In the Girls Conference League, South Coast Flame travelled to face Blacktown City FC on Sunday in what was a challenging week for the side with no wins across the three grades.
U14 Girls | Blacktown City 0 South Coast Flame 0
South Coast travelled to Lily’s Football Centre for a clash with Blacktown City, hoping to continue on from their strong performance last week.
Flame started the game with large spells of possession and link-up play through Ruby Milosevski and Madeline Steel.
After a chipped through ball from Bella Elsner, Indiana Garvan found herself behind the City defensive line, but she was unable to beat the Blacktown shot-stopper.
The first half was a bit uneventful as both teams struggled to make any clear cut chances. Nil all at the break.
With a couple of changes at halftime, South Coast went on the attack from the start, looking much more determined.
Indiana Garvan again found space down the right, this time her shot hitting the side netting.
Blacktown resorted to a ‘kick and chase’ tactic to try and get out of their half; Amity Longbottom dealing with any loose balls with ease.
With the clock winding down, Bella Elsner skipped past her defender and sent in a cross that found Sophia Peterson on the six-yard line.
Unfortunately, her shot was straight at the City goalkeeper.
There would be one last chance for South Coast.
Ruby Milosevski found herself with time in the penalty area, but again, the City goalkeeper came out on top, making a top save low to her right.
Flame would have to settle for the second 0-0 draw in as many weeks. Big mentions to Bella Elsner, Amalia Harb, Sophia Peterson and Matilda Armitt who all stepped up from the 13GSAP squad and had excellent games.
Player of the Week: Amity Longbottom
Amity is the quiet achiever of the squad.
Playing at centre back, she is a good communicator to the players in front of her and is growing in confidence when in possession.
Against Blacktown City, Amity didn’t put a foot wrong all day.
She was composed on the ball, aggressive in the tackle and won a vital header with seconds on the clock.
Well done Amity!
U15 Girls | Blacktown City 1 South Coast Flame 0
A long trip up the Hume highway saw the girls taking on 2nd placed Blacktown City.
The first half was largely controlled by the Flame as they looked to maintain possession and gain an understanding of the oppositions playing style.
Most of the chances fell South Coasts way apart from some sporadic counters from Blacktown. The first half was shortened due to an injury and the sides went into the sheds, level at the break.
The second half saw more of the same theme.
Flame maintaining possession but struggling to carve out any reasonable chances in front of goal.
It looked to be a matter of time before the South Coast girls would find a way to break through the Blacktown wall.
But to Blacktown’s credit, they continued their direct play and with three minutes to play, a long ball saw a Blacktown forward break into the left-hand side of the box, draw a challenge from a South Coast defender and win a penalty.
The penalty was converted to cap off a real snatch and grab victory for the home side.
Player of the Week: Melody Pierags
Melody has shown great improvements in her ability to defend and judge the long ball.
In possession, she has remained committed to understanding moments in which she can rotate and drive into midfield as a central defender.
This has added another dynamic to our play while also maintaining defensive solidity.
U17 Girls | Blacktown City 0 South Coast Flame 0
South Coast Flame met a physical Blacktown City side at Lily’s Football Centre where Flame looked to continue their dominance of the GCL competition.
South Coast did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard.
Hazel Atkins winning possession in midfield and playing an early ball in behind the City defence for Piper Cowen.
Cowen out-muscling her opponent and placing the ball to the left of the goalkeeper to score.
A textbook counter-attack from the Flame.
South Coast continued to move the ball with purpose and find good overloads in wide areas, but no real end product eventuated.
City looked dangerous upfront as they played long ball after a long ball over the Flame backline, fortunately, Charlotte Palmisano playing the sweeper-keeper role to perfection.
Just before the end of the half, Piper Cowen turned inside her defender before squaring for Hazel Atkins.
Unfortunately, her shot skimming over the crossbar.
Flame going into the half 1-0 to the good.
The second half took Flame by surprise as Blacktown came out with a newfound intensity and determination to play.
City were finding combinations and scoring chances with almost every wave of attack.
Fortunately for South Coast, Piper Cowen and Lauren Brooks provided some respite as they began to create chances on the counter-attack.
With 10 minutes remaining, Blacktown launched a long ball over the Flame defensive line, which was not dealt with properly by South Coast.
The ball landing at the feet of the City striker who sent in a shot from 25 meters out which found its way just under the crossbar to level the scores at 1-1.
The goal took the wind out of the Flame’s sails and boosted their opponents as the final five minutes South Coast were in survival mode.
Kate Gorham, Isabella Coppola and Neave Keenan were all called upon in vital moments to keep the score at 1-1.
A hard-earned point on the road for South Coast, but, with the chances we had, it felt more like two points dropped.
Player of the Week: Emily Kostovski
Emily is the engine room of the Flame midfield.
Her effort and creativity in both attacking and defending situations are unparalleled.
Against Blacktown City, Emily distributed the ball through midfield well and applied pressure across the whole pitch.
With 30 seconds left on the clock, Emily threw herself in front of a City player lining up for a shot, stopping a goal and being injured in the process.
Literally, putting herself on the line for her team.
Fantastic heart and courage!
Photo: Kylie Patterson