The Senior Mens team registered their first win of the 2022 season with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Camden Tigers.
After last week’s disappointment, Flame showed desperation right from the get-go and the home side were rewarded for their energetic start with a goal inside five minutes. Aden Wade whipped a dangerous ball across the goal however young Camden defender Owen Roberts’ header found the back of his own goal.
Just a minute later, Flame’s pressure forced a turnover deep in the opposition half and some nice work by Jack Balmforth saw him one on one with the goalkeeper however unselfishly, he squared the ball across goal for Cody Waller who tapped in for Flame’s second in as many minutes.
In a devastating six minute spell, Flame notched a third and took complete control of the game. From a corner kick, Wade snuck a head in from the near post to put Flame up by three.
Flame had the chance to extend their lead with two good chances to Balmforth and Lucas Ayala both gone begging.
Mid way through the first half, Camden settled back into the game, but they had a mountain to climb.
The visitors finished the half strong, but they had nothing to show for it.
To their credit, Camden weren’t quite ready to give up and they created a few scoring opportunities early in the second half as the game opened up. Flame keeper Luke Morgan snuffing out a couple of strong chances.
Camden did manage to pull a goal back on 60 minutes after Mathew Lane found space in behind the Flame defence. Lane calmly slotted past Morgan to give the visitors some hope.
The Tigers failed to capitalise on two very good free kick positions which one flying well over and the other striking the wall.
On 74 minutes, a clever quick free kick from Logan Mathie found Balmforth down the right. He managed to get clear of a defender and send a long looping cross to the far post where Fabian Iacovelli sweetly volleyed home from eight yards.
Just five minutes later, a big headed clearance from substitute Aiden Chard found Iacovelli on the left. He did ever so well to get past a defender and cut back towards goal. He send a low driving ball across goal where Ayala slashed it into the roof of the net to round off a 5-1 win.
This is going to be a real confidence boost as they head into games against Hurstville and Newcastle Jets over the next fortnight.
The Flame U20 continued where they left off after last week’s strong win, taking the early initiative against Camden and managing to create a few early chances. On 18 minutes, a good passage of play that included numerous passes ended with Sam Alston playing a one two with Ned Glasgow wide on the right hand side. Sam then drove the ball hard the across the face of the Camden goal and brother Zander neatly finished into the bottom left corner.
Following this, Camden managed to get a foothold back in the game and scored two quick goals in the space of three minutes to lead 2-1.
On 37 minutes, Camden’s Joel Grono received his second yellow card and was sent off. Flame were looking to take advantage of this but were unable to get a deserved equaliser before the halftime break.
Right from the start of the second half, Flame did as coach Stan Pappas had instructed and took control of the game by using the man advantage to move the ball around the field quickly, causing the Camden players to shift from side to side and eventually holes started to appear in wide positions.
On 64 minutes, Sam Alston crossed the ball from wide on the right hand side to find Zander Alston coming in late from the left to volley the ball home with his left foot past the keeper to level the scores 2-2.
On 70 minutes, a direct free kick was awarded to the Flame centrally outside of the Camden penalty box, Sam Alston hit the ball at the goal although it deflected off the wall and Jordan Wright reacted first and quickest to smash the ball past the keeper and put Flame back in front 3-2.
Camden threw everything at Flame over the next 15 minutes but the team worked hard to keep the score at 3-2.
The result came from a great team performance with every player doing their part in both defence and attack.
The win now sees the Flame move up to fourth on the ladder with a game in hand on the teams around them.