Heading into the round seven NSW Premier League clash, Manly were chasing their first win of 2011.
Things didn’t start well after the away team took the lead after 8′ minutes. Daniel Severino thumped a free-kick from 35-yards which United goalkeeper Kang Ho Lee parried into the path of Nathan Elasi who couldn’t believe his luck.
10′ minutes later, Manly’s David Dodd played in Scott Balderson who snatched at his chance, firing wide of the target.
Next it was Michael Daly who had the home fans up in arms. The one-time Manchester City player went down in the box after minimal contact. Referee Khodr Yaghi wasn’t interested in his penalty claims, allowing play to continue.
Seconds later and former Bonnyrigg defender Graeme Forbes denied Severino with a great block, with his powerful shot destined for the back of the net on 22′ minutes.
Lee then somewhat made up for his earlier error with a wonder save after half an hour. Manly were unable to clear their lines, with the gloveman producing a point-blank save on the line from 6-yards.
It proved to be decisive when Balderson squared proceedings moments later.
Running onto a hopeful through ball from skipper Marc Richards, the energetic midfielder beat Michael Robinson for pace before slotting the ball past Zabaks.
He clearly enjoyed the moment, earning a yellow card for his celebration that saw his jersey flung in the air before he was mobbed by his team-mates.
2′ minutes later Balderson was at it again, heading home a pinpoint Daly cross to give the home team the lead.
After half-time Brian Brown’s men were clearly up for the challenge. They knocked the ball around with purpose, and at times Manly United appeared to be chasing shadows.
So it wasn’t a real surprise to see the White Eagles level on 55′ minutes.
A Chris Tadrosse cross from the left was met by Jamie McMaster, who didn’t need a second invitation.
To their credit United responded well, and almost took the lead on the hour mark.
Daly hit a neat ball from Foti into some scrambling defenders from the edge of the area before then setting up the winner.
Running onto a ball from Robbie Cattanach, Daly hit a ball to the far post. Zabaks should have dealt with it comfortably, but he spilt the ball and Foti couldn’t miss from 3-yards.
4′ minutes later Manly’s mood soured when David Dodd was sent off after picking up his second yellow card.
Manly then played to the corners, with the relief obvious once Yaghi blew for full-time.
Craig Midgley was elated with the performance:
“I couldn’t be happier with the lads, we played great,” he said.
“Bonnyrigg are one of the better teams in the competition and we matched them in all areas.
“It shows what we are capable of.”
Bonnyrigg?s Brian Brown was quick to heap praise on Manly:
“Credit to them, they didn’t sit back, they played their normal game,” he said.
“I knew what to expect and so did my boys, but we weren’t good enough.
“It has been the story of our season, conceding soft goals.
“I was happy with the effort though, the boys all had a go.”
In the Grade-20s, Manly United FC hammered Bonnyrigg 5-0 with four goals in the second-half.
Manly United FC 3 (Scott Balderson 34′, 36′, Adam Foti 71′)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Nathan Elasi 8′, Jamie McMaster 55′)
Sunday 8th May, 2011
Cromer Park, Dee Why
Referee: Khodr Yaghi
Assistant Referees: Justin Brady and Christian Mehl
Fourth Official: Thomas Diakos
Manly United FC: 1.Kang Ho Lee; 2.Jimmy Oates, 4.Graeme Forbes, 5.Marc Richards, 6.Michael Daly, 7.Scott Balderson, 8.David Dodd, 9.Robbie Cattanach, 10.Adam Foti, (21. Joey Gibbs 77′),17.Matt Sim, 18.Colin Iley
Substitutes Not Used: 12.Mitch Macedo, 14.Seung Soo Lee, 16,Jordan Edwards, 22.Tonu Liiband
Yellow Cards: Scott Balderson 34, David Dodd 51′
Red Cards: Dodd 75′
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 99.Phil Zabaks; 4.Wade Oostendorp, 17.Michael Robinson, 23.Tynan Diaz, 9.Brad Boardman, 7.Nathan Elasi, 19.Jamie McMaster, 16.David Vrankovic, 11.Shane Webb, (12.T.Murayama 81′) 10.Daniel Severino, 5.Chris Tadrosse
Substitutes Not Used: 1.A.Bazi, 8.A.Canak, 6.J.Delia, 14.J.Chine
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Michael Daly (MUFC)
2 – Robbie Cattanach (MUFC)
1 – Daniel Severino (BWE)