Round 8 | 14 Girls | Mt Druitt Rangers 2-2 South Coast Flame
The South Coast girls travelled up to Popondetta Park for a Round 8 catch up game against Mt Druitt Town Rangers.
The intent from both teams was clear from the off as the pacey Mt Druitt wingers looked to get in behind at every opportunity and Flame looked to make progress by frequently switching the point of attack.
Mt Druitt struck first in the 16th minute when a ball skidded through to the right winger who kept her cool and finished. Flame looked to hit back immediately but were frustrated as the offside flag denied Amalia Harb after the ball had entered the net.
The girls were not deterred as Isabella Elsner would draw the Flame level in the 26th minute, finishing from outside the penalty area. Despite both teams having their fair share of chances, they entered the break with the scores locked at 1-1.
The second half began as the first concluded, with both teams flooding players forward in an attempt to take the lead. Flame came close through Isabella Nitor and Harb but it was Mt Druitt who regained the their one goal advantage as they scored in the 46th minute.
With 24 minutes to play, Flame began to take more risks in order to find an equalising goal. As time was winding down and Mt Druitt were defending deep in their own half, it looked unlikely that either team would find another goal, but Isabella Elsner took that into her own hands and scored from outside the box for the second time in the game with just three minutes to play.
A draw was probably a fair result in the end as Flame came back down the M7 with a point.
Player of the Week: Isabella Elsner
Bella is going from strength to strength in recent weeks. She has increased her understanding of combination play in forward areas as well as her ball striking in and around the penalty area. This was evident as she scored twice on game day and helped the girls secure a point.
Round 8 | 15 Girls | Mt Druitt Rangers 0-0 South Coast Flame
The U/15’s made the mid-week trip up to Mount Druitt to take on a Mount Druitt side not far behind on the ladder.
With four players out due to injury, the squad called on some help from our other squads to help lighten the load, but this game was always going to be a tricky ask.
Throughout the game, the girls displayed the intent and desire for the three points, however it seemed that the ball just wouldn’t find the back of the net – despite having so many chances throughout the game and going agonisingly close to scoring several times.
The whole squad has been focusing on moving the ball quickly around the park in order to create gaps in the opposition’s defence, and for patches of the game – the girls played some outstanding football.
Players such as Ebony Winston at fullback and Katelyn Elsner in the middle of the park had season-best performances, and these players along with the rest of the squad deserved a win.
We went for the win and changed a few things up tactically, sending more players forward in hope of snatching the three points. Undeservingly, we ended up settling for a singular point on a night where three points was the goal.
Player of the week: Ebony Winston
In her third game for the team, Ebony was absolutely outstanding in her first game at left fullback. Ebony won all of her defensive duels and linked up with her winger extremely well. In her first three games for the club, she has shown the versatility to play fullback, wing, and even central midfield. Her addition has been an asset to this team and we can’t wait to see how far she progresses as the season goes on.
A special mention must go to Katelyn Elsner who had her best performance of the season. Her technical ability was on display in the midfield and was excellent.
Round 8 | 16 Girls | Mt Druitt Rangers 0-1 South Coast Flame
Flame were immediately in the ascendancy from the first kick. Samantha Shallcross and Lili Rosandic had great success dictating the tempo of the game. Mt Druitt struggled to find a way to progress the ball forward and frequent clearances resulted in an early wave of South Coast pressure.
Shallcross was not only crucial in Flame’s build up but was also troubling the home side with late runs into the box. One of these runs resulted in her being up ended by the Mt Druitt goalkeeper and the referee pointed to the spot. Upon consultation with his assistant, the referee rescinded the spot kick, and the sides entered the break with the score remaining 0-0.
The game plan was clear in the second half as Flame looked to stretch the field and play an expansive style of football and Mt Druitt attempted to hit back on the counter.
As the minutes ticked by, the heavy challenges by the home side started to become frequent, but the girls never lost sight of what they were there to achieve and the resilient Mt Druitt back line cracked in the 56th minute as Gemma Bishop struck from range and saw her shot parried toward the path of Alyssa Nicovska who finished at the second time of asking to score what would eventually be the game winner.
Flame remained on the front foot and were largely untroubled as the game drew to a conclusion. This was a gritty performance in a game that had the potential to be a real banana skin for South Coast Flame.
Player of the Week: Samantha Shallcross
Sam was a critical member of the Flame midfield on game day. She has recently seen great development in her ability to switch the point of attack directly with both her left and right foot. Her understanding of her role as a midfielder when we do not have the ball has also seen improvement. All of this culminated in a game in which it looked like she was everywhere. Well done Sam.