Flame gave a valiant account of themselves in their first-ever matches in the FNSW Women’s League One.
Despite accumulating no points on the day, the sides showed they belong putting in competitive showings across both matches.
U20 Women’s | UNSW 2 South Coast Flame 0
Flame played their first game of the FNSW League One competition in sizzling conditions at Seymour Shaw Park.
UNSW started the stronger and forced Flame goalkeeper Tahlia Sharrock into three excellent saves within the first 20 minutes.
As the game progressed, Flame worked their way into the game and created chances of their own through Caley Tallon Heniker and Ava Parry, but were unable to break the deadlock before halftime.
Flame came out in the second half with a tweak in tactics that resulted in them winning the ball higher up the field.
This came with some goal-scoring chances, but this time the UNSW goalkeeper came to the rescue.
The best chance for Flame came with Mia Riza, who pounced on a through ball, rounded the keeper but her shot was cleared off the line by the retreating UNSW defender.
With the clock ticking down, UNSW took the lead through a shock 30 yard shot from the UNSW striker.
The long-range shot looping over Sharrock and finding the top corner.
Flame pushed for an equaliser, which left their defensive line open.
With two minutes remaining UNSW doubled their lead as the UNSW winger found herself one-on-one with Sharrock, unfortunately, the Flame goalkeeper could only parry the ball into the side netting.
A valiant effort in horrendous heat by the Flame girls who can hold their heads high.
Player of the Week: Tahlia Sharrock
Tahlia has impressed since joining South Coast Flame, going from strength to strength in her technique and confidence. Against UNSW, she was a dominant force between the sticks, making a number of highly important saves in both halves.
First Grade Women’s | UNSW 3 South Coast Flame 2
On a special occasion for the South Coast Flame Football Club, the women’s first grade team were out to make a statement for the region.
The game started with a good tempo and the ladies had good control of the game.
Quick combinations in the middle of the park allowed our wingback Rachelle Wang and striker Jess Cruickshank to get in behind the opponents’ defence who was proving to be a stubborn mid-block.
Against the run of play, UNSW capitalised on two defensive errors to make it 2-0 by the 26th minute.
Some proactive defending in our own half led to a counterattack.
Sariah Wilson hipped a bending ball around the sideline to the open midfielder.
This led to a quick combination and killer pass into Jess Cruickshank who got her shot off.
The keeper made a save but did not have full control of it.
Rachelle Wang on the back of a 50m sprint was there to make it 2-1.
A short time later the Flame again hit back on the counter to get Cruickshank free to make it 2-2.
The Flame went into half and with the score even.
In 33+ degree heat and a synthetic surface, the Flame again controlled the tempo.
Cruickshank went face-to-face with the keeper but was not able to score, seeing her shot skim past the post.
UNSW with 15 to go scored on another defensive error.
The Flame girls played an attractive brand of football and showed the league that they belong.
3-2 was the final result.
Player of the Match: Rachelle Wang
Photo: Brett Nielsen