South Coast Flame played host to Central Coast United at Ian McLennan Park on Saturday.
There were well-matched fixtures across the day with two wins, two defeats and a draw.
U13 Boys | South Coast Flame 0 Central Coast United 1
Flame started the game looking the sharper and stronger of the two teams, creating some strong chances early on, however, a mix of poor decision making, lack of composure and good goalkeeping from the opposition kept the game scoreless.
A poor judgement midway through the half saw the side turn over possession on the edge of their own box with Central Coast capitalizing to take the advantage.
Some tactical tweaks made at the break saw Flame continue to dominate possession and create more chances.
Again South Coast lacked the killer edge in the front third and while Flame kept United’s chances limited to a header off a corner, we went down 1-0.
A tough loss to take as the performance deserved something more than the result the side got.
Player of the Week: Matthias Burri
Matthias worked tirelessly in midfield both on and off the ball.
Matthias initiated a lot of attacks from deep positions and his positioning and decision making with the ball allowed Flame to play through the opponents’ press.
U14 Boys | South Coast Flame 1 Central Coast United 0
Flame hosted Central Coast United this week at home, looking to build upon last week’s resilient performance with an improved technical display.
The first half was evenly matched in terms of possession with the opposition only looking like scoring from any form of set piece.
In South Coast’s moment of brilliance in the first half, the side were able to move the ball quickly from right to left, allowing Josh Keir to overlap and play a first-time pass into the feet of Jake Ueda, whose parried shot fell into the path of Willem Robaard as he tapped in from close range.
Central Coast came out the hungrier side in the second half, and although they showed great effort to win the ball back, Flame’s retention of the ball was poor.
This placed the side under unnecessary pressure and kept the opposition in the game.
Both teams were unable to create golden opportunities to score and Flame went on to win the game.
Player of the Week: Caleb Haig
Caleb showed his ability to be comfortable in possession of the ball at training, executing his player actions consistently and under pressure.
At the weekend, showed great hunger and desire to win the ball back for his teammates and looked to be positive on the ball, playing forward and through the lines.
U15 Boys | South Coast Flame 1 Central Coast United 1
The under-15s shared the spoils in a tightly fought 1-1 draw with Central Cost United.
The Flame had to work hard to grind their way into a rhythm throughout the opening exchanges. A disjointed wrestle for superiority in midfield was the story of the first half, although Flame managed to gain the advantage at the end of the half.
The move was started and finished by Levi Dirks, whose switch of play found Blake Pearson, before a well-driven cross from Pearson was tucked away by Dirks.
In the second half, the Flame crafted a number of quality goal-scoring opportunities to kill the game off, with Yoan Ciugureanu, Levi Dirks, and Noah Crapis all going close.
A lapse in concentration saw Central Coast United earn a corner, and they converted a header from the set piece to equalise.
Despite both sides having chances to snatch the three points, the sides could not be separated, despite Flame being reduced to 10 men in the dying minutes.
Cassidy Mar produced some great defensive moments effectively breaking up many Central Coast attacks through the middle.
Thomas Bent-Genge also produced a good overall display in the Flame backline.
Player of the Week: Blake Pearson
Blake demonstrated a work ethic throughout the match both in and out of possession that embodies the club’s mentality.
He found himself in some good areas with his movement, and he got an assist with a great driven cross into a dangerous area.
Blake was also unlucky to not get himself on the scoresheet, with a first-half header from a corner bouncing off the woodwork.
Well done Blake.
U16 Boys | South Coast Flame 3 Central Coast United 2
Flame welcomed Central Coast United to a windy Ian McLennan Park for the round two fixture of the second phase.
It would be clear right from the kick-off the boys were going to be in for a very tough battle with United showing a very physical presence in the early stages of the game.
The boys started the game lively and were the first team to create an early chance after some excellent combination play in the front third but were unable to convert and keep the ball down in the windy conditions.
In the 13th United were the first team to score from a set piece but were assisted by a deflection off one of our own players.
The boys responded well and seven minutes later Will Aston headed home from a pinpoint freekick from Jyden Harb.
The scoring didn’t stop there and the Coast once again were to find the net after another deflection off a Flame defender.
As South Coast headed into the break 2-1 down the Flame, unfortunately, had a hand in all three goals.
As the second half got underway the flame came out with the mindset that we were going to be the next team to score.
In the 47th minute, the scores were level after captain Ryan Thompson volleyed home from another pinpoint set piece from Jyden Harb
The boys kicked into gear and were working even harder to find that match-winning goal.
Jyden Harb calmly converted a penalty to give the Flame a 3-2 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.
The boys would hold on to their 3-2 lead and show some resilient defending to deny United finding that late equaliser.
This would be one of our best wins of the season with the boys showing tremendous character and resilience to come back twice from being behind to win what was a very physical battle.
Player of the Week: Ryan Thompson
Ryan put in an outstanding performance showing tremendous resilience in defence and displayed why he is captain by leading from the front with his actions.
U18 Boys | South Coast Flame 0 Central Coast United 2
The under 18’s team worked hard during the week to ensure they kept fit and fast after last weekend’s much-needed win.
After losing to Prospect United SC the week before, Central Coast were looking to hold Flame out.
Both teams worked hard to push and pressure, but the score remained at 0-0 at halftime.
Although Flame worked hard in both defence and attack, Central Coast finally found the net with only 12 minutes of the game to go, after a strong strike made just out of the box.
Unfortunately, a red card given to Flame defender Liam Marsden at the 85th minute in front of the box gave Central Coast an advantage in numbers, and in the last three minutes of the game, a long kick from almost the centre of the field found its mark and they scored again.
The game finished just a few minutes later with the final score 2- 0 to Central Coast in a game that had many chances for both teams, but Central Coast took the three points this week.
Photo: Nick Skarvelis