Manly United sneak into the top five


Manly United has snatched a last gasp 2-1 win against Sydney Olympic FC during their PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s clash at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday to return to the top five standings.

Goals to Sasa Macura and Scott Balderson only two minutes apart in the dying stages of the contest left the home fans completely shell shocked.

A Mitchell Stamatellis header after 30 minutes had the home team in the lead and in control until Manly struck in the 80th minute.

The result allows Manly to move back into the top five for the first time in weeks.

It was a tense start to the match with neither side giving much away,

The battle was bogged down in midfield and chances were at premium.

No side could truly put their mark on the match as both the Manly and Olympic defences held firm.

It wasn't until the 22nd minute of the match for the game’s first real chance.

Olympic winger Jinya An’s silky footwork proved too much for the Manly defence as he beat three defenders, but unfortunately for the home side his finish was not as crisp with the ball sailing high and wide.

Moments later the home side found a long awaited breakthrough.

Stamatellis rose up to head home a curling An corner kick in what appeared like a choreographed set piece play from the home side.

Manly were stunned but fought hard to keep themselves in the game.

Brendan Cholakian was the fulcrum of the Manly attack and began to trouble to home side’s defence.

In the 35th minute towering Manly midfielder Sasa Macura had the visitors best chance of the first half when he flicked his header over the bar from the near post after a corner kick.

It would prove to be the last real excitement of the half as Olympic clung onto their lead going into the break.

It was one way traffic at the start of the second half as Manly tried to fight their way back into the match.

The visitors had Olympic on the back foot and were unlucky not to score after winning three corner kicks in quick succession.

the scrambling defence of the home side were able to neutralise their opposition’s efforts and left Manly struggling to create a clear cut opportunity on goal.

A long range effort from Dom Ferguson sailed wide and it was the best the visitors could find.

Olympic sat back deep in their half but were quick to fire forward on the counter attack when the opportunity struck.

A clearance from Olympic midfielder Tom Whiteside would've made Olympic fans hearts skip a beat as it sailed far too close to his own goal.

In the 79th minute Manly finally found a breakthrough when Sasa Macura chipped Olympic keeper Paul Henderson after the ball popped out to the midfielder at the edge of the box.

The veteran shot stopper raced out to intercept a cross but the ball ricocheted out to Macura who hit the ball first time into the net.

Unbelievably Manly were back on the scoresheet only two minutes later when Scott Balderson gave his side the lead.

Balderson cooly tapped home a low cross from the wind after a rapid counter attack from Manly.

Olympic were caught off guard and went from defending a lead to chasing in no time at all.

A final push forward to rescue a point was uneventful for Olympic as Manly stole all three points from the jaws of defeat.

Manly coach Warren Grieve praised the way his team bounced back from their first half struggles.

“We were off the pace in the first half with passes not hitting their target and small lapses of concentration.

“After the break we were more clinical and it paid dividends with those two great goals late in the match.

“Our second half performance was closer to the level i know we are capable of so it is a great feeling to come away with the result tonight."

Sydney Olympic’s new Spanish coach Gorka Exteberria was positive despite the loss.

“It is disappointing to lose but I'm not disappointed with the players,” he said.

“To concede late like that isn't a great way to finish a game but other than that it was positive signs from the team.

“We have a week off next week which is a much appreciated thing for me as it will give me time to learn more about my players and how we will play.”

Match Stats

Sydney Olympic FC: 1 (Stamatellis)

Manly United FC: 2 (Macura, Balderson)

Sunday, July 2 2017

Belmore Sportsground, Belmore

Referee: C Young

Assistant Referees: S Edeling J Adabjou

Fourth Official: N McOrist 

Sydney Olympic FC: 1. Paul Henderson, 4. Thomas Whiteside, 6. Mitchell Stamatellis, 7. Will Angel, 8. Jason Madonis, 11. Jinya An, 12. You Kuboki, 14, Mohammad Rahimi (33. Nikolas Tastallios), 16. George Timotheou, 23. Tass Mourdoukoutas (19. Darcy Burgess), 24. Chris Gligor

Substitutes: 4. Yianni Spyriakis, 20. Ezequiel Consoni,, 99. Paul Katsetis

Yellow Cards: Timotheou, An

Red Cards:

Manly United FC: 20. Shaun Catlin, 2. Kieran Paull, 3. Jamie Lobb, 4. Travis Oughtred, 6. Dominic Ferguson, 8. Sasa Macura, 10. Brendan Cholakian, 11. Nikola Taneski, 12. Leigh Egger,  14. Dejan Pandurevic (9. Dylan Macallister), 17. Sam Wilson

Substitutes: 1. Dylan Mitchell, 13. Scott Balderson, 15. Marco Sama, 21. Joseph Fox

Yellow Cards: Wilson

Red Cards: