South Coast Flame had another positive display on Saturday in the Girls Conference League at Ian McLennan Park earning two wins and a draw.
U14 Girls | South Coast Flame 0 Hills United 0
A top of the table clash saw South Coast Flame host the undefeated Hills United at Ian McLennan Park on a cold, windy morning.
Hills United started the game well, keeping possession well and creating opportunities in wide areas. Flame backline stood strong, handling every effort that Hills United threw at them.
On the counter-attack, Ruby Milosevski and Ivy Mavridis were combining well and causing some nervous moments for the usually stable Hills backline. Two fantastic saves from Sophie Bailey before the half ensured the scores were still level at halftime.
With a slight change in tactics at halftime, Flame came out firing as they started to find joy down the middle of the field with Milosevski dropping in between lines and finding space to thread through balls for the pacey Indiana Garvan.
Garvan seeing one of her shots stopped by the Hills goalkeeper and the other missing the post by centimetres.
The game was evenly matched as the timer ticked towards the end, however, a lapse in defensive concentration from the Flame gave Hills one last chance. Sophie Bailey stood tall and got a vital block in with her foot, pushing it onto the post and away to safety.
The game ending a 0-0 draw but a very entertaining draw at that. Both teams giving it their all but the goalkeepers being the difference on the day.
Player of the Week: Ruby Milosevski
Second week running, Ruby picks up the player of the week. She is developing different aspects to her game and follows player tasks to the best of her ability.
Against Hills United, Ruby played as false 9 and was receiving possession in between lines and causing problems for the Hills backline.
Her defensive intensity from the front also set the tone for the match.
Well done Ruby!
U15 Girls | South Coast Flame 4 Hills United 2
Ian Mclennan Park experienced all four seasons in one morning with rain, wind and sunshine all present in periods.
When these two sides meet, there is usually goals and this encounter did not fail to comply.
It was a lightning start for both sides as Leila Maddox scored her first goal for the club after a mazy run from Sam Shallcross in the sixth minute.
However, this lead only lasted two minutes as Hill hit back after a well-worked set-piece resulted in a long-range strike finding the top corner.
On 11 minutes, the flame hit the front once more with Maddox taking a neat touch around her defender and doubling her tally for the day.
Hills found themselves in on goal in the 17th minute and despite South Coast’s best efforts to get behind the ball, managed to scramble a shot into the back of the net to level the scores once more.
Mckenzie Well ensured the Flame would go into the break in control of this unpredictable game as she got the better of a 1v1 situation on the left-hand side of the field, cut inside and flashed a shot in at the near post.
At halftime, Flame led 3-2.
After composing themselves at halftime, the Flame began to gain more control of the play and were far more defensively solid.
This solidity provided a platform for the girls to “play the Flame way” and produced the finest goal of the game when Shallcross played Webb in behind who showed composure beyond her years to draw the goalkeeper and square the ball to the onrushing Alivia Beath who knocked the ball into an open net.
Following this goal, the south coast girls remained concentrated and saw the final 20 minutes out to seal a 4-2 win.
Player of the Week: Leila Maddox
Leila has had a challenging start to the season due to injuries but is beginning to come into her own and is starting to find some consistency in both training and on game day. Her intelligence in reading the opposition body language was key in executing our press and she also managed to grab her first 2 goals for the South Coast Flame. Congratulations Leila!
U17 Girls | South Coast Flame 4 Hills United 2
South Coast Flame remain unbeaten in the Girls Conference League after a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Hills United at a windy Ian McLennan Park.
South Coast were looking to focus on starting strong this week as they have been slow out of the gates in previous matches.
After six minutes, Hazel Atkins gave Flame the lead. Emily Kostovski won possession as Hills tried to play out from the back, beat two defenders before unselfishly setting up Hazel Atkins who smashed her shot in off the crossbar from 12 yards out.
The lead was short-lived, as a defensive error led to Hills converting a goal-mouth scramble to level the scores.
Flame would take the lead again, as this time it was their turn to convert a goal-mouth scramble from a corner.
Samantha Shallcross poking home from inside the penalty area, scoring through the crowd of players into the bottom corner.
Three minutes later, Kellie McIntyre whipped in a cross from the right which found Piper Cowen on the back post unmarked for a tap in.
Flame would go into the half 3-1 up.
South Coast were now running into the wind for the second half, which brought its challenges as the wind inhibited their ability to play the fast-flowing possession-based football they have become so used to playing.
Hills United began to use the wind to their advantage, playing long balls over the Flame defensive lines and creating chances.
Charlotte Palmisano called into action a number of times, the Flame shotstopper cleaning up any loose balls in the area.
On 60 minutes, a hopeful ball into the box from the United centre back was met by a flick-on header by the Hills striker.
The header getting caught in the wind and finding its way into the South Coast net.
With Hills using their goal as momentum, they pushed players upfield looking for the equalizer.
This played into South Coast’s hands as Piper Cowen then hit them on the counter.
Bethany Horton playing a chipped through ball, Piper Cowen doing the rest as she calmly passed it around the oncoming Hills goalkeeper to restore the two-goal buffer.
The remainder of the game saw Flame settle into a condensed low block, forcing Hills to shoot from distance or play through their low block.
Special mention to Emily Kostovski, Hazel Atkins and Isabella Coppola who marshalled the low block, were solid as a collective and earned South Coast another valuable three points at home.
Player of the Week: Chelsea Newell
Chelsea stepped up from the Under 15’s this week due to a number of injuries in the 17’s squad.
Chelsea trained well, taking on feedback to understand her role for the weekend’s game. Against Hills United, Chelsea followed her player tasks to a tee, was aggressive in defence and composed in possession.
A very mature performance from this promising young player.
Well done Chelsea!
Photo: Kylie Roodenrys