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The Rock-itt : June 2011
We had ended April with the disappointing home defeat by Rockdale. The chance of a quick antidote to that upset was dashed when our away game at Parramatta Ea- gles, due the following weekend, May 1st, was washed out. We had to wait until May 8th and the arrival of last years Minor Premiers Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Cromer park before getting back on the pitch and sorting out the prob- lems. It didn’t look good when Bonnyrigg’s Nathan Elasi pounced on a ball that Manly goalkeeper Kang Ho Lee could only parry from a well-driven free kick after just eight minutes. One nil down and the first victory of the season looked a distant hope. Thankfully a great solo run from Scotty Balderson brought us level and within a couple of minutes Scotty got his second with a crisp header from a well flighted cross off the boot of Jimmy Oates. W e went to the sheds at half time 2-1 ahead and things looked much brighter. Worth noting that Balderson’s celebration for his first goal, which saw him ripping his shirt off, and tossing it in the air earned him a yellow card. The Manly United Board must have smiled at the celebration but at it’s last Board meeting decided that the fines result- ing from any future similar celebrations will be the responsibility of the player, not the club. The same will apply to any player swearing at referees, talking back or any other unsportsmanlike behaviour. After ‘Oranges” as the Maz Daz’s Andrew Prentice likes to refer to half time Bonnyrigg wiped the smiles off the Manly faces with an equalizing goal inside the first five minutes from Jamie McMaster. Manly were bossing the game but as is unfortunately not unusual this season they couldn’t find their composure in front of goal. With twen- ty minutes to go our resident Irishman Mi- chael Daly thundered down the right and crossed to the back post where Bonnyrigg goalkeeper Philip Zabacs could only flap at the ball which fell behind him to a waiting Adam Foti. Foti squeezed the ball into the goal from a very tight angle and Manly were back in front. W e had to regroup in the last fifteen minutes when our playmaker David Dodd was sent off for forgetting where the off button was for his mouth. The referee didn’t see the joke and Manly were down to ten men. Playing against ten men is never easy but thankfully we coped and ran out very impressive 3-2 winners against the White Eagles. The following Sunday May 15th saw us travelling to Leichardt and to probably the worst ground in the League, Lambert Park. Home to APIA Leichardt and inexplicably whilst their ground is being renovated, Syd- ney Olympic. It’s a throwback to the bad old days of football. The toilets are a disgrace and when the ball lands on the roof of the grandstand you can expect a shower of rust to fall upon you. It’s really about time this situation was sorted out. We took our frustrations out on the pitch against APIA and whilst yet again going behind to a Franco Parisi goal on fifteen minutes we were level within two minutes when Adam Foti clinically slotted past Jose Bello Amigo in the Apia goal from a Robbie Cattenach pass . With eight minutes to go to half time and Manly well on top Bello Amigo couldn’t hold on to a fierce Foti drive and Joey Gibbs pounced on the loose ball to put Manly ahead at the break. APIA’s classy veteran Robby Younis came on as sub after 65 minutes but was unable to rescue APIA. Bello-Amigo was on fire in APIA’s goal and only stopped a Robbie Cattenach screamer with a trailing foot. Sueng Soo Lee, on for the injured Adam Scotty Balderson celebrates the second of his two goals against Bonnyrigg White Eagles in this great shot by Chris Knevitt. Englishman Colin Iley is finding his feet at Cromer Park, he was very impressive against Bonnyrigg. Captain Mic Richards sharing the sweat at APIA!!