Match Reports

Flame continued their unbeaten home record with a gritty come from behind 2-1 win over Bankstown who were one of the inform teams.

It was a positive start to the match for both sides. A neat combination between Zander Alston and Jyden Harb on two minutes saw the latter fire just wide as Flame fired the first warning shot.

Just a couple of minutes later, a defensive error saw Alejandro Salgueira find space out wide before squaring to Mitchell Edmunds who let fly a shot from 20 yards that was well collected by Rocco Zinnato.

A long Bankstown goal kick clearance on 14 minutes somehow eluded everyone as it fell nicely to Jovan Blagojevic all the way down the other end as he pulled his shot across goal from just inside the box.

The game was turning into an intriguing battle as neither side was prepared to concede ground to their opponent with some strong midfield challenges.

On 29 minutes, some good work from Cory Freeman saw him cut back across the penalty area and shoot towards goal however Zinnato was up to the challenge collecting it well.

Flame turned up the heat with ten minutes to go in the first half. A long ball saw Harb use his electric pace to get to the ball first however some strong defensive work from Daniel Slane saw him crucially block a golden opportunity.

Flame continued to go on the front foot when Sam Alston burst through Bankstown defence, and he squared across goal. Michael Trajkovski incredibly had a shot cleared off the line from just a couple of yards out as the visitors scrambled well.

Just minutes prior to the break, some patient possession from Flame ended with James Baldacchino coming up from the back and letting fly a shot from 25 yards out that just cleared the cross bar as Mitchell Evans could only look on.

It was all square at half time and some big team talks were required.

Both sides continued to spar with one another until the 57th minute. A Bankstown free kick was floated into the box and a bit of a scramble ensued. Blagojevic poked the ball home from 10 yards out to give Bankstown the lead.

The game suddenly lit up with Flame coming to the realisation their season was starting to unwind, as they upped the tempo.

On 67 minutes, some nice combination play saw Harb puncture the Bankstown defence until he was brought down just inside the box resulting in a penalty kick. The reliable Trajkovski stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way and suddenly Flame were level.

The Furnace was lit as Flame continued to pepper the visitors goal. On 76 minutes, Genki Iwata switched a ball to Harb on the left, he cut back in and just curled his effort wide.

Just two minutes later, it was Harb again who sliced through the defence. He forced a good save from Matthew Massarotto however the ball fell to Trajkovski who had his shot incredibly saved off the line as Bankstown were hanging on.

On 83 minutes, Bankstown crafted a god chance when Salgueira drove towards goal and looked to curl one to the far post. Zinnato made a fine save however the ball fell nicely to Marie Gauthier who sliced his shot wide from 10 yards.

Flame were once again queuing up outside Bankstown’s box just two minutes later as the visitors were putting their bodies on the line. Harb was terrific all night and showed incredible confidence in only his second start this year as he took on a defender as he drove in the box. He was forced wide however he floated the ball to the far post where it beat the goalkeeper and bounced in off the post to put Flame ahead for the first time in the match.

Bankstown went in search for an equaliser however that left some big gaps and Iwata nearly made it three on the stroke of full time as he hit the side netting from close range.

Flame managed to see out the game and record a much needed win over their rivals to keep then in the hunt for an elusive top two finish.


In the earlier game, Bankstown shot out to a two-goal lead inside 20 minutes. Mohamad Kurdi firing the visitors in front on five minutes before Matthew Massarotto doubled their lead on 18 minutes after converting a penalty.

Ryan Chard pulled a goal back for Flame just before the break.

Flame was camped inside the opposition half for much of the second period. After several near misses, Flame broke through on 81 minutes after a loose ball in the box was poked in.

Flame couldn’t find a winner and settled for a well-earned 2-2 draw.

The Senior Men start the second half of the season on the road to Gladesville Ryde Magic next week.  

Photos courtesy of Gragrapix.


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