First Grade: SD Raiders 4-1 South Coast Flame
With a delayed kick off and the winter air kicking in at Wanderers Football park, the game began end-to-end with each team getting a feel for each other.
At the 10 minute mark, there was a turn over in middle third by the Flame girls that led to a well crafted goal. In less than a minute from the restart, SD Raiders caught our Flame girls off guard, doubling the score.
With two goals to chase, it didn’t take long for Ebony Freeman to fire up and win the ball in midfield, playing a pass into Sariah Wilson – who played a killer pass in behind to Jess Cruickshank who made it 2-1 with a chip over the keeper.
The game continued to run end to end with Wilson and Cruickshank combining well on the counter to create space for Monique Koloski who was free in the box. Unfortunately the final pass didn’t have enough weight to make it a shot on target.
Cruickshank was keeping busy with another ball played by Freeman over the top to the striker, but Cruickshank could only find the side netting this time around.
Just before half time, a clever ball from the Raiders defender into there striker made it 3-1 going into the break.
The second half started quickly again, with the first chance in the 46th minute belonging to the Flame. Alexis Malizis pressed and won the ball, before playing it into Koloski who set Cruickshank free again against the Raiders’ keeper. Cruickshank couldn’t convert, and on the counter the Raiders again found the net with a tidy finish from a tight angle.
Piper Cowan and Darby Walsh were injected early in the half to create some more attacking options going forward. Unfortunately, after dominating the next 25 minutes of play, we could only create a few half chances through Cowan and Cruickshank up front as an attacking pair, and the score remained 4-1.
Player of the week: Monique Koloski
Monique showcased her winning mentality at training and on the pitch in the game
U/20: SD Raiders 0-1 South Coast Flame
South Coast Flame traveled to the spectacular Blacktown Football Centre to face a SD Raiders side who had not experienced defeat in their last seven games.
The game started as expected, SD Raiders with the bulk of possession and Flame defending with discipline. In the opening 30 minutes, Raiders were only given shots from long range as the Flame defensive structure began to frustrate the hosts.
The best chances of the first half actually fell to the feet of South Coast players. Lili Rosandic’s shot from range had the Raiders goalkeeper scrambling to make a save before tidy combination play down the right channel through Amelia Mastroianni and Bethany Neilsen found Ava Parry in shooting range – but unfortunately her shot went wide.
After the half time break, South Coast knew their task – continue to be disciplined, frustrate the home side and take the chances when they presented themselves. Ex-Flame player Chloe Hain found herself some room in the penalty area but her left-foot shot was saved by the flying Tahlia Sharrock, who palmed it away to safety.
Then, with 25 minutes remaining in the contest, Brooke Love stepped up to a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Her curling shot went around the wall, beating the goalkeeper and going in off the goal post to send the away supporters into raptures.
SD Raiders continued to flood players forward in an attempt to snatch an equaliser, but this left space at the back. Alivia Beath was first to two long ball counter attack opportunities in the dying stages, but the Raiders shot stopper smothered both chances well.
Time ran out for the home side as South Coast Flame grabbed a hard earned three points against a top four side. They showed that when they work as a collective, persevere and stick to the game plan, good things happen.
Player of the week: Amelia Mastroianni
Amelia has been going from strength-to-strength in recent weeks, and against SD Raiders she put on her most complete performance of the season so far. Her first half pressing display was outstanding, which led to her being able to initiate the counter attacks in the final third. In the second half, she showed that size is no match for determination as she dominated and frustrated her much larger opponent.
14 Girls: SD Raiders 10-2 South Coast Flame
A very heavily depleted South Coast side travelled to Blacktown to face SD Raiders at Wanderers Football park.
With a bare 11 and multiple players stepping up to start in our U/15’s side, this was always going to be a tough ask and Raiders flexed their muscles by quickly racing to a 2-0 lead. South Coast would pull one back through Caelin Rogers before conceding once more before the break.
The second half is where this went from bad to worse as the Raiders scored four within six minutes of the restart to see the score balloon to 7-1. Amalia Harb added a consolation for the Flame but a few more goals in quick succession by the Raiders saw the Flame defeated by a large margin. A big thank you is owed to the U/13 GSAP team who supported to their best of their ability with 5 players playing the entirety of the contest.
Player of the week: Grace Duggan
Grace has stepped up from our U/13 GSAP side into our U/14’s side on four occasions this season and has shown that her effort and application is second to none. She executed her tactical instructions with proficiency and had a hand in both South Coast Flame goals. Grace is definitely one to watch for the future.
15 Girls: SD Raiders 3-0 South Coast Flame
An injury-ridden U/15’s Flame squad made the trip up to Blacktown to take on a competitive SD Raiders side.
Character was the theme of the day, as just five U/15’s players were available for this contest, with six regular U/14’s players in our starting line up this week.
An early miscommunication led to a collision between goalkeeper Sophie Bailey and defender Chloe Brown. Chloe unfortunately had to come off the field for a few minutes, however was thankfully cleared of any serious injury and returned to the field soon after.
Raiders grabbed their first goal of the contest in the 11th minute as an isolated period of rain belted down on to the pitch.
Shortly after, we had our regular left-fullback in Matilda Armitt substituted as she was required to start for our U/16’s, meaning every player in the back-line – outside of one player – was an U/14 player.
After the initial nerves, the Flame began to create a few chances of their own. After scoring in the U/14’s, Amalia Harb unfortunately missed the target in the 23rd minute – before striking a few near-post corners in the 29th minute that should have been tapped home by oncoming Flame attackers.
The Flame went in to half time just a goal down, a mighty effort considering the circumstances.
Raiders grabbed their second goal shortly after half time, however the young Flame side continued to fight. A few more chances went begging for the Flame up top, before Raiders finished the job in the 68th minute – ensuring the game would end 3-0.
Credit must go to the character that this squad showed on Sunday morning. With 10 out of the 15 players being U/14’s players, and six of those players playing more than 75% of the game, the character these players showed against a competitive side in Raiders was on full display.
Player of the week: Mila Davidovic
In her debut game for the U/15’s, Mila held a very young back line together and showed great character in the heart of the defence.
16 Girls: SD Raiders 0-1 South Coast Flame
An injury struck South Coast Flame visited SD Raiders at the impressive Wanderers Football Park in an intriguing contest against the side directly above us on the ladder.
With only nine players available for selection, U/15’s players Kaitlyn Elsner and Matilda Armitt stepped into the starting lineup. The game began with clear intentions from both sides. Raiders looked to switch the ball frequently and the Flame looked to remain patient and sit in a low block. This theme continued throughout the first half and chances were few and far between. Raiders’ best chance came from a free kick on the edge of the area, but Ciara Wade’s organisation and steady hands ensured the scores stayed level. The Flame’s best chance of the half came when Sam Shallcross made a run from deep to combine with Alivia Beath, the resulting shot went just wide and the sides entered the break at 0-0.
With fatigue slowly becoming more and more of a factor for Flame’s bare 11, Raiders upped the intensity and began to commit more players forward in search of a decisive goal. The organisation of the defensive lines was excellent as the home side were restricted to long range efforts that never really troubled Wade in the Flame goal. As the game ticked into the last 20 minutes, Raiders’ frustration was evident and the girls from the South Coast grew in confidence. With 10 minutes to play, an injury halted play gave the girls a moment of reprieve. With just five minutes remaining, Shallcross won possession and found her midfield partner, Lili Rosandic, who delicately shaped a pass behind the Raiders’ back line. Maddison Day found herself on the end of it and beat the onrushing keeper and ensured the Flame snatched all three points.
A lion hearted effort from a battered, bruised and fatigued South Coast Flame showed that they are capable of winning games in more than one way.
Player of the week: Ciara Wade
Ciara has been in fine form between the sticks this season. On game day, she picked up her sixth clean sheet in 11 games. Recently, she has placed a large emphasis on her ability to organise the back line and this was highlighted to full effect against SD Raiders. She is clearly loving her football at the moment and her progression has really taken off this season. Ciara should be proud of her recent efforts. Well done!