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The Rock-itt : May 2012
trovski scored after 7 minutes and on 14 minutes Simonovski added a second for the Wolves. Manly had far the greater posses- sion but couldn’t turn that statistic into goals. Couple that with the “Man of the Match” win- ning performance of Daniel Collison in the Wolves goal and we were left with an even- ing of frustration for the Beaches boys. South Coast Wolves coach Trevor Morgan was delighted with his squad’s performance. "I told the boys they would keep coming at us and that’s what they did. The way Manly played, bypassing the midfield with long balls, forced us to sit very deep in defence. But I'm pleased with the individual efforts of each player tonight, they all got in the tackles when they needed and our goalkeeper was also top class.” A week later and we were down in the ‘Shire. W e had played Sutherland in our last pre- season friendly, drawing 1-1, so each team knew what to ex- pect. It was a tight first half notable mostly for a couple of injuries. Suther- lands Mark Stavroulakis had to leave the field covered in blood after a head clash with his own player Panny Nikas in the 28’ minute . Five minutes later Manly Captain Marc Richards had to leave the field with a foot injury to be replaced by Jordon Ed- wards. Stavroulakis made it back onto the pitch and stuck it out to the end with a gritty performance. Goalless at half time but it did- n’t take long into the second stanza for the deadlock to be broken. Sutherland started better but Manly broke away, Justin Hayward went one-on-one with the Sutherland goal- keeper Denham and beat him from a very tight angle to give Manly the lead . 7 minutes later though and Sutherland were level, a further 5 minutes and Sutherland took the lead, this just after Chris Payne had rattled the cross bar for Manly. It was beginning to look like the points had eluded us until the 86th minute when Manly’s Matt Sim reached into his “special goals” box and fired in a blinder for the equaliser. Football NSW agreed and gave it “goal of the week” in their video highlights show. The drama didn’t end there, in the last minute Dylan Mitchell in the Manly goal brought down Sutherlands Chris Price for a penalty but Dylan was equal too it and made a great double save from Panny Nikas to keep a share of the spoils. Craig Midgley, Manly United coach, said afterwards: “Our first-half performance was- n’t what it could have been and Sutherland are a very good side, they have the experi- ence and the players who can hurt you and we are still a young side so I thought we did okay really. W e’ve played well in our first three games apart from about 20’ minutes and it’s during those times we’ve been hurt but that’s football I suppose. Dylan went from zero to hero in the last minute by giving away the penalty and then producing a double save and instead of the guys feeling gutted in the dressing room they are feeling good so hopefully this result can spur us on to better things in the games ahead as we face Bonnyrigg away next week so it’s never easy in this league.” With our home pitch at Cromer Park not available to us until June because of the installation of the synthetic surface it was a fourth consecutive away trip, this time out West to Bonnyrigg. The history books will show a 3-1 defeat for Manly, the fact that Bonnyrigg gave a start to 15-year-old Nikola Todoroski and they remained the only team in the league with a 100% record but it was much more than that. After conceding two goals before half time to very similar headers Manly's Colin Iley got us back into the game on 63 minutes with a sublime outside of the boot curler from the right wing. From then on Bonnyrigg were on the rack but a breakaway down the right and an innocuous collision between Robbie Younis and Marc Richards in the box gained them a dubious penalty . Robbie Younis picked himself up, slot- ted the ball past Dylan Mitchell and Bonnyrigg were 3-1 up. Manly coach Craig Midgley was disap- pointed with the result but did draw on some positives from his players’ perfor- mances: “It is a tough place to come to here at Bonnyrigg and face one of the strongest sides in the competition to try and get a result – we knew that the task at hand was a big one. My players ap- proached the game really well – we came out after the break, got back into the match with a goal and then could have even grabbed an equaliser with some of the chances we created. Their third goal then certainly took the wind out of our sails. W e also played this match with a number of young lads, Josh Ward, Leigh Egger, Jordan Edwards – our back line was very young with the likes of Graeme Forbes and Sean Bowd- en and Roberto Hamad all out. In saying that, we did give it a good shake tonight.” The end of the first month of the season, we’ve played the current top three teams and by the time this Rock-itt hits the street we will have played APIA Leichardt the team just above us. Things can only get better. Our June 10th game against Sydney Olympic is still scheduled to be our first home game of the season; I wonder where we will be by then!!! Follow Manly United on Facebook; #manlyunited or the web @ manlyunitedfc.com.au Superb shot of Leigh Egger by Chris Knevitt, Leigh has started this campaign in excellent form