APIA defeated by Manly in goal frenzy


MANLY United recovered from a two-goal deficit in the first half to beat APIA Leichhardt Tigers 4-2 during their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Cromer Park on Saturday night.

Following a cagey opening from both teams, the visitors took the lead on 12' minutes.

Tasuku Sekiya showed great feet to waltz through the Manly defence before firing past Dylan Mitchell.

Moments later Corey Biczo should have doubled APIA's lead.

The wide man short wide of the target, but he was smiling on 24' minutes when the Tigers went 2-0 up.

Mitchell came for a corner but didn't get near it, and defender Josh Symons unleashed a bullet header at the far post.

On 29' minutes United almost pegged a goal back.

Dejan Pandurevic hit a decent free kick, but it flashed wide of the post.

With 38' minutes on the clock a great ball from Daniel Saric found Scott Balderson, but the in form attacker inexplicably shot over the crossbar.

Balderson atoned 5' minutes later.

Brendan Cholakian played in the one-time Newcastle Jets utility, and Balderson turned past his marker before slotting an effort past Luke Turnbull.

Seconds after the break Manly made it 2-2 - by that man Balderson.

Turnbull scuffed a backpass and United's x-factor didn't need a second invitation, chipping the keeper from the edge of the area.

APIA's players were stunned to find the contest even and then Cholakian almost gave the home side the lead of 50' minutes, stinging the palms of Turnbull from distance.

With zero momentum, the Tigers almost took a shock 3-2 lead seconds later.

United had Travis Oughtred to thank, with his block to deny Sekiya nothing short of brilliant.

Cholakian went close again on 62' minutes from a Jamie Lobb corner and on 67' minutes the attacking ace should have scored, but his header from a Saric cross trickled wide.

The hosts finally hit the lead on 76' minutes.

Sash Macura tried his luck from distance, and his drive never looked like missing.

Both sides then cleared their benches before the game's best moment with 82' minutes played.

Substitute Nikola Taneski unleashed an absolute 'bomb' from 25 yards which flew into the top corner.

It was undoubtedly Manly's best goal of the year, with Taneski's beaming smile for the the rest of the match and at fulltime telling the story.

Oughtred also displayed incredible fighting spirit, dislocating his shoulder twice before finishing the match.

Lobb was a happy Manly skipper when reflecting on the contest outside the sheds.

"It was a game of two halves,'' he said.

"APIA had our measure early on, Scott's (Balderson) goal for us just before halftime was massive.

"After the break we were better, we stuck to the game plan and got our rewards via Sash (Macura) and Nik (Taneski)."

His opposite David D'Apuzzo was bewildered his team ended up with nothing.

"The momentum shifted and we didn't have any answers,'' the APIA midfielder said.

"We gifted them a goal which didn't' help either.

"In the end, they (Manly) scored two good late goals and got the result, so good luck to them."

Match Stats

Manly United 4 (Scott Balderson 43', 46', Sasa Macura 76', Nikola Taneski 82')

APIA Leichhardt Tigers 2 (Tasuku Sekiya 12', Josh Symons 24')

Cromer Park

Saturday May 6, 2017

Referee: Kurt Ams

Assistants: A.Giev, J.Bell

Fourth official: C.Lee

Manly United: 1.Dylan MITCHELL, 13.Scott BALDERSON,(11.Nikola TANESKI 64') 10.Brendan CHOLAKIAN, 12.Leigh EGGER, 21.Joey FOX,(16.Sipan BERTI 90') 3.Jamie LOBB, 8.Sasa MACURA, 4.Travis OUGHTRED, 14.Dejan PANDUREVIC, 19.Daniel SARIC,(6.Dom FERGUSON 83') 17.Sam WILSON

Substitutes not used: 15.Hamish GALBRAITH, 20.Shaun CATLIN

Yellow cards: Scott Balderson 13', Brendan Cholakian 58', Sam Wilson 60', Jamie Lobb 66'

Red cards: Nil

APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 22.Luke TURNBULL, 8.Corey BICZO, 19.Brandon LUNDY, 2.Nathan MILLGATE, 7.Sean O'CONNELL, (10.Franco PARISI 80') 15.Themba MUATA-MARLOW, 20.Tasuku SEKIYA, 4.Josh SYMONS, 16.Sean SYMONS, 18.Adrian UCCHINO, (6.Shervin ADELI 83') 9.Matthew WEST (11.Jordan MURRAY 78')

Substitutes not used: 1.Blake TUXFORD, 5.Brad BARTELS

Yellow cards: Themba Muata-Marlow 39', Adrian Ucchino 53'

Red cards: Nil

Player Ratings

3 - Scott Balderson (MU)

2 - Tasuku Sekiya (ALT)

1 - Nikola Taneski (MU)