Western Condors swoop late to defeat South Coast Flame

South Coast Flame in action against the Western Condors. Photo: DYLAN ARVELA
South Coast Flame in action against the Western Condors. Photo: DYLAN ARVELA

AFTER having their finals hopes squashed against Nepean in round 19, South Coast Flame were looking for three wins from three to finish of the season starting with a home match against Western Condors.

Flame, featuring Shoalhaven Heads-Berry’s Matt White and Culburra’s Martin Thompson, led by a goal to nil at half-time thanks to a Matt Mazevski penalty but the visitors fought back and stole the three points after Chun Him Yau netted a 92nd-minute winner. 

The sides exchanged chances in the opening 10 minutes with the away side having the first big opportunity after eight minutes.

Matt White scuffed a clearance which fell to Kaito Ikarimoto just outside the box, he had an effort on goal and the Flame skipper avenged his error by pulling off a solid save.

In the next cycle of play, the ball was played upfield for Louis Connell who had his shot blocked out for a corner.

The chances continued to flow for both sides.

In the 12th minute, White made a save off Yau but the ball came back to the Condors number 10 but he couldn’t guide his second attempt on target.

In the 16th minute, Dion Sterjovski cut into the box from the left wing and forced Benoit Beaujean into a reaction save.

Two minutes later, Condors had another chance, similar to their opportunity six minutes earlier but this time White had made a double save and the ball came to Gaston Roy at point-blank range but he muffed his strike off target.

With 25 minutes on the clock, Flame took the lead after a clumsy challenge saw Sterjovski go down in the area leaving the referee with little choice but to award a penalty kick.

Mazevski stood up to the mark and confidently thumped his effort to the goalkeeper’s left.

In the final five minutes of the half, the visitors squandered another decent chance with Joshua Obeng blazing a shot over the bar, however, they were lucky not to go two behind with Beaujean making another decent save off a low Caleb Grace strike seconds before half-time.

The pattern of play from the first half continued in the second with either side having ample opportunities on goal.

In the 49th minute, a cross in from the right found Talan Myers who skied his shot over White’s goal and a minute later Flame were on the attack with Grace playing Bojan Caric through but his shot under pressure produced another good save from Beaujean.

In the 54th minute, Condors’ Gaston Roy was played through on goal but his one on one effort just went outside the left post.

He had a chance to make amends less than a minute later when he produced a Cruyff turn inside the box before slotting the ball into the bottom left corner.

The match tensed up for the next 20 minutes before Flame began to dominate the territorial battle in the final stages.

With 11 minutes remaining, Mazevski made a cavalier run up the park before earning a foul on the edge of the box, he took the set piece and his vicious drive fizzed past to left post.

In the 80th minute, Beaujean made a spectacular fingertip save to deny substitute Jayden Smileski from leaving a stunning mark on the match when he fired a wicked half-volley from just inside the left of the area.

As the match ticked into added on time, Panyar Maliet had an opportunity to win the match for the visitors when he chased down a through ball but White was on hand to sweep away the danger.

The ball went up the other end of the park and Grace had a chance to grab the winner but he scooped the ball over the bar.

In the final minute of added on time, Condors broke South Coast hearts by scoring the winner with Yau running onto a ball over the top of the high line before sneaking his shot past the goalkeeper.

The Condors celebrated with glee as it keeps their slim finals chances alive for another day at least.

The result leaves South Coast in ninth place and three points behind eighth placed Hurstville City Minotaurs who they play on the final day of the season.

Before that, Flame travel to Seymour Shaw to take on an out of form Hurstville FC who may still have a hope of making the finals depending on the result in their match on Sunday.

This story first appeared on: Football South Coast


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