HAWKS SOAR PAST FLAME
Marco Turpeinen bagged a hat-trick whilst former A-League star Predrag Bojic also found the net in a dominant performance from the Hawks as they downed Flame 4-1 on Friday night.
The Hawks got off to a flying start after hitting the lead after just six minutes. A long ball was misjudged by a young Flame defence. Harry Drew got in the end of it and rounded goalkeeper Luke Morgan however he took a heavy touch but was good enough to cut it back across goal for Turpeinen to just get a toe to the ball and poke it home.
The visitors looked like they may have been dealt a blow early when captain and goalkeeper Daniel Schwarzer was forced off with injury not long after however replacement goalkeeper Craig Morley showed he was more than a capable replacement with a strong performance.
The Hawks were nearly in again on 15 minutes after a mix-up between goalkeeper and defence however they were unable to capitlise.
Flame threatened the Hawks goal on several occasions and on 21 minutes, Fabian Iacovelli drew a fabulous save from Morley who tipped it over the bar. From the resulting corner, Matt Mazevski’s header was well held by Morley as he made two crucial back to back saves.
Flame’s hearts were left a little shattered when on 27 minutes and perhaps against the run of play, a Predrag Bojic free kick from 35 yards out was whipped into the danger area. Several players attempted to get on the end of it however the ball missed everyone and found its way through into the corner of the goal.
The Hawks led 2-0 at the break and Flame were left lamenting another half of football that may have gotten away from them.
In saying that, Flame came out of the sheds fired up and the created several attacking raids early threatening to pull a goal back. However, and again against the run of play, the Hawks got on the end of a long ball and Turpeinen looked like he had an eternity to line up his shot which he did with deadly accuracy to put the visitors up by three.
Flame looked a little defeated midway through the half and Todd Millgate looked to pile on the misery with a powerful shot from just outside the box however Morgan saved well.
Not long after, Flame cleared off the line after Drew looked to drive the ball through a crowded penalty area.
Flame dominated the last 15 minutes and chances to Lucas Ayala and Iacovelli went begging before Turpeinen sealed Flame’s fate with another tap in finish after great lead up work by Drew.
The home side were rewarded with a consolation goal in the dying stages after Balmforth weaved through the Hawks defence before cutting it back for Waller who made no mistake from close range.
In the end, Hawks would not be denied the three points as Flame will look to regroup.
In the earlier under 20 fixture, Hawkesbury were aided by the breeze, and they perhaps shaded possession and chances during this period. Just as it appeared that scores would be locked 0-0 at half time, Riley Howarth pounced on a loose ball to blast it through a crowd of players right on half time.
Flame pressed hard in the second half however the usual fluency appeared missing, and things were just falling down in the last third. Despite several near misses, Hawkesbury held on with Flame left frustrated.