UNDER 20 | South Coast Flame 0 – 3 St George Saints
Ian McLennan Park | 6 August 2022
South Coast Flame welcomed League powerhouse St George to Ian McLennan Park for the late game on Saturday afternoon.
Flame started well by pressing in a mid-third block and using their counterattack to great effect. St George were slowly building into the game and after an excellent diving save from Tahlia Sharrock a goal mouth scramble ensued. Somehow a follow up shot deflected off a Flame head and into the goal to give the away side the lead.
Flame did not let their heads drop as they continued to implement their style of football and game plan. Mia Riza and Sariah Wilson were linking up well and were incredibly dynamic in the right channel, Wilson’s overlapping run and cross found Emily Kostovski on the back post un-marked but unfortunately her effort was smothered by some excellent goalkeeping.
It was a great tactical battle from both teams with neither willing to stray from their brand of football. Half time, Flame down one nil.
Flame started the second half with confidence and bravery in possession looking to get themselves back into the game. Within minutes, Emily Kostovski beat her defender and put Ava Parry in-behind the St George defence. Unfortunately, Parry’s shot could only find the side netting.
Emily Kostovski was at it again minutes later, beating her defender and heading towards the goal, this time her cut back was to Mia Riza who couldn’t direct her shot on target – but promising signs for the hosts after the restart.
As is with football, one lapse in concentration can hurt you. A St George corner to the back post found the flying St George forward who rose highest and headed the away side to a two-goal lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Minutes later, another lapse in concentration, this time when trying to play out from the back, gifted the St George first grade leading goal scorer (dropping down for a fitness test before playing first grade) a golden opportunity inside the penalty which she calmly took to give St George a three-goal lead and the 3 points.
Although Flame went down by three, they can be proud of the football they tried to play, in moments breaking down St George with quick passing, combinations and intelligent movement that was well-received and praised by the opposition coaching staff. We can build off this and move forward.
Player of the Week | Bethany Horton
Bethany was composed in possession and tried to implement the team game plan with her movement and positioning. Defensively, she was reliable as always and made life difficult for the strong St George forward line.
FIRST GRADE | South Coast Flame 3 – 2 St George Saints
Ian McLennan Park | 6 August 2022
After dominating St George in our first encounter, the Flame girls understood that the opponents would be coming into the match looking for revenge.
From the first whistle, Flame made their intentions clear, dominate every aspect of the game.
In the opening encounter of the game, a defensive high press led to a turnover with Jess getting free to fire the first shot of the match over the bar. Two minutes later, St George fired a shot straight at Charlotte Palmisano.
Only moments later, Palmisano was called into action again tipping the shot over the bar.
Just 16 minutes in, the Flame opened the account off a perfectly executed counter attack involving Ruby Blanch, Ebony Freeman, Lulu Lozano and Jess Cruickshank. Blanch won the ball for Freeman to find Lozano free to head a through ball for Cruickshank to get 1 on 1 with the keeper. The St George GK miss judged her dive and collected Cruickshank’s legs. PENALTY. Cruickshank stepped up and finished what she started by slotting the ball to the left of the keeper.
The game was end to end for the next 25 minutes with no real chances being created. Freeman and Blanch were controlling the midfield well and clearly frustrating the opponents. On the 33rd minute Caitlin Russell took a long goal kick on the half bounce and drove into space executing a perfectly outside of the foot pass between the St George defenders. Lozano was there to cross a ball into the 6-yard box narrowly missing Cruickshank’s head.
The second half started much like the first. An end-to-end battle. St George had the better chances in the opening 20 minutes but could no capitalise. In the 66th minute, Caley Talon-Henniker took a throw in took the bounce pass off Monique Koloski to get a cross into the box. The ball took a wicked deflection and ended in the path of Lozano who was free in the box to head in the Flames second goal of the evening. Moments later, the St George team won a free kick 40 yards out. Jordi Baker threatened and let a thunder bolt go. Palmisano tipped it onto the bar, and it fell into an opponent’s path. Her shot hit the side netting.
In the 77th minute, a long ball into the St George striker allowed her to shoot another rocket. Palmisano done her best to stop the rocket shot but parried the shot and unfortunately fell into the path of their runner to make it 2-2. St George scored an 89th minute equaliser against the run of play.
The Flame girls pulled the ball out of the net and made once last effort in injury time. Kelly McIntyre in the last moments of the game played a long ball into the box. A missed clearance led to Sariah Wilson picking the ball up near the by line. She played a pass into Blanch who was free to loop a ball over the top of the keeper to find the net. 3-2.
Player of the Week | Ruby Blanch
Outstanding performance and showing true grit to win every moment in the game