Goals galore as Manly United trump Sharks
Manly United’s Central Coast import Matthew Fletcher netted the winner in a hard fought 3-2 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s win over Sutherland Sharks at Seymour Shaw Park on Saturday.
Chasing down a poor back-pass in the 65’, Fletcher rounded Sharks’ ‘keeper Nathan Denham to coolly slot home on the break.
Goals from Scott Balderson and Dylan Macallister gave the visitors the lead, while a Joshua Da Silva’s strike sandwiched in-between made for a pulsating opening 45 minutes of football. Fletcher then added to the score before a Tomohiro Kajiyama penalty brought the game back to life.
A scrappy start from both saw a long-range effort from Jamie Lobb sail harmlessly wide for the visitors before Dylan Mitchell denied Sharks’ Kajiyama in the 9’ minute when saving with his feet.
It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. Scott Balderson cut in from the left and unleashed a screamer in the 15th minute after a slick counter attack. He opened the scoring for the visitors leaving Nathan Denham clutching at fresh air with a desperate dive to his left.
Josh Da Silva restored parity when a knock down inside the box was perfectly taken by the Sharks striker just as Manly were looking their most threatening.
Macallister rolled back the years to ensure the visitors went to the break in front, thumping home from close range in emphatic style.
Manly’s intricate passing found the Sharks wanting at times. However, with it all to play for, they took the game to the visitors with no lack of effort and style.
Mitchell produced a magnificent save at full stretch from close range to deny a header from Nathan Elasi that should have brought the game level once more.
Moments later Balderson returned fire sending a curling shot over Denham’s bar from 25-yards out which dipped just that little bit too late.
Manly’s lead was extended further when Fletcher chased down the ball and rounded Denham in the 65th minute to spectacularly net his first of the season.
Travis Oughtred gave Sutherland a way back into the match conceding a penalty in the 70th minute.
The penalty was duly tucked away by Kajiyama and it was game on once more.
A sweeping move late on provided the Sharks with a last-ditch chance to snatch a draw. However, Cox fired over and Manly claimed all three points.
Paul Dee, in his final match as coach of Manly before moving interstate, praised his side’s round one performance.
“It was a very hard fought win and we expected that to be honest,” he said.
“Sutherland is a side which is improving every time I see them play. I think the result shows it was a bit of an arm wrestle but we’ve come away with the win on the opening day of the season.
“There was obviously a little match rustiness from both sides but all teams will improve as the weeks go by. We managed to capitalise on mistakes to secure the points and that’s always good so no complaints here.
Sharks coach Carlos Villazon had mixed feelings with his side’s performance.
“We made a lot of mistakes in crucial areas tonight and our decision making has cost us two goals,” Villazon said.
“The first two goals came on the counter-attack. We didn’t play out to the wide areas enough which is the safest place to lose the ball. I spoke about this at the break and our second-half performance was improved.
“I’m disappointed with losing the ball in critical areas and with the result, but I’m not disappointed with the effort of my players tonight.
However the final word went to the outgoing Paul Dee who quipped.
“I can tell you I won’t be asking the lads in for training on Sunday morning as a final farewell.”
“They wouldn’t turn up anyway.”
Sutherland Sharks 2 (J. Da Silva 27’, Kajiyama 70 pen’)
Manly United 3 (Balderson 15’, Macallister 41’, Fletcher 65’)
Saturday, 11th March, 2017
Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Referee: Ben Abraham
Assistant Referees: Joon Park & Nathan Wotton
Fourth Official: Hussan Jomaa
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Nathan Denham, 3.Takuya Muruyama, 4.Stephen Kayes (7.Jack Press 75’), 5.Nick Littler ©, 6.Matthew Gordon, 9.Tomohiro Kajiyama, 10.Joshua Da Silva (8.Chris McStay 64), 11.Nathan Elasi, 15.Kevin Lopes (13.Jeremy Cox 68), 19.Callum Fitzpatrick, 25.Wade Oostendorp
Substitutes Not Used: 14.Patrick O’Shea, 21.Niki Loe
Yellow Cards: Littler 48’
Manly United: 1.Dylan Mitchell, 2.Kieren Paull, 3.Jamie Lobb ©, 4.Travis Oughtred, 7.Travis Cooper (17.Sam Wilson 29’), 8.Sasa Macura, 9.Dylan Macallister (23.Matthew Fletcher 60’), 10.Brendan Cholakian, 12.Leigh Egger, 13.Scott Balderson (11.Nikola Taneski 60’), 21.Joseph Fox
Substitutes Not Used: 15.Hamish Galbraith, 111.Sam Benton
Yellow Cards: Balderson 45+1, Cholakian 50’, Oughtred 70’
3 – Scott Balderson MU
2 – Tomohiro Kajiyama SS
1 – Dylan Mitchell MU
-By Micky Brock, FNSW Reporter