First Grade: Northbridge Bulls 4-2 South Coast Flame
Northbridge Bulls FC took out a six goal thriller 4-2 against a gallant South Coast Flame FC side on Sunday afternoon at Northbridge Oval.
The Bulls flew out of the gates in their success which broke their two-game losing streak. Tamires Souza scored twice in the opening ten minutes to make it 2-0. It also takes her goal total to 18 for the season which puts her firmly in the reckoning for signing of the season.
For their other goals, Northbridge Bulls turned to their other striker in Evelyn Chronis to fire home a brace which takes her past double digits in goals for the season. There was a wonderful moment pre match celebrating Mother’s Day where both sides entered the field with mothers before the whistle blew for game on.
South Coast Flame FC played their part in the exciting contest with a pair of goals in the first half which made it 3-2. Alexis Malizis and Rachelle Wang found the back of the net as the Flame showed they were going down swinging despite the loss.
U/20: Northbridge Bulls 4-2 South Coast Flame
Flame ventured north to face an unbeaten Northbridge Bulls side on a sunny Mothers Day where the game started with mothers of both sides invited onto the field with their daughters – a special moment for all involved.
Northbridge started the stronger and piled on the pressure early, pushing Flame back into their penalty area. The opening goal came from the Northbridge goalkeeper who hit a 60 meter long range pass over the head of the high Flame defensive line and into the path of the Bulls striker who composed herself and placed the ball into the corner to give the home side the lead.
Three minutes later, Flame showed they did not learn from their past mistakes and another long range pass wasn’t dealt with by the Flame defence as the Bulls striker grabbed her second of the game.
This somewhat woke up the Flame as four minutes later, tidy combinations down the right from Hazel Atkins and Emily Kostovski found Mia Riza in the penalty area. Her shot was smothered by the oncoming Bulls goalkeeper but was spilled to the feet of Ava Parry who finished into an open net to halve the deficit.
Unfortunately, South Coast were their own worst enemy as a poor clearance in the penalty area found the feet of a Northbridge player who finished from close range to extend the home sides lead heading into the break.
South Coast Flame started the second half with a greater intensity, discipline and confidence to play Flame Football which saw them take control of the game.
In their best spell of the match, Bethany Horton saw her header slam against the cross bar, a Brooke Love free kick was tipped onto the crossbar by the flying Bulls keeper and a tense goalmouth scramble somehow was cleared off the line three times by the Bulls goalkeeper. Flame’s pressure eventually found the goal they deserved when Ava Parry’s corner met the head of Bethany Neilson. Her header was parried by Bulls shot-stopper but only into the path of Bethany Horton who smashed home from 3 yards to bring the score to 3-2.
But as was the story of the game, a lapse in concentration at the back gifted Northbridge a 1v1 opportunity – Tahlia Sharrock making a good first save, but was beaten by the follow up. Northbridge Bulls going onto win 4-2.
A lesson for Flame, that if you gift an opposition of Northbridge’s quality four chances in a match, you cannot expect to get anything from the game.
Player of the week: Ava Parry
Ava has been determined in learning a new position which requires significant endurance and precise decision making. She has made great strides in this position and against Northbridge Bulls was consistent in her play and grabbed herself a well-deserved goal.
14 Girls: Northbridge Bulls 6-0 South Coast Flame
A cool, windy trip up to Northbridge oval set the scene for a competitive game against one of the premier sides in the competition.
The Flame began the game brightly with a corner coming as early as the second minute. Despite this, it was clear that it would have to be a defensively sound performance to keep this rampant Bulls outfit quiet. The tone of the match seemed set as the Flame sat deep and upon winning possession had success playing one-touch combinations in central areas. As the half drew to a close, it seemed as though the sides would enter half time at a respectable 0-0 but a 5 minute blitz saw the Bulls score three.
The sceond half provided a very similar feel and the girls continues to make chances although the final pass lacked in crucial moments. It was another lapse in concentration that allowed the home side 2 more goals in the 54th and 56th minute. With no doubt around the result, the Bull finished the scoring in the 63rd minute with their sixth.
Despite an ugly scoreline, for those in attendance this game is a fine example of the progression this group is making. Northbridge were clnical in their ability to take chances but there are lots of positives to take from this weekend
Player of the week: Shaelyn Petkovski
Shaelyn played in multiple positions during a tough, physical contest. Her work rate was extremely high and she seemed to find an extra wind as the game progressed. Great leadership was shown through her actions and the Flame values were on full display.
15 Girls: Northbridge Bulls 4-0 South Coast Flame
The Flame made the long trip up to the northern suburbs of Sydney to take on the unbeaten, ladder-leading Northbridge Bulls. The squad knew that this was going to be a tough contest against a side yet to lose a game.
Despite injury issues with some players on limited minutes, and other players out – the Flame started very brightly in the opening few minutes. A touch from Maddie Steele off a corner in the opening minute very nearly gave us the lead and sent a warning to Northbridge.
However, Northbridge began to settle into their groove and began to find gaps in our back-line. Too often Northbridge unfortunately found themselves in-behind our back-line as a result of not being goal-side defensively, however some fantastic goal-keeping from Sophie Bailey and defensive scramble kept Northbridge out for the time being.
Northbridge took the lead half-way through the half after a defensive scrap fell to the feet of their players, before they utilised their pace and athleticism up top to make it two goals to the good at half time.
Half time saw us address the issue of Northbridge’s pacey attackers getting in behind our back-line, and how we could fix it.
Unfortunately for us, Northbridge continued to pepper our defensive line and found two more goals in the second half. Cheap turnovers mixed in with a few players having niggling injuries made it tough for the Flame to compete, and the game finished 4-0 to the home side.
Player of the week: Sophie Bailey
Despite being given plenty of work to do by the Northbridge front-three, Sophie continued to stand tall against plenty of attacks and kept the ball out as much as she possibly could. For a thirteen-year-old who has already made senior appearances for the club, Sophie has definitely had a great start to the year.
CATCH UP GAME: 16 Girls
16 Girls: Sutherland Shire 0-2 South Coast Flame
Ground availability saw the girls travel to Kareela oval for their home fixture against Sutherland Shire FA for the local derby.
It was an electrifying start for the Flame as the first chance fell to Gemma Bishop who forced a save from the Sutherland keeper inside the opening minute. Alivia Beath would ensure that the hot start would be reflected in the score as she shot on the swivel from the 18-yard box to make it 1-0.The Flame were very dominant in possesison in the first half and were probably unfortunate not to find themselves up by a couple at half time.
The second half saw a tactical switch from the Shire who looked to press higher and unsettle the Flame in possession. South Coast were extremely effective in keeping a compact shape and despite some pressure from the opposition, looked in control in every moment. As the Shire conitnued to press higher, gaps began to open up in their defence which the Flame exploited on several occasions to progress the ball up the pitch. As the game was winding down in the 73rd minute, the Flame managed to maintain possession in dangerous areas which eventually lead to Gemma Bishop beating a player inside the penalty area and slotting the ball into the bottom-left corner to secure the points.
A professional performance from the team in which they looked in control for the entirety.
Player of the game: Jess Llewellin
Jess was crucial in allowing the Flame to be as dominant in possession as they were on game day. She has shown great improvements in her body shape and awareness when receiving the ball. She has shown great versatility and is frequently effective when progressing the ball forwards.
16 Girls: Northbridge Bulls 3-0 South Coast Flame
Top of the table Northbridge Bulls welcomed the South Coast Flame over the bridge for an intriguing contest. The Flame’s recent run of form, resulting in 4 wins from 5 games would be tested against the competitions premier side who had won all but one of their matches.
The Flame were clear in the objectives and looked to ensure their transitions from both winning the ball and losing the ball were sharp. This caused the home side problems in the opening 20 mintes and the South Coast were looking very threatening from set pieces with Lili Rosandic delivering several high quality corners. Northbridge grew into the game and eventually looked more comfortable in possession but despite the Flame number 1, Ciara Wade being forced into action in the 32nd minute, there was literal threat to the Flame goal. The sides entered the half at 0-0.
The second started at frenetic pace with chances being created at both ends. Unfortunately for the away side, a lapse in concentration saw a mishit shot take a deflection and slowly roll into the net.
This didnt deter the Flame as they looked to hit back immediately. Maddison Day was a constant threat in behind and managed to help the Flame gain some meaningful possession in the opposition half. Despite pushing for the equaliser, a Bulls corner would result in a goal mouth scramble being tapped home to make it 2-0. This clearly rattled the South Coast girls who struggled to regain their composure and would find themselves picking the ball out of the back of the net for a third time in just 18 minutes. The game began to dwindle and the result was locked in at 3-0 to the home side.
The girls should take great encouragement from this game. For 60 minutes, they showed that they belong among the top sides in the league. Consistency is now they goal as they look to put together complete performances for the full 80 minutes.
Player of the week: Sam Shallcross
Sam is becoming somewhat of a regular for the player of the week award. No performance was more impressive than this weeks against top of the table Northbridge. It was an inspirational outing as she seemed to have endless energy and inspired her teammates through her actions and words. Not enough can be said about the effort and application that Sam has applied throughout the first half of this season. She is an integral member of the squad.