South Coast Flame had a very successful return to the Furnace on Saturday, with wins in all but one age group.
First Grade: South Coast Flame 3-1 Blacktown City
Easter Saturday brought sunshine and perfect weather conditions for a match that was a must win for the Flame Women.
Coming off a break and a great performance against the Central Coast Mariners, the girls picked up from where they left off. From the moment the whistle blew to start the game, the Flame girls showed their intentions for the match.
In the first minutes of the match Monique received the ball in midfield and played a clever reverse pass into Caley who picked up the ball and ran the ball down the line and played a cut back cross into Monique who was there to shoot first time, just missing the inside post. The Flame won the corner and Sariah Wilson stepped up to strike an in-swinging corner. The ball was driven hard into the near post with the Blacktown defender and goalkeeper unable to stop it hitting the back of the net. On the 14 minute mark, Caitlin interecpted a through ball in the Flame half and drove down the line beating the defender. At the opponents 18 yard box she played a pass into Caley, who got the ball, put on a move to create space away from the defender and dribbled to inside. Outside the box she struck the ball perfectly. Rocketing into the top right corner. 2-0. Alexis and Ebony were able to combine well with the backline of Kelly, Derby and Caitlin, often resulting in Blacktown’s defensive lines being broken.
In one combination, Alexis was able to get Emi in a half space in midfield. Here she used her trademark spin turn to get free from the defender and Rachelle free on the wing to create another chance of scoring. It didnt take long. At the 22nd minute, Caitlin again combined well with Caley who played a 1-2 with Monique to get her self free. She drove the ball inwards and drew 3 defenders in with her. Rachelle was running at full pace down the wing and recieved a perfect switch ball from Caley. She took a touch and set herself up for a shot. She was able to find the bottom left corner to make the game 3-0.
At half time the message was to maintain the intensity and not become complacent. The Flame girls came back out and were able to manage the game well enough to take the 3 points on offer. Blacktown scored off a cross against the run of play, a ball that was high and awkward to catch. Charotte was able to punch the ball but it landed at Cassandra Borgs feet who rarely misses from close range. 3-1 finish.
Player of the week: Alexis Malizis
Consistent performance at training and in games and executed team and individual-tactical instructions.
U/20’s: South Coast Flame 2-0 Blacktown City
South Coast Flame looked to get back to winning ways against a familiar GCL opponent in Blacktown City.
Flame began the game strongly and controlled the bulk of possession for the opening 15 minutes, executing great combination play through midfield and the wide channels, however, the end product in the final third was lacking.
On 25 minutes, the game was turned on it’s head. Shockingly, the referee believed Flame shot stopper Sophie Bailey controlled the ball with her hands outside the penalty area and to the surprise of all spectating gave her a red card. Bethany Neilson was substituted on from the bench and took the gloves for the remainder of the match.
Despite being down to 10 players, South Coast continued to boss possession and create goal scoring chances. Lili Rosandic hit one from distance, soaring narrowly wide before Emily Kostovski nearly opened the scoring just before the break but saw her shot beat the keeper, but crash into the post and away to safety. Scores level at the interval.
With a tweak of formation at half time to make maximum use of the 10 players on the field, Flame continued where they left off and took control of the game. Jessica Bermudez and Amelia Mastroianni were dictating play in midfield and providing service for the attacking players. South Coast went close from two consecutive Lili Rosandic corners but the bounce of the ball was not going their way.
A rare Blacktown City counter attack was well dealt with by Bethany Neilson in the Flame goal who was rewinding the clock on her past goalkeeping days. There was no way she was going to be beaten today.
With time running down, Flame got the goal they deserved. Ava Parry beat the offside trap and went one-on-one with the City goalkeeper. Parry calmly side-footing the ball into the bottom right corner to give South Coast the lead.
Two minutes later, combination play down the right channel lead to a chance that was poorly cleared by the City shot stopper. Gemma Bishop spotted the goalkeeper off her line, took a touch and lobbed the ball over the goal keeper and retreating City defender to score her first senior goal and ensure the 3 points would be going to Flame.
A tremendous performance by the girls who showed resilience after the send-off and determination to not let being a player down be an excuse for not getting the win and playing entertaining football.
Player of the week: Jessica Bermudez
Jessica is a ‘play with your heart on your sleeve’ type of player whose energy on the field is fantastic to watch. She is industrious in defence and in possession is able to wriggle out of tight situations and find the space to move her team up the field. A hard-working and determined player who always has the largest of smiles on her face.
U/16: South Coast Flame 3-0 Blacktown City
The Flame came into this game attempting to pick up where they left off before the rain affected fixtures in recent weeks.
The Flame’s intentions were made clear right from the off as the girls flooded players forward to unsettle Blacktown in the early exchanges. Their fast start was rewarded as Alivia Beath got on the end of an expertly placed corner from Mackenzie Webb to put the Flame 1-0 up just 4 minutes in. The lightning start continued in the 8th minute as some excellent combination play resulted in a delicate diagonal pass toward the path of Leila Maddox who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, only to be denied by the offside flag. This did not deter the girls as they contonued to push for the second goal. in the 16th minute, the pressure finally told and a neat combination between Samantha Shallcross and Alivia Beath resulted in the latter netting her second of the game. Despite a further flurry of attacks, the team entered the breaks with the Flame 2-0 to the good.
The second half started at the first concluded with the South Coast in the ascendancy and looking to increase the score. Shots from Lili Rosandic and Samantha Shallcross narrowly missed the target and it became clear that Blacktown were sitting deeper and attempting to soak up some of the pressure that the Flame were asserting. The visitors efforts to stem the flow of attacks would be in vein as the Flame carved them open once more, this time Maddison Day would be the provider as her first time pass split the opposition and Alivia Beath’s clinical day would continue as she scored her 3rd of the afternoon. The girls should be thoroughly pleased with their impressive performance as they were clinical in possession and never looked in danger out of possession.
Player of the week: Alivia Beath
Alivia was a key figure in everything that happened in the final third against Blacktown. She has actively been improving her ability to combine with her teammates and hurt the oppostion with runs into dangerous areas. This was reflected in the goals she scored as well as the space she afforded the other attackers. Alivia has gone from strength to strength in training recently which is backed up by the 4 goals she has scored in her last 2 appearances.
U/15: South Coast Flame 1-0 Blacktown City
After a few weeks of absence, our U/15’s returned to the pitch at home to take on Blacktown City.
The girls had patches of quality play throughout the game, but unfortunately the intensity and speed of play in which we would have liked to have displayed was not there this week.
Luckily for us, despite our performance not quite being up to our standard, we managed to grab a goal early in the second half through Indianna Garvin up top.
With a few nervous moments to finish the game, and a couple of scrambling moments in defence, the squad hung on to take the three points.
Despite the performance not being up to scratch, the squad will take confidence out of getting a result whilst not being at our best.
Player of the week: Lola Garcia
Lola always enjoys going for a run from right fullback and was able to dribble forward into space to create attacks several times over the weekend. She is always looking for the right forward pass and is a great asset going forward.
U/14: South Coast Flame 0-2 Blacktown City
The furnace played host to a tough task for the South Coast Flame as they welcomed top of the table, Blacktown City.
The Flame saw the better of the play in the opening exchanges and managed to maintain possession through their ability to play out from the back. Isabella Elsner and Grace Duggan were a constant threat to the opposition. Despite the pressure that the Flame were building, in the 16th minute, Blacktown broke the deadlock with a very well constructed counter attack down the right hand side that resulted in a cut back cross being tapped in by the Blacktown forward. This moment swung the momentum in the visitors favour but the South Coast girls refused to drop their heads and survived the storm to head into the break 1-0 down.
The rest at half time seemed to reinvigorate the Flame girls as they came out of the blocks firing in the second half. An early barrage of corners had Blacktown on the back foot but once again, the visitors were clinical with their chances and foind themselves 2-0 up. Despite some late chances through Caelin Rogers, Shaelyn Petkovski and Amalia Harb, the Flame couldnt find a goal and the score remained at 2-0.
The girls were much improved this week and are showing clear signs of progression. Full credit is due to Blacktown for a good performance with and without the ball.
Player of the week: Rosie Lewis
Rosie played up from the U13 GSAP team and did not look out of place for a moment. She was ever present in midfield and had the Flame ticking with constant forward passes that asked questions of our opponents. As well as in possession, Rosie was also impressive out of it as she not only won the ball back but retained it on numerous occasions.
Well done Rosie!