FIRST GRADE | SOUTH COAST FLAME 0 – 3 NEWCASTLE JETS
South Coast Flame welcomed the high flying Newcastle Jets to the Furnace on Saturday night. The Jets are sitting pretty to take out the League Championship in First Grade and whilst it wasn’t all one way traffic, the visitors did enough to see off Flame.
Flame had the first chance of the game on 12 minutes when Fabian Iacovelli found some space inside the box however his shot crashed against the post before being cleared.
Just a few minutes later, Newcastle’s Xavier Bertoncello made a darting run across the edge of the box before unleashing a shot went inches wide.
The Jets hit the lead on 30 minutes. A pin point 30 pass from out the back found Lachlan Griffiths out wide and in space. His cross had Flame scrambling however Araki Naomichi was unfortunate to have put past his own own keeper after trying to deny the ball getting to the far post.
On 35 minutes, Matt Mazevski nearly caught Newcastle shot stopper Jordan Baylis off guard when his neat chip went agonisingly close.
Flame’s Cody Waller looked threatening particularly in the first half and on 38 minutes, he did ever so well to dribble past several defenders however his shot went straight to Baylis.
The Jets won a corner two minutes into stoppage time and yet again Flame conceded from a set piece. The corner was swung in and Taylan Unal headed straight down with the ball bouncing beyond Volkan Guden to put the Jets two-up at the break.
Just when you would be forgiven for thinking Flame would fold, they came out in the second half and tried to get themselves back in to it. With that however, the game started to open up.
On 60 minutes, the Jets thought they grabbed their third after a swift counter attack saw the ball put away however it was scratched out for off side.
Just five minutes later, Zander Alston had two chances in the space of a minute. In the latter, he was inches away from clear goal and the ball skidded past him with the goal at his mercy.
With just minutes remaining and what perhaps has been the story of the season, Taylan Skurtevski put in a delightful ball to Waller who pulled his shot centimetres wide. This could have set up a bit of a nervy finish however the Jets moved the ball quickly to the other side of the field with Lachlan West doing ever so well to weave through players before cutting back to Unal who finished well inside the bottom corner to round out the scoring.
It’s fair to say that the Jets deserved the win however Flame will be left scratching their heads as to how this game blew out on them.
Flame will be looking to finish the season on a high as they have just three games left.
UNDER 20 | SOUTH COAST FLAME 2 – 0 NEWCASTLE JETS
The Under 20’s produced one of their best all round performances of the season to beat the League leaders Newcastle Jets 2-0.
Flame started the game full of running and enthusiasm. They were hungrier and had the visitors pegged back for long periods throughout the first half.
Ryan Chard saw a couple of early chances go begging whilst Jayden Nielson could have also had one or two had the bounce gone his way. Hasan Ayoub was pulling the strings whilst Luke Hoefsloot, Alex Galbraith and Jyden Harb all contributing well to dominate the middle of the park.
It was Chard who gave Flame a deserved lead just before the break when he controlled well on the edge of the box before curling a shot beyond Jack Kennedy.
Newcastle regrouped at half time and looked to come out with more purpose as it was clearly game on in a match that could see these teams finish one and two at season end.
On the hour, keeper Riley Nichol was forced into a super save after Will Dobson‘s freekick was destined for the corner.
Not long after, Chard and Galbraith both spurred chances at the other end before Ethan Gilmore put in a delightful through ball to Jet’s forward William Eick however just as he was about to pull the trigger Flame’s desperation shone with the forward having his goal bound shot blocked. In fact, Flame’s back four were solid all game.
On 75 minutes Flame got their second when Galbraith fired a bullet of a free kick into the top right corner from the edge of the box. It was a wonderful strike that had the home fans off their seats.
Just two minutes later, Aswin Gurung crossed to Jayden Aitchison whose point blank shot was incredibly saved by Nichol with one hand and just a minute later Gurung had a one on one saved by Nichol. A remarkable sequence of saves that preserved Flame’s lead which eventually the boys saw out.
The win give Flame a firm look at finals football and if they can keep their heads throughout the final few matches, they may even give themselves a shot at taking out the League.