Match Reports

South Coast Flame hit the road this week for a tough contest against top of the table, Hills United FC. It was a close game, but Flame couldn’t manage to secure 3 points going down 2-1 in the end.

Hills United had a convincing start to the half with their first goal scoring opportunity in the 7th minute. After some combination play in the wide channel between Kaylie Shannon and Bianca Galayini, we saw Galayini cut back on the byline and zip a ball across goal. However, Flame keeper, Sariah Wilson contested the ball preventing Alix Roberts from having a fair chance at goal.

In the following minutes Hills had another chance at opening the score line. Attacking pressure from Isabella Sciberras lead to a forced turn-over in the final third and after an effective bounce pass, we saw Roberts line up for a long-range drive at goal. However, Wilson managed to push it out for a corner, denying them of another chance. 

In the 12th minute, Flame had their first chance at taking the lead. A freekick just short of halfway was sent into the wide channel for Paula Mitchell who headed the ball towards goal. Jessica Cruickshank contested the bouncing ball; however, it landed in the safe hands of Hills keeper, Sarah Easthope.

Cristina Barraza had Flame fans ready to celebrate after the away side was awarded a freekick just outside the 18-yard box. Barraza sent the ball over the wall and past Easthope, although hit the crossbar just centimetres away from the back netting.

Flames chances kept flowing with a counterattack in the following minutes. A beautiful ball from Barraza onto the feet of Mitchell lead to her driving at speed towards the box. Although pressure from Hills defence resulted in a premature shot that was easily scoped up by Easthope.

However, Flame was eventually rewarded for their attacking pressure taking the lead in the 22nd minute. A contested long ball from Wilson landed at the feet of Barraza who was mistakenly given space to drive centrally. She then threaded the ball through to Emily Kostovski who played a one touch pass across the face of the goal for Cruickshank, slotting the ball into the back of the net.

After an impressive through ball from Galayini Hills presented with a chance to even the scoreline. Shannon put her speed and technical abilities on display running onto the ball and beating multiple defenders in the box. However, Flame’s defensive pressure proved too much, and she couldn’t manage to successfully pull a shot off.

Right before the half time whistle Flame looked to increase their lead. Another impressive through ball from Barraza landed at the feet of Mitchell providing her with a one-on-one opportunity at goal. She was unfortunately shut down quickly by Easthope who made an impressive save leaving the ball bouncing dangerously in the box. Cruickshank followed up looking to seal her second goal, however, Easthope made a double save, keeping her team in the game.

Flame headed to into the second half confident after an exciting first half performance.

Although Hills came out with something to prove. Flame kicked off the second half, however, couldn’t keep possession under Hills high press. After a change of possession in dangerous territory we saw Galayini drive at goal and slot the ball evening in the score line in the 46th minute.

The home side maintained the high energy approach creating multiple chances in the following minutes.  

Roberts received the ball centrally before driving at Flames defensive line and slotting the ball in behind. Shannon timed her run well meeting the ball at speed and first time burying the ball into the bottom corner past Wilsons fingertips.

After Hills took the lead, it was a seemingly quiet second half with the home side controlling the pace of the game for extended periods. 

In the final 10 minutes, South Coast looked hungry to even the score line. The away side was awarded a free kick in their attacking half in the added minutes of the game. Although Hills keeper, Easthope did well to secure the ball in the 6-yard box preventing Flame from taking their final chance at goal.

The final whistle concluded the first half of the season, Flame sitting in 7th place heading into the second round.


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