Two highly-competitive sides were on show at the Furnace on Sunday night as South Coast Flame’s women squads welcomed the Marconi Stallions.
First Grade: South Coast Flame 1-2 Marconi Stallions
On the back of two wins, the Flame girls were looking to make it three in a row. Coming up against Marconi who were sitting just under them in the table was always going to be a good match up.
The game started fast and was physical. Marconi got a lucky break at 3 minutes in when a ball bounced awkwardly and found its way to a Marconi player in the 6 yard book to finish.
Flame took more energy from that and continued to dominate possession, creating chances in all areas of the pitch. Marconi disrupted play by being very physical in defence often leading to free kicks. Going into half time the girls reset. Tahlia Sharrock again had to step into goals to replace an injured Charlotte Palmisano.
Against the run of play, Marconi were awarded a contentious penalty. They converted to make it 2-0.
Flame immediately hit back through super sub Piper Cowen who found herself in the box after a combination down the right wing. The ball came off a Marconi player and found its way into the net.
Flame continued to play hard and technically, they created but could not find the back of the net. Piper eventually did but it was called off side.The game finished 2-1 with perhaps the better football team ending up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
Player of the week: Caitlin Russell
Excellent learning displayed though out the week.
U/20: South Coast Flame 1-3 Marconi Stallions
South Coast Flame welcomed Marconi to the Furnace for the late game on Sunday afternoon. Flame looking to put in a better showing than their previous week and stop a strong Marconi side.
Flame started well by keeping possession and moving the Marconi side across the park. Unfortunately, a long ball from Marconi into the Flame penalty area was not dealt with safely. The drop down falling to the feet of the Marconi striker who calmly placed it into the bottom corner to give the away side an early lead.
South Coast recovered well and began to control the bulk of possession again, however were lacking the finishing touch in the final third. The best chance of the half fell to Piper Cowan who went through on goal, pushed it around the oncoming Marconi keeper, only to be taken out by the rival shot stopper. Bizarrely, no penalty kick was awarded and Flame went into half time one nil behind.
As the second half started, South Coast were punished for not being switched on from the restart as Marconi scored 2 goals in 5 minutes from a scrappy corner scramble and a long range shot/cross effort which beat Sharrock on her far post.
Credit to the Flame girls, they did not give up and continued to push the Marconi side back into their half and limit the opposition to rare counter attack opportunities. With 15 minutes remaining, a Mia Riza cross found Bethany Neilson free on the back post who tapped in from 2 yards.
Flame nearly halved the deficit two minutes later as Brooke Love’s corner found the head of Neilson who couldn’t direct her header into the goal from close range.
Flame going down 3-1, being made to pay for 5 minutes of losing focus. A learning curve for the girls, but promising signs moving forward in the style of football being played for the majority of the match against tough opposition.
Player of the week: Brooke Love
Brooke controlled the tempo of the game from the first whistle to the last and was a dominant presence in midfield. Her range of passing improved as the game went on and her ability to switch the point of attack with composure and conviction was a highlight of her performance.