South Coast Flame travelled to face Nepean on Saturday in what was a challenging round of fixtures.
The side had three draws and two defeats on the day.
U13 Boys | Nepean 1 South Coast Flame 1
Flame started this game with a different style of play to what the side have been comfortable with and saw some impressive passages where they were able to progress the ball into the opponents half.
As the boys were challenged with the new system the team also saw some simple turnovers of possession, however, the side transitioned well in those moments to prevent the opposition from creating any decent chances.
A tough and physical game saw some half chances created on both sides however nothing clear cut in the first half.
Some tactical changes at halftime and a reminder for the boys to focus on eliminating individual errors saw us completely dominate the second period, with a well-deserved goal coming after Ollie Green was released down the left-hand side and drove in the box before cutting back for Gabriel Corvalan to finish.
At 1-0 up South pushed for a second, with Mladden Milosevic hitting the crossbar, Tyce Tehovnik forcing the keeper into a strong save.
Nepean were awarded a penalty in the last 20 seconds that saw them equalise and us leave with a point when the side may have deserved three.
Player of the Week: Matthis Burri
Matthias influenced the game well with his positioning and ball-playing skills, as well as matching the physicality of Nepean despite being one of the smaller players on the field.
His energy saw him break up a number of Nepean attacks as well as initiate our own attacks.
U14 Boys | Nepean 1 South Coast Flame 0
The opening of the first half saw the flame boys have a flurry of chances which we were unable to convert.
Flame worked the ball effectively from side to some and plenty of crosses came into the box with our boys unable to apply the finishing.
Nepean had a few half chances as South Coast turned the ball over in our defensive third.
The second half was about our ball movement if it could be quicker, and about our winning mentality in the box.
At times both teams struggled to keep the ball and with chances being limited, Nepean scored from a corner with five minutes to go.
Flame pushed on for the remainder of the game and had a golden opportunity to equalise, a goalmouth scramble from a late corner, but it wasn’t to be.
U15 Boys | Nepean 2 South Coast Flame 0
The under-15 boys fell to league leaders Nepean 2-0 in what was a very well contested battle. Tactically, Flame did very well to nullify the home side and could have been considered marginally on top as the sides entered the sheds for halftime with the scores at 0-0.
A freekick awarded to Nepean in the opening minutes of the second half was capitalised on, with the home side gaining the lead with a headed effort from the set play.
To the Flame boys credit, they did continue to create problems for Nepean in open play, but were unfortunate to concede a second from a corner.
Josh Davison played very well in defence, with Cassidy Mar, Mitch Despotovski and Noah Crapis disrupting Nepeans build-up play throughout.
The Flame under-15s will take lots of positives from the match itself, and will continue to work hard to prepare for the challenges that await.
Player of the Week: Joshua Davison
Joshua played very well in the centre of the Flame defence.
He kept the opposition striker quiet for the majority of the match, was first to every ball that fell his way, and communicated well with his teammates to keep the league leaders from scoring in open play.
In key moments where Nepean threatened, he read the play well and reacted quickly to snuff out the danger.
Well done Joshua.
U16 Boys | Nepean 1 South Coast Flame 1
As the Flame travelled to Nepean the boys were looking to continue their excellent run of form.
The boys started the game well with some good possession and a few early chances.
But it would be Nepean who would open the scoring from a freekick out wide that was lofted into the box.
Nepean were quicker to react to the second ball and finished off what was a disappointing goal to concede after a good start to the game.
The boys continued to battle on up to halftime where the side would go into the sheds 1-0 down.
As the second half got underway the boys were looking to unlock a very defensive Nepean and the boys would come close to that equaliser after creating a number of half-chances.
It wouldn’t be until the 70th minute where the Flame were awarded a penalty after a handball in the Nepean box.
Jyden Harb stepped up and blasted in the equaliser for the flame.
With 10 minutes to go the flame would be camped in the Nepean half and were desperate to find the winning goal and came close after hitting the post with two minutes to go.
The game would finish 1-1 in what was a very physical battle.
Player of the Week: Jacob Carney
Worked extremely hard in defence and displayed all the qualities of what we expect from our players at the Flame.
U18 Boys | Nepean 1 South Coast Flame 1
With a few injuries in the team, the under-18s needed to put in a huge effort with the support of some under 16s on the bench to play against mid-table team Nepean.
Both Nepean and Flame worked hard to retain possession in the first 10 minutes of the game, with both teams having chances near goal but both were turned back by the respective goalkeepers.
Nepean’s striker was fast and constantly pushed his team high in our half hoping for a breakthrough.
A freekick by Nepean took a long shot on goal but Matty Gazivoda was able to jump high and deflect it away.
A nice free kick by Sam in the 13th looked promising with centreback Aiden Chard getting his head to the ball in front of goal but the Nepean keeper just caught it before it could find the net.
Nepean looked like scoring in the 18th but luckily for Flame it swerved just past the goalmouth.
A great volley on goal by Alex Farrah in the 28th after a smooth freekick by defender Ethan Hawken nearly found the net but it wasn’t to be.
Nepean returned fire with a long ball down pressuring our backs, but an exceptional save on the goalline by Ned Glasgow in the 41st minute denied the opposition a goal and despite both teams looking to score it remained 0-0 at halftime.
The second half proved to be a continuation of two evenly matched teams, both taking chances on goal and defending well.
Although the play consisted of many long balls by Nepean, our chance came in the 54th minute when our striker Alex pushed high and pressured the goalie who made a mistake when feeding the ball back to his defenders and Alex intercepted the pass, directly in front of the goal and quickly put it in the net.
A great opportunity for Flame to get on the board with the score at 1-0.
However, this changed in the 23rd minute when Nepean put a set play in place and found our net.
Both teams continued to work hard throughout the next quarter, looking to make options and take opportunities to find the net, but at fulltime the game ended with a 1-1 draw so both teams share the points this week.