South Coast Flame recorded a 2-0 win against Parramatta Eagles on Saturday night. This was an important result as Flame needed to bounce back after last week’s disappointing performance, and it keeps the team in touching distance of finals football.
Flame dominated possession in the early stages of the match and were playing some great football. They were rewarded in the 10th min when Sam Alston who was making his first-grade debut, made a darting run down the right side of the field, breaking through the Parramatta defensive line and dribble the ball to the byline, his cutback to Fabian Iacovelli at the near post resulted in the first goal after a tidy finish.
After the goal, Flame settle into the game and continued to press for a second. They had a number of dangerous corners delivered from Jack Balmforth, but failed to apply the finish touches.
Parramatta looked to play a direct style of football, knocking long balls and trying to make forward runs in behind the Flame defence. However, Logan Mathie and Dean Pender held strong in breaking down their forward raids on the Flame goal.
The first half finished with Flame taking a 1-0 to the break, but they would have felt they should have had more goals in the back of the next.
Coming out of the break, Flame looked to exert themselves on the game by attacking Parramatta down the flanks. They were rewarded shortly after the break, when Jack Balmforth worked some magic down the right and delivered a ball into a dangerous area in the Parramatta penalty box. The defenders missed the ball and Fabian Iacovelli brought the ball under control, and fired it home completing his brace.
No long after, Parramatta were reduced to ten players after one of their players received their marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Flame were in control from that moment and had a number of attacking raids on the Parramatta goal. However, Parramatta were resolute in dealing with the danger. Alex Galbraith brought the best of the keeper, making an excellent save from a strike from 25yards out that was heading into the top corner.
Parramatta’s fate was all but sealed when they had second player sent off reducing them to nine.
As Flame pushed for a third, Parramatta managed a couple of opportunities against the run of play, but Flame keeper Luke Morgan up to the task. Making two top class saves to ensure that the Flame kept their first clean sheet of the season.
Coach Darren Jones was pleased with the overall performance and delighted to finally get our first clean sheet of the season. “It was a really important day for the club as it was Sponsors Day, the lads delivered a solid performance and we kept a clean sheet, this has been a major goal of ours for several weeks. We dominated possession for large parts of the game and played some attractive football. We regularly threatened their goal, causing them issues, especially out wide. We probably deserved a couple more goals. But I am really pleased with the result. Looking forward to the challenge next week against UNSW.”
In the Under 20’s, Parramatta edged out Flame 3-2 in a thrilling contest.
Flame were on the back foot early when Jonathon Lennon put Parramatta ahead after just 5 minutes with a neat finish.
Flame didn’t let that set back faze them too much as they launched a few attacking raids themselves. On 17 minutes, Flame’s pressure was rewarded when Eagles’ Billy Abdelkafi put one in his own goal drawing Flame level.
Just three minutes later, Flame sharp shooter Jordan Wright put Flame ahead with a well taken goal. Flame leading 2-1 at the break.
Just five minutes after the restart, Parramatta tied the ball game through Tong Muorwal, It was end to end as both teams searched for a winner.
Disaster struck for Flame as Parramatta were awarded a penalty in final minute of play which was duly converted by Muorwal. There was no time for Flame to come back from that unfortunately.