A late comeback from University White saw their round three clash with South Coast Flame end in a 2-2 draw at Ian McLennan Park on Sunday evening. 

It was a fast-paced start to the match with an early goal from a well-structured South Coast Flame side.

Jessica Cruickshank took on the line before finding Caitlin Russell in the centre of the box before she neatly placed the ball in the back of the net.

It didn’t take long for University White to react back with Amy Morrell taking a clean shot before tucking away the rebound from close range – evening the score to 1-1.

The Flame picked up their intensity, creating a golden opportunity with Sariah Wilson sending Cruickshank through Uni’s backline before taking a shot which was stopped by goalkeeper Ashley Donovan. 

The Unicorns came close to scoring their second with Morrell in the mix again with her shot denied by the hands of Sage Dixon.

A one-two between striker Emilia Skopal and Russell saw a potential chance at goal but the Flame could not capitalise from short range.

In the 40th minute, Taya Kelly combined with Russell in the centre of the pitch before sending Skopal into space with the striker calmly tucking her shot past Donovan to retake the lead.

The second period started off slowly with both sides trying to get back into their rhythm. 

The hosts received their first real chance at goal in the 59th minute with a free-kick being rewarded to Brooke Love who stepped up and swung a vicious shot that hit the crossbar.

Just minutes later, University came close to an equaliser with winger Madeline Negus sending a low-ball into the feet of Grace Amatto who took a strike at goal but was denied by South Coast’s defender Wilson who did well to clean the ball up just centimetres before the goal line. 

Uni continued to struggle to find the back of the net as Sian McGavock and Morrell were both got denied by the agile work from Dixon. 

With just 10 minutes to go, the Flame had another great opportunity for a third goal with Skopal beating Donovan before her shot was blocked by the retreating Uni defence.

Both sides were still driving towards the final whistle and there would be one last chance which the home side were able to take advantage of.

Morrell capitalising on a defensive effort before dinking the ball over the goalkeeper to seal her brace and a 2-2 draw.

South Coast Flame will come up against reigning league champions Albion Park in an Anzac Day fixture in round four while University White will take on an in-form Thirroul.

South Coast Flame: 2 (Caitlin Russell 3’, Emilia Skopal 41’)

University White: 2 (Amy Morrell 4’, 87’)

South Coast Flame: 1. DIXON Sage, 2. BLANCH Ruby, 34. FRANKLIN Emily, 5. KELLY Taya, 6. KOLOSKI Monique, 7. LOVE Brooke, 8. PORTELLI Bethany, 9. RUSSELL Caitlin, 10. SKOPAL Emilia, 11. MCLEAN Emma, 12. WILSON Sariah, 13. BAKHTIARI Ernika, 14. HASAN Zinah, 15. ELIZA Webster, 16. CRUICKSHANK Jessica, 32. KELLY Jessica

University White: 1. DONOVAN Ashley, 3. ZAMUNER Caitlyn 5. NEGUS Madeline, 6. LUME Edith, 7. BALA Nina, 8. AMATTO Grace, 9. MORRELL Amy, 11. REAN Jordan, 13. MCGAVOCK Sian, 14. SEITARIDIS Zoe, 16. RUSSELL Makenzie, 17. LOND Kyah, 19. HAMILTON HUCMAN Tallara, 21. ZIPPARD Isabella

Date: 18 April 2021

Venue: Ian McLennan Park

Referee: Jackson Giustiniani

Assistant Referees: Caleb Blanch and Byron Lawler

Report by Alison Dinh, on Twitter @alisondinh_

Photo by Richie Wagner

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