The 2-1 win was welcomed news for the Suns supporters after a difficult start to the campaign.
Peter Apolevski and Tommy Cirjak took it to Manly United down the right and left flanks respectively and whipped in a few teasing early crosses, with the visiting back four forced to deal with desperately as Alec Urosevski, just turned 18-years of age, and Huseyin Jasli made themselves busy around the 18-yard box.
The Suns returned to their usual style of play this season, under new coach Mark Rudan, playing the ball to feet instead of the long ball game adopted last time out in the ferocious breeze, and the side looked composed and comfortable on the ball for long periods.
The Suns goalkeeper Ryan Norval however, was called into action in the 9? minute when Chris Payne sent in a low skidding-shot, the custodian needed to get down sharply to gather at full stretch.
Crijak returned fire but the shot was blocked moments later as each battled to control midfield and create clear cut opportunities.
Manly?s back four, along with goalkeeper Dylan Mitchell, snuffed out the aerial threat with some ease so when Cirjak sent in a free-kick it was no surprise Paul Kohler was unable to gain enough purchase with a backward header that looped over the bar on 25? minutes.
Urosevski followed up with a shot from the edge of the box that was deflected and fell nicely for Mitchell to gather, as most of the action took place in the Manly half. The visitors were reduced to attacking on the counter yet the final pass went astray on the few occasions they were able to break out.
When the ball bounced the way of United via a deflection from referee James Lewis, Adam Foti was quickest to react and spun inside the 6-yard box to test Norval – once again however, it was far and few between for the visitors however as the half wore on they were able to fashion opportunities a little more regularly.
Cirjak again took another chance early from fully 30-yards and ballooned the ball way over the bar, though with little options available it was the only one left as the Manly defence closed him down with all the signs pointing to the deadlock being broken.
Alec Urosevski, very nearly, on the stroke of half-time found the opening goal when played in by Jasli. Mitchell managed to claw onto the post to divert the danger for the visitors.
The Suns would find their goal before the break and it arrived via captain Peter Apolevski. The Suns? right-winger, in first-half stoppage time, found the back of the net in virtually the last kick of the half.
Manly started quickest out of the blocks at the opening of the second period but were soon forced back as the Suns passing game at times left them floundering, although they were still proving tricky on the break.
Craig Midgley shuffled the pack when Chris Payne limped off in the 56? minute to be replaced by Mat Sim, a change more forced than warranted.
A nasty clash of heads saw the game interrupted when Tinashe Mugabe desperately headed away for a corner in a collision with Pece Cvetanovski, although thankfully both were able to continue.
Scott Balderson almost restored parity in the 68? minute with a free-kick that rattled the Suns crossbar yet the visitors found scoring elusive as the game wore on and the tackling became heavier.
What ensued was a titanic tussle between two sides battling for points, no quarter asked, none given and the scores were level in the 82? minute when Manly substitute Damir Prodanovic fired home an unstoppable shot from 25-yards out that was always curling away from Norval between the sticks.
The lead didn?t last long as Jasli curled home a free-kick in the 86? minute to put the Suns in front once more.
Rockdale wanted the win just that little bit more than Manly and did enough to hold on in what was a very tight contest.
Manly coach Craig Midgley stated afterwards:
?They probably wanted it a little bit more than us today but credit to them, they?ve got a new coach and sometimes that happens and they pick up for that.
?I thought we should have been showing the same desire as that if we are to win games and I?ve said to the boys it?s very disappointing so we?ve got to stick together as a squad now and tighten up.
?We?ve got a few players coming back from injury and another couple who will be ready this week and that is just in time as we have a cup game midweek against the Sutherland Sharks and Sydney United next in the league so we need all hands on deck.?
New Suns coach Mark Rudan isn?t used to giving interviews but added:
?I think it?s always important to look for a reaction from the players and as far as I am concerned the season started this week.
?It makes no difference if you are the oldest players at the club or the youngest, it?s a clean slate for all to show a good attitude, train with intensity and quality and I will be as loyal to them as they are with me.
?I?ve only been involved with the one training session so a lot of it has been verbal with my assistant coach (Sash Trajcevski) but now we start the serious stuff.
?I?m big on rewarding players if they put the effort in and it?s a long season so I need all the guys as we progress.?
Rockdale City Suns FC 2 (Apolevski 45?+1?, Jasli 86?)
Manly United FC 1 (Prodanovic 82?)
Sunday 6th May, 2012
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant Referees: Thomas Lee and Michael Robertson
Fourth Official: Nathan Roberts
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Ryan Norval; 2.Takuya Muruyama, 3.Giorgio Speranza, 5.Pece Cvetanovski, 7.Peter Apolevski (C), 8.Paul Kohler, 10.Alec Urosevski (15.Adrian Karokalevski 77?), 11.Tom Cirjak (Daniel Slaveski 88?), 12.Huseyin Jasli, 21.Ricky Perinich, 23.Askin Oygur
Substitutes Not Used: 16.Anthony Perri, 20.Roberto Speranza, 22.Aaron Liddell
Yellow Cards: Cvetanovski 83?
Red Cards: Nil
Manly United FC: 1.Dylan Mitchell; 2.Sean Bowden, 4.Graeme Forbes, 5.Marc Richards (C) (23.Damir Prodanovic 67?), 6.Michael Daly, 7.Scott Balderson, 8.Daniel Grant, 10.Adam Foti (9.Justin Haywood 62?), 19.Tiashe Mugabe, 20.Chris Payne (11.Mat Sim 56?), 21.Leigh Egger
Substitutes Not Used: 15.Josh Ward, 24.Kang Ho Lee
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
3 ? Peter Apolevski (RCS)
2 ? Huseyin Jasli (RCS)
1 ? Alec Urosevski (RCS)
-By Micky Brock