It was a case of yet another one that got away this week as Flame went down 1-0 to Prospect United at Blacktown Athletics Centre on Anzac Day. An early goal from the reliable David Moreira-Muller was all that it took to down Flame who simply couldn’t find the net.
Flame came into this match with some confidence following their first win of the season last week however they had to overcome some setbacks with midfielder Justin Smith (injured) and goalkeeper Nicholas Armand (ill) ruled out of this clash. With Under 20’s keeper Deakin Southern also in the injured list, 17 year old Matthew Gazivoda put on the gloves making his debut in the top grade. On the bench, Flame also opted to draft in 17 year old Alexander Alston.
On a cool Anzac Day afternoon and with Prospect United’s opening raid that resulted in a corner kick, the hosts got on the board as early as the fifth minute. Some confusion in the Flame defense saw Prospect defender David Moreira Muller get a free header from six yards that powered into the net.
Flame were not perturbed by this and almost hit back straight away (also from a corner) as Matthew Mazevski’s glancing header narrowly whisked past the wrong side of the post.
In fact, Flame settled quickly despite the setback and looked to dominate possession especially when the team switched formation early on.
On 18 minutes, some neat lead up work from Jack Balmforth led to Jordan Host getting in behind the defence however his shot was well saved by Prospect goalkeeper Jackson Jamet.
Not long after, the nifty Prospect forward Henry Yau drilled a shot from the edge of the box that hit the post.
The last ten minutes of the first half was all Flame. On 35 minutes, Balmforth swung in a cross that saw Jamet flapping at the ball and left in no man’s land however Daniel Lucas’ header from the far post could not be redirected back into the open net.
Just minutes later, some clever combination work between Mazevski and Balmforth saw the latter strike the ball from just outside the box a couple of feet wide as Jamet scrambled. Right on the stroke of half time, another great piece of combination work, this time between Louis Connell and Balmforth set up a great opportunity as Connell’s shot forced a great low save from Jamet.
Going into the sheds one down was perhaps a little unjust on Flame but football is all about taking your chances.
Speaking of chances, just eight minutes after the break, Yau used his speed to beat Lachlan Morgan and get himself into the box but his shot was well saved by debutante Gazivoda stayed alert.
Flame bouyed by the save then resumed their attacking raids on the Prospect defence. Less than a minute later, Flame looked to have a golden chance with Daniel Cooper using his wizardry to beat his opponent before squaring across goal to Mazevski whose goal bound shot was desperately blocked by Muller. From the resulting corner, Kasey Kulcsar went agonisingly wide with his header.
Flame were looking to vary their attack and an exceptional long ball from Lucas found Connell who used his pace to get him into the box but his left foot shot was dragged across goal.
In what sums up Flame’s season so far, on 65 minutes, Connell appeared to be barrelled over in the box as he looked to chest the ball down however to everyone’s dismay, the referee waived play on.
Flame brought on Preston Ridley who looked to get involved whilst young Alston (grandson of the great Socceroo Adrian Alston) also made his debut. These youngsters did not look out of place as they looked to contribute and get something out of the game. Ridley infact almost had an immediate impact as almost with his first touch, he rifled a cracking shot from an acute angle that looked destined to sneak in however Jamet managed to get enough on it to deflect it onto the post and away.
As time ticked away and Flame continued to press, Connell again managed to get himself into the box but yet another strong save from Jamet saw the chance go begging. With that, the game ended with Prospect taking the points.
Coach George Kulcsar was left scratching his head post game.
I would have been disappointed if we left Blacktown with one point, but to come away with nothing after dominating large parts of the game is very hard to take. It is frustrating as we cannot buy a goal and to concede from a corner was disappointing. In saying all that, a massive positive was the debut of two 17 year olds.
24 April 2021 @ Blacktown Athletics Centre
Prospect United – 1 (Muller 5′)
South Coast Flame – 0
SOUTH COAST FLAME | 1. GAZIVIODA, Matthew; 12. BALMFORTH, Jack; 9. CONNELL, Louis; 7. COOPER, Daniel; 37. HOST, Jordan; 15. KULSCAR, Kasey; 4. LUCAS, Daniel; 10. MAZEVSKI, Matthew; 3. MORGAN, Lachlan; 14. DOWLING, Joel; 5. STELLA, Carlo.
Substitutes: 32. ARKU, Eugene; 17. RIDLEY, Preston, 43. ALSTON, Alexander
In the earlier under 20’s game, 16 year old keeper Cayden Boyter made his debut for Youth Grade promoted from U16 whilst Samuel Alston also made his debut from U18. The team lost 3-0 to Prospect with Boyter making several outstanding saves.
NEXT MATCH DETAILS
1 May @ Ian McLennan Park vs UNSW
5.00pm and 7.00pm KO