Match Reports

South Coast Flame produced arguably their most complete performance across the last couple of seasons disposing of Sydney University 4-0 at Ian McLennan Park on Friday night. A hat trick to Michael Trajkovski and a late goal to youngster Jyden Harb sealed their fourth straight win to start the season.

It was a cagey opening to the game with both sides exchanging some good possession as they felt each other out.

The game sprung to life when Matthew Mazevski threaded between two defenders and was brought down earning Flame a penalty on ten minutes. Trajkovski stepped up and sent Jasper Sarkies the wrong the way putting the home side ahead early.

Just a few minutes later, a Flame corner fell to James Baldacchino on the far post however he slashed his shot wide.

On 18 minutes, Flame’s forward pressure caused a high turnover which found Mitchell Turner who lobbed the ball just over the bar with Sarkies in no mans land.

The home side was high on confidence and some quality football through the middle saw Genki Iwata link with Mitchell Turner who blasted just wide.

As we ticked over to the half hour mark, Flame were well on top with the students looking to hang tough. Namito Tsuchiya got himself on the end of a long ball flicked on by Trajkovski with his driving shot having to be dealt with by Sarkies.

On 39 minutes, Flame produced another wonderful piece of football with some smart combinations in midfield seeing the ball played into Trajkovski on the edge of the box. His turn and shot into the bottom corner was as good as the lead up. Flame was firmly in control of the match as they headed into the break two goals to the good.

Flame started the second half where they left off. Good, quick ball movement had the students chasing.

On 53 minutes, one of the plays of the match had the crowd gasping as we saw some wonderful combinations lead to Iwata sliding a ball in behind the defence for Zander Alston who had his shot smothered by Sarkies.

It took 62 minutes for the student to muster their first real opportunity. Substitute Jess Hirschowitz found some space just outside the box. He rifled a shot that went straight down the throat of Rocco Zinnato who by comparison was having a quiet night.

Just a minute later, Mazevski let loose with a swerving long-range effort that had Sarkies scrambling as he got a hand to it and away to safety.

Flame was not content with a two-goal lead and on 68 minutes, a long ball over the top by Harb found Iwata who was inches away from clearing the fingertips of Sarkies.

On 78 minutes, Sydney Uni’s Jethro Thornton created some space for himself before letting rip a shot that was well collected by Zinnato. He immediately cleared the ball long into space. Trajkovski was quickest to respond as he chipped the advancing Sarkies into an unguarded net to make it a hat trick and 3-0 to Flame.

Jyden Harb rounded off the scoring into injury time when a failed clearance fell to him on the edge of the box. He cut in beating a defender before curling his shot in off the far post.

It was a strong performance especially considering this was Flame’s third game inside six days.

The backline featuring the experienced Jacob Poscoliero, Yanni Fragogiannis and Baldacchino all put in terrific shifts whilst Zander Alston probably did about 20 kilometres worth of running. The midfield showed their technical quality with Jason Pappas and Mazevski moving the ball and combining well with Turner and the Japanese duo, Tsuchiya and Iwata. Trajkovski was man to ice the moves whilst goalkeeper Rocco Zinnato probably had the best seat in the house.

Coach Andrew Paine was full of praise for his chargers given the recent schedule.

It was a really impressive performance from the boys on the end of a busy week. The effort defensively across the park was outstanding, and with the ball, we played some nice fluid football, and importantly, we converted that into goals. Overall, just really proud of the group.

Friday 1 March 2024 @ Ian McLennan Park

South Coast Flame – 4 (Trajkovski 10′, 41′, 79′, Harb 90+2′)

Sydney University – 0

Match Stats

In the Under 20 fixture, Flame ran out 3-0 winners with all goals coming in the second half. Flame wasn’t without chances in the opening stanza as both Jay De Gouveia and Antonio Sansone smashed shots against cross bar.

Just after half time, Chayden Vasquez made a weaving run that saw him brought down in the box, penalty. Mitchell Despotovski dispatched it well to give Flame the lead.

From there, it was all one way traffic as the home side peppered the students’ goal.

Just six minutes later, some great persistence from Lucas Ayala saw him rewarded as his charge down off a keeper clearance saw the ball fall nicely back at his feet and he managed to guide it into an empty goal.

Just two minutes later, Liam Hoyn made an immediate impact after coming on as a substitute when his individual effort saw him thread a shot through a couple of players and beyond the goalkeeper to make it 3-0.

There were a couple of half chances for both sides in the last 15 minutes however the damage was done with Flame matching the first grade effort and winning their fourth straight game.

It’s been an amazing start to the competition from the Senior teams however it’s a long season and Flame now face another tough test against the Newcastle Jets Academy sides next week.

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