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The Rock-itt : September 2009
Some supporter I am, Manly United are into the final three games of the regular season and lie currently in third place in the table behind Sydney United and Marconi Stallions. Next game up is a home tie against Blacktown City Demons on July 26th and I'm in Brighton on the South Coast of England! Anyhow, it doesn't matter, we forced a 3-3 draw when we played away to Blacktown in the early part of the season and they are currently struggling a bit in the bottom half of the league. Alas, they didn't struggle at Cromer Park that Sunday, a Manly side struggling under a hectic schedule that had seen them play five games in fourteen days went down to a header from Blacktown's Gavin Forbes in the 39th minute. Phil Moss, Manly Head Trainer commented 'the boy's couldn't have worked any harder but it was probably one too many games for us in that tough stretch, the intensity and spark just weren't there and I can understand that.' Keith Shevlin in blue dances a "Pas de deux' with Blacktown's full back. It was frustrating that both teams ahead of Manly in the league also failed to win, a chance to catch up thrown away. Manly's Grade 20's went slightly better with a 1-1 draw against their Blacktown equivalents. Next game up and the last away game of the season was at Jensen Park home of Bankstown City Demons on Sunday August 2nd. Just 10 days ago Manly had made the same trip and came away 2-0 winners to send Bankstown crashing out of the Tiger Turf Cup. History repeated itself with all three points being claimed for our local heroes against the Leagues second placed team courtesy of goals by Robbie Cattenach and Keith Shevlin. Brad Swancott Manly's number one goalkeeper denies Bankstown for the second match in a row. A delighted Phil Moss said, "Scott Thomas, Keith Shevlin, Michael Lloyd-Green and Brad Groves really stood tall in the middle of the park against what I believe is one of the most dangerous and mobile midfield combinations in the league, It was a complete squad effort, we didn't have any passengers and that is what we need moving forward now at this stage of the year" The Manly Grade 20's unfortunately went down at Bankstown to the same score. During the week after the Bankstown game Phil Moss brought in former Newcastle Jets goalkeeper, Ben McNamara as cover for Brad Swancott. The team's injury plagued season was highlighted at his first training session with his new Manly team mates when he accidentally fell on Manly striker, Robbie Cattenach with the dreadful consequence of Robbie suffering a broken leg. Robbie had been coming strongly back into form, scoring in the last match against Bankstown and will be a massive loss for the play off campaign. By this time all this happened our next opponents Sydney United had been crowned League Champions following their narrow 1-0 home Robbie Cattenach before he met Ben McNamara! defeat of Penrith Nepean United. A win for Manly and points dropped by Bankstown could see us still take second place in the league and give us an easier course in the play-offs. It wasn't to be though, Bankstown did conspire to lose 3-2 at Blacktown but both Marconi Stallions and Sutherland Sharks had wins whilst we were losing 3-2 at home to the newly crowned Champions Sydney United. The final table looked like this; PWDLFAPts Sydney United 221372422246 Marconi 221165442239 Sutherland22 10 8 4 46 20 38 Bankstown City 221156393138 MANLY UTD 221075221137 Wollongong Wolves finished bottom of the league but the top 5 were looking forward to the play offs. Manly started off slowly against Sydney United and were two goals down inside the first 18 minutes to goals from ex Sydney FC player David Zdrilic and ex Perth Glory player Luka Glavas. Mention of those two alone shows you the