Manly United has solidified their spot in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s top five with a 2-0 win against Rockdale City Suns at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
A goal to Brendan Cholakian in the first half and another to Nikola Taneski, against his old side, were enough for a 2-0 victory for Warren Grieves’s men.
For Rockdale the defeat has put a major dent in their Premiership hopes while Manly climbs to fourth with four rounds remaining.
It was the home side that opened the match the better.
On 10 minutes Blake Ricciuto stormed through midfield before laying off the ball out wide left for Alec Urosevski.
Urosevski played in a low ball for Alex Canak but Dylan Mitchell was down quick to thwart the danger.
Five minutes later and Manly had a chance of their own, Sasa Macura flicked the ball on for Dejan Pandurevic but the winger hit his shot wide of the target.
The Suns were looking menacing every time Toufic Alameddine and Jordan Figon linked up, causing the Manly defence problems.
But it was the away side that hit the front on 18 minutes.
Sam Wilson found target man Dylan Macallister who expertly back heeled the ball back into the box allowing an unmarked Brendan Cholakian to sweep home a fantastic team goal.
Only three minutes later and Manly should’ve doubled their lead.
Kieran Paull made a great run down the right and crossed into the box, with the Suns unable to clear, substitute Nikola Taneski had a perfect chance to score but scuffed his chance before Macallister blasted the rebound well over the bar.
United pushed forward and Taneski was involved again on 25 minutes, this time dribbling in and blasting an effort towards goal, giving Covic no chance, only for the ball to smack against the upright.
Macallister should’ve made it 2-0 on half time after some fantastic work by Pandurevic on the right, only for the striker to head over the bar.
Two minutes after the break the home side almost found an equaliser.
Urosevski clipped over a ball from a set piece to find Trent McClenahan, but the defender’s header went just wide of the goal.
In the 49th minute Figon really should’ve had the teams level.
Urosevski went on a promising run through midfielder before slipping Figon in, with the whole goal to aim at, the striker could only hit Mitchell as the Manly custodian saved well.
Rockdale continued to push forward and Canak had a chance on 67 minutes after picking up the ball inside the box, but he could only send his shot well off target.
On 72 minutes first-half substitute Taneski doubled United’s lead.
Some great link up with Marco Sama on the left gave Taneski space to rifle in a half volley from the edge of the area, into the top corner, giving Ante Covic no chance.
Sasa Macura then had the opportunity to make it 3-0 after some more good work by Sama but the tireless midfielder hit his effort wide on 79 minutes.
Only a minute later and somehow Cholakian kept the ball in on the sideline before squaring it up for Taneski.
The winger took too long to set himself up and was closed down well by the Rockdale defence.
Rockdale coach Paul Reid felt his side deserved more from the game.
“They played a certain way today and looked to hit Dylan (Macallister),” he said.
“They scored two goals on the counter attack.
“I thought we started better. They got on top after that but there was only one team in the second half and that was us.”
United coach Grieve was pleased with his side’s performance and the depth he has at his disposal.
“It’s been a great last 4-5 weeks with four wins on the trot,” he said.
“I’ve never had any doubts about the strength of our squad. We got hammered by injuries mid-way through the season. We’re close to full strength now.
“We have player like Niko (Taneski) and Fox to come off the bench and add another quality.
“Every game for us is a final, we need to maintain that discipline and that level that we’re playing at.”
Rockdale City Suns: 0
Manly United 2 (Cholakian 18’, Taneski 72’)
Sunday, July 16 2017
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: T. Danaskos
Assistant Referees: J. Adabjou& S. Brennan
Fourth Official: N. Farmer
Rockdale City Suns: 22. Covic, 2. Petkovski, 3. Hesketh (16. Savor 79’), 4. McClenahan (11. Grozdanovski 72’), 5. Reid, 6. Ricciuto, 7. Urosevski, 8. Canak, 17. Alameddine (10. Gaitatzis 55’), 19. Saric, 23. Figon.
Substitutes not used: 1. Bradasevic, 12. El Hafiane.
Yellow Cards: McClenahan 44’, Saric 90’, Reid 90’
Manly United FC: 1. Mitchell, 2. Paull, 3. Lobb, 4. Oughtred, 6. Ferguson, 8. Macura, 9. Macallister (15. Sama 55’), 10. Cholakian, 12. Egger, 14. Pandurevic (21. Fox 63’), 17. Wilson (11. Taneski 18’).
Substitutes not used: 20. Catlin, 16. Berti.
Yellow Cards: Mitchell 88’