14 GIRLS | SOUTH COAST FLAME 2 – 1 MT DRUITT RANGERS
The last time these two teams met, Flame stole a point in the final moments which resulted in a 2-2 draw. Flame were keen to ensure they took all three points this time around and despite a couple of early sighters from the Mt Druitt forwards, the home side were largely in charge.
Flame’s early dominance nearly culminated in a wonderful team goal in the 15th minute but the Flame midfielder blazed over from close range. This did not deter the girls as Bella Elsner was introduced and instantly unlocked the door with a killer pass that allowed Caelin Rodgers to bypass the backline and slot passed a helpless keeper. This led to a slow period for both sides and it would be South Coast that were caught napping two minutes before the interval as Mt Druitt scored from distance.
The sides emerged for the second half at 1-1 and Mt Druitt were first to show their intentions, forcing Abigail Inman into a save resulting in a string of corners. This pressure would not last, and Grace Manzau, Mischa Lawson and Sam Cowie found some success in maintaining the ball for the home side.
As time ticked on, Mt Druitt became more tentative in their approach whilst Flame heaped on the pressure. The game became a question of “would the goal come?” and with 12 minutes to play, it did as Rodgers would find her second after rounding the keeper and tapping into the empty net to secure the points for Flame.
Player of the Week | Mischa Lawson
Mischa was crucial on game day and seemed to be everywhere irrespective of whether her team was in possession or not. She showed great responsibility in the transition moments and was crucial in regaining and retaining possession for the girls. Well done, Mischa!
15 GIRLS | SOUTH COAST FLAME 2 – 3 MT DRUITT RANGERS
After an impressive 3-0 win against UNSW just twelve hours before, Flame had an extremely quick turnaround the following morning as they faced Mount Druitt Town Rangers.
Flame considered themselves unlucky last time out to not take maximum points against the Rangers, with a 0-0 draw the result in their previous encounter.
Flame found the back of the net early in this one through an Ebony Winston header. A superb free kick from Abbey Haley finding Winston’s head, as she made no mistake in heading the ball home.
Flame switched off and were punished for their ill-discipline at the back as Druitt equalised only a minute later.
Playing two fixtures in such a short period appeared to contribute to the squad seeming a bit flat – however, there was no further score in the first half.
Winston had her second early in the second half against the side that she earned a player of the match performance last time out, and Flame needed to hold firm.
Unfortunately, ill-discipline at the back and some flat touches on the ball all around the park cost the home team as they conceded two sloppy goals in the second half.
Despite changing shape to chase the game in a more attacking sense, Flame could not find an equaliser succumbed to defeat.
A disappointing result after a very good performance the night before. The girls will look to take some of the positives from the weekend as they move forward into the latter part of the season.
Player of the Week | Matilda Armitt and Ebony Winston
Over the two games, Matilda Armitt was a great asset at left fullback and was constantly switched on in defence and attack. Her attacking runs down the left flank are a joy to watch.
Ebony Winston had a fantastic game on Saturday morning in particular, scoring two fantastic goals – including our side’s second headed goal of the season. Ebony has come along nicely since her late arrival into the team.
16 GIRLS | SOUTH COAST FLAME 1 – 1 MT DRUITT RANGERS
This fixture is often a cagey affair between two dogged teams.
The game started in a conservative fashion with Mt Druitt playing quite deep and encouraging Flame to maintain possession. As the game progressed, Mt Druitt made their intention clear as they frequently tried to turn the home sides back line around and attempted to extract as many set pieces as possible.
This would ultimately lead to the first goal of the game as a free kick was played into a crowded penalty area and went all the way in unassisted.
This could have spelled disaster for Flame as they struggled to break down the Mt Druitt low block if it was not for Melody Pierags who salvaged parity just before the half time break with a 40 yard arrow straight into the top right corner.
The second half became quite scrappy as both sides got caught up in the physical contest. Some half chances fell the way of Sam Shallcross and Gemma Bishop but the quality in the final third was lacking on the day.
The most notable moment in an otherwise lacklustre half of football, was Shallcross’ freekick that was headed off the line by the visiting team. As time ticked on, chances were few and far between.
Overall, a frustrating day out for the home side who couldn’t quite find the winning goal.
Player of the Week | Leila Maddox
Leila’s effort on game day was a major standout. Her diligence in attempting to execute tactical instructions made her an important piece to the puzzle. It should be noted and commended that Leila has just returned from injury and managed to play the full 80 minutes for the first time since her return.
UNDER 20 | SOUTH COAST FLAME 1 – 0 MT DRUITT RANGERS
Flame were back at home after their humbling defeat last week to Central Coast Mariners to face a struggling Mt Druitt side who were out to get their first 3 points of the season.
Although South Coast Flame started strong and were controlling the ball, chances were hard to come by as Mt Druitt sat deep in their half and looked to make life difficult for the home side while playing on the counter. As Flame started to find greater confidence in their passing, chances appeared. Sariah Wilson was pulling the strings in midfield and Emily Kostovski was giving her defender nightmares as she went by her opponent time after time in 1v1 situations.
Ava Parry was instrumental up front as her hold up play brought Piper Cowen and her midfield into the game. A nice lay off for Brooke Love saw her shot destined for the corner of the goal, tipped around the post by the Rangers shot stopper.
Just as it looked like we would go into the half scoreless, the combination of Ava Parry and Piper Cowen connected. Parry sliding a perfect through ball in behind the Mt Druitt defence for Cowen to stride onto and poke between the goalkeeper’s legs to give the Flame a one nil lead heading into the break.
The second half started like many of the Flames games this year; slow and unsettled and with the away side bringing a barrage of shots onto the Flame goal. Tahlia Sharrock made a crucial one-on-one save which was followed up by Bethany Horton who headed the next shot over the bar, saving a certain goal. The resulting corner was then headed onto the cross bar by a Flame defender and away to safety, a nervous few minutes for South Coast.
However, apart from this five-minute cameo from Mt Druitt, Flame were in complete control in the second half, moving the opposition from side-to-side and combining well in the final third. If it were not for some excellent goalkeeping from the Rangers keeper who kept her side in the game with some crucial saves, the score line would have read much different.
Flame coming away with a hard fought one nil win at home. Although goals were not aplenty, and the final touch was missing on some occasions, it was a confident performance, a much needed 3 points and a nice rebound after last weekend.
Player of the Week | Emily was in fine form in the first half against Mt Druitt. Her pace and trickery in 1 on 1 situations had her opposition in a spin with no answers on how to handle her. As Captain of the side, Emily has stepped up recently and shown that she is a tough challenge for any defender in this league. To top off her POTW performance, Emily came on a substitute for First Grade and scored her first goal in that grade in their 7-0 win. Congratulations Emily!
FIRST GRADE | SOUTH COAST FLAME 7 – 0 MT DRUITT RANGERS
The Flame girls came into this weekend’s game with one objective. Win!
The girls were motivated and were bringing in some good form from the last game against Central Coast Mariners. In the first minute of the game, Lisa Prior struck a free kick from her own half which was cleared straight to Ebony Freeman who was able to play a clever ball into Rachelle Wang who whipped in a ball to find Alexis Malizis who was able to get a shot off. Her shot was cleared off the line into the path of Jess Cruickshank who converted Flame’s first goal.
The Mt Druitt girls rebounded well and continued to prove to have a stubborn defensive block. Strikes on goal from long range to Freeman, Ruby Blanch and Malizis were on target but could not be converted in the first half.
The message at half time for Flame was to be more creative in the final third and take the chances.
Just two minutes into the second half, Flame’s intent was clear as a corner was whipped in by Caitlin Russell that found Prior free in the box. Her header was unfortunately sprayed wide of the far post.
What transpired in the next 16 minutes was incredible. On the 63rd minute Prior intercepted and played a ball into Emi Skopal who executed her trademark spin turn to get herself free and a clever pass into Wang who cut back to Cruickshank who laid off to Skopal on the edge of the box to fire home a rocket to make it 2-0.
Just two minutes later, a neat combination between Skopal and Lulu Lozano saw the latter play a clever ball into the box to find Monique Koloski free. She was able to take her first touch forward and score to claim the Flame’s third goal.
In the 67th minute, Cruickshank drove into the box before neatly tucking the ball into the bottom corner with her preferred foot to make it 4-0.
It was rain goals at the Furnace. On 75 minutes Prior played a perfect long ball into space for Piper Cowen to run onto. She was able to deliver a perfect cut back cross into Lozano who was bolting into the box. She claimed the Flame’s firth goal with poise and finesse slotting it past the keeper.
Just four minutes later, Freeman caught the keeper off her line with a shot from the sideline to make it 6-0.
The final blow again came ten minutes from time with super sub – Emily Kostovski scoring her first goal in the top grade. She found herself free in the 18-yard box when a defensive clearance fell into her path. She took control of the ball and placed it to the right off the keeper.
This goal fest occurred over 18 minutes and was a truly special phase of football and display of tactical execution for the Flame women
Player of the Week | Ebony Freeman
Relentless defensive effort and truly embodying the Flame culture and standards consistently.