Carly Johnson
Carly had a much-improved performance this week and was crucial in organising the side’s defensive line.
She had great success identifying cues to intercept forward passes from the opposition and as always, was effective over the dead ball.
Top performance Carly!
U17 Girls | Hills United 1 South Coast Flame 2
Hills United FA welcomed the South Coast Flame to Bella Vista Public School for an intriguing clash between two teams that have enjoyed successful recent spells.
It did not take long for the contest to ignite into life as an early barrage of pressure on the Flame goal, resulted in a goal after only three minutes.
The South Coast girls struggled to regain their composure and found themselves struggles to maintain possession of the ball.
The theme of the first half remained largely the same as Hills were relentless in their pressing and consistently won the ball in dangerous areas.
Despite struggling to make any reasonable attempt on goal, five minutes before the interval, a mishit clearance from the Hills goalkeeper fell at the feet of under-15’s player Alivia Beath who showed great innovation and creativity to deceive an opposition defender before lobbing the ball over the retreating keeper.
The sides were unable to be separated heading into the break.
During the break, the Flame adjusted their team shape to attempt to create some more space and maintain better possession of the ball.
The home side struggled to cope with the extra time and space this seemed to afford the South Coast girls in what was a vastly different half from the first.
From this point, there only looked as though there would be one winner, Emily Kostovski duly delivered for the travelling side following an inch-perfect cross from Piper Cowan.
The South Coast Flame closed out an exceptional turn around in a game defined by two heavily contrasting halves.
Player of the Week: Hayley Cowie
Hayley displayed her versatility and leadership qualities on game day. She began the game as a hold up forward, attempting to bring her teammates into the game but really shone when moved into midfield.
Her ability to execute fundamental actions in congested areas deserves credit and was a large factor in the team’s success in swinging the momentum in their favour.