Down a man for most of the second half, the home side demonstrated great tenacity grinding out a point from the match.
The match had started well for the home team, possession wise, but they seemed unable to turn this into effective shots on target due to a combination of poor final touches and a desperate and effective Manly defensive unit.
In the 7? minute Brad Boardman headed a Michael Robinson free-kick onto Brendan Gan but the former Sydney FC and Sutherland front man could not get to the ball before Manly goalkeeper Dylan Mitchell.
Then, in the 13? minute a cross from Jamie McMaster could only be headed down by Sean Bowden in his own penalty-area but no Bonnyrigg player could pounce on the loose ball before David Dodd cleared to safety.
The first time Andrew Bazi had to make any kind of save in the match was when Mathew Simon ran through from deep and tried to chip the ball onto the target, only for the ball to fall comfortably into Bazi?s hands.
Manly continued to effectively cut off Bonnyrigg attacks early in their creation and from the 20? minute the visitors started to build more effective attacks themselves.
On 25? minutes a Cattanach free-kick was headed goalwards by Marc Richards for Manly but the away supporters were disappointed to see the ball go over the crossbar.
On the half hour Brad Boardman was denied by goalkeeper Mitchell as the Bonnyrigg striker was put through by McMaster only for Mitchell to dive low at his feet and stop the progress of the ball.
The match went through a period of little chances on goal although Bonnyrigg continued to dominate possession and made good attacks down the flanks, especially on the left by Ben Spruce.
In the 36? minute Bazi denied Manly?s Jordan Edwards as his shot was deflected goalwards by a Bonnyrigg defender but Bazi changed direction and saved the ball. This chance had come thanks to a great piece of skill from Adam Foti who chipped the ball through to Edwards with a great deal of finesse.
Brendan Gan should have helped his side in front on the scoresheet in the 38? minute when he set up a great chance for Alex Canak, though Canak?s shot deflected off the desperate Manly defence. Even then the chance was not over with Nikola Zonjic pouncing on it but just as he shot he was put off by his marker and the ball sailed over the top.
2? minutes later, the best chance of the match for Bonnyrigg went begging. Gan crossed the ball from the right and the ball went through goalkeeper Mitchell?s hands. Chris Tadrosse was honing in on goal at the far post but was unable to slow and saw the ball fall behind him a metre from the target when all he would have needed was a touch for the ball to go in.
The sides went in at the break with the scores level, though Tadrosse was to have more disappointment at the goalmouth where he had missed the chance a few minutes before the break. 3? minutes after the break he was to be sent off defending that goal mouth. He had shown tremendous reflexes in saving a Marc Richards shot from going in to the top corner in the 48? minute but as he was not the goalkeeper, using his hands so effectively was problematic.
However it seemed worth the effort in the end as Foti lined up the penalty for Manly only to see another opponent stop the ball with his hands, this time the goalkeeper Bazi, to deny Manly the lead.
Manly made a couple of changes and started to win more possession, although shots on target still were few and far between.
In the 62? minute, Justin Hayward had players unmarked behind him but managed to head a cross back into an area where Bonnyrigg players could clear the danger.
1? minute later another substitute for Manly, Joseph Gibbs, saw his shot deflect off a teammate and away from danger. A few seconds later Bazi was back at his finest as he denied Hayward from point-blank range after Gibbs had played the Manly striker into such a promising position.
On 70? minutes Michael Robinson blocked another shot by Gibbs and the follow up effort from Cattanach went well over the crossbar.
The home side were not without their chances and in the 71? minute Shane Webb and Spruce combined only for Canak to just miss the cross at the near post.
Spruce was making his mark at both ends as in the 81? minute he combined well with Bazi to deny Hayward the chance to get onto a dangerous cross from the left. This was only 2? minutes before Manly should have taken the lead as a powerful cross from the ever dangerous Colin Iley, who never stopped running all match, was met by Hayward who tried to turn it the right side of the far post but due to the power of the cross he watched his effort go off target.
With Bonnyrigg desperate to get a point after all their effort, and Manly?s defence working so effectively as a unit, the final 5? minutes did not see any more effective goalmouth action, and in the end the 0-0 result seemed fair to both teams, although the away side would walk away the most disappointed having been a man up for most of the second-half and having missed a penalty.
After the match Manly coach Craig Midgley reflected upon this:
?I would have been happy with a point going to Bonnyrigg but in the end I am disappointed we did not get more from it.
?Our back four did a great job tonight, with special mention going to Sean Bowden who played so well considering how long he has been out of the game. I am chuffed at where we are as a club at present and am very proud of the boys effort tonight.?
Brian Brown was the happier to have ended with a share of the points:
?I am happy with a point considering we again played half a match a man down. ?Manly are a good side and we had to play well tonight. I was pleased with Ben Spruce tonight and young David Vrankovic must be one of the best stoppers going around at present.?
In the Grade-20 encounter, Manly United FC scored an impressive 4-0 win over Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0
Manly United FC 0
Saturday 30th July, 2011
Bonnyrigg Sports Ground
Referee: Alex Glasgow
Assistant Referees: Roland Hunt and Sam Grasso
Fourth Official: Brendan Johanson
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Andrew BAZI; 16.David VRANKOVIC, 17.Michael ROBINSON, 8.Alexander CANAK, 12.Takuyuma MURAYAMA, 6.Ben SPRUCE, 19.Jamie MCMASTER, 5.Chris TADROSSE, 3.Nikola ZONJIC (11.Shane WEBB 61?), 10.Brendan GAN (22.Jared LUM 65?), 9.Brad BOARDMAN (7.Nathan ELASI 61?)
Substitutes Not Used: 20.Thomas HAMILTON, 14.Blake POWELL
Yellow Cards: Alexander Canak 40?, Michael Robinson 84?
Red Cards: Chris Tadrosse 48?
Manly United FC: 1.Dylan MITCHELL; 3.Roberto HAMAD, 4.Graeme FORBES, 5.Marc RICHARDS, 8.David DODD (12.Mitchell MACEDO 77?), 9.Robbie CATTANACH, 10.Adam FOTI (11.Justin HAYWARD 55?), 14.Sean BOWDEN, 17.Mathew SIMON (21.Joseph GIBBS 60?), 18.Colin ILEY, 25.Jordan EDWARDS
Substitutes Not Used: 22.Kang HOLEE, 2.Leigh EGGER
Yellow Cards: David Dodd 75?, Colin Iley 84?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Stuart Jones