The Suns have been one of the form teams in the NSW Premier League in recent weeks, but were jolted by the news that striker Dylan Macallister has played his last game for the club after penning a two-year deal with Melbourne Heart in the A-League.
Suns coach Mark Rudan went with Alec Urosevski and Sash Tirovski up front and the duo didn?t disappoint, both finding the back of the net either side of the break.
Manly United also reshuffled their line-up with Todd Bamber handed a rare start with Scott Balderson injured, meanwhile experienced defender Marc Richards also sat on the bench.
After a cagey first 20? minutes, Bamber almost opened the scoring midway through the first half.
He pounced on a loose ball in the area, but Rockdale gloveman Ryan Norval was up to the task, comfortably dealing with the effort.
3? minutes later Urosevski carved out a decent chance, only to balloon his shot over the bar.
After half an hour Tirovski tested Dylan Mitchell?s reflexes, and the gloveman was up to the task, brilliantly turning the ball away from the bottom corner.
5? minutes later Tirovski exacted his own form of revenge, nabbing the first goal.
A loose ball on the 18-yard box was there to be cleared, but the veteran marksman got to the ball first, lobbing Mitchell to open his personal account.
It was harsh on United and many of their supporters feared they would go into their shells.
Instead pocket dynamo Danny Grant bustled his way into the area after 41? minutes from a throw in and was chopped inside the box.
Adam Foti didn?t need a second invitation, comfortably stroking home the resulting penalty to square proceedings.
Manly?s second-half substitute Justin Hayward then provided a real talking point after 61? minutes.
He appeared to be fouled by Askin Oygur when bearing down on the Suns goal, only to see referee James Lewis wave play on.
Seconds later Urosevski poked home an effort from six-yards to restore Rockdale?s lead.
Manly again refused to lie down and were duly rewarded after 71? minutes. A Foti free-kick was parried by Norval into the path of Colin Iley, who stroked the ball home to even things up.
With 12? minutes on the clock Urosevski was denied by a Mitchell wonder save and with 4? minutes remaining United defender Leigh Egger cleared an effort off the line following a great run from Hussein Jasli.
At the death Hayward appeared to be fouled inside the area but Lewis waved play on to ensure honours remained even.
Rockdale coach Mark Rudan was relatively happy to snare a point on the road:
?When I saw our (crammed) fixture list a few weeks ago I was a little concerned, but credit to the boys, they have got on with the job and played some outstanding football,?? he said.
?They all loved playing on the new turf pitch, it is sensational.
?In hindsight it was a match we shaded and probably should have won, but you can?t win them all.?
His opposite Craig Midgley lauded the effort from his Manly lads:
?All I ask is that we give our all, and the boys definitely did that in spades,?? he said.
?It shows lots of character to come from behind twice.
?Rockdale are a very good side and are finals bound, I am happy with a point.?
United can now look forward to home fixtures over the next eight days against former NSL heavyweights Sydney Olympic and Sydney United:
?It doesn?t get any easier, a few of the lads have knocks so the midweek game (against Olympic) will be especially tough,?? Midgley added.
?But you won?t find us complaining, the games need to be played.
?We are getting used to new pitch, and those two teams always give a good account of themselves.?
Manly United FC 2 (Adam Foti 42? (pen), Colin Iley 70?)
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Sash Tirovski 37?, Alec Urosevski 62,),
Saturday July 28th, 2012
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant Referees: Adam Coombes and Lance Greenshields
Fourth Official: John Lalic
Manly United FC: 1.Dylan Mitchell; 3.Roberto Hamad (18.Jordy Edwards 31?), 4.Graeme Forbes, 6.Michael Daly, 8.Danny Grant, 11.Matt Sim (14.Mitch Macedo 73?), 12.Colin Iley, 17.Todd Bamber (19.Justin Hayward 58?), 21.Leigh Egger, 22.Adam Foti, 36.James Cullingworth
Substitutes Not Used: 5.Marc Richards, 16.Mitch Lensink
Yellow cards: Hamad 24?
Red cards: Nil
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Ryan Norval; 2.Takuya Muruyama, 3.Giorgio Speranza, 6.Josh Lawson, 23.Askin Oygur, 5.Pece Apolevski, 8.Paul Kohler, 15.Tommy Cirjak, 16.Anthony Perri, (12.Hussein Jasli 79?) 17.Sash Tirovski, 18. Alec Urosevski
Substitutes Not Used: 10.Jason Naidovski, 11.David Talevski, 19.Marino Musumeci, 22.Aaron Liddell
Yellow cards: Oygur 68?, Lawson 71?
Red cards: Nil