MANLY United FC now sit last after 11 rounds of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition following a 1-0 loss versus Rockdale on Saturday night at Cromer Park.
The home side, who were backing up from Wednesday night’s thrilling penalty shootout win against Northern Tigers in the Waratah Cup quarter-final, battled well, but in the end were left with nothing for their graft.
6’ minutes in the always dangerous Brendan Cholakian made a jinking run into the box, only to rush his shot and spray it over the crossbar.
Manly bossed the first 20 minutes in what was developing into a cagey affair on the northern beaches.
On 23’ minutes Jimmy Oates played in Chris Payne, who hit his volley well, but straight at Rockdale keeper David Bradasevic.
Moments later Payne fired well over from distance, as did Cholakian with 28’ minutes played.
Payne almost opened the scoring just before halftime, with his ricochet effort wide of the target, one that could have dropped anywhere.
Rockdale boss Branko Culina now doubt delivered a few stern messages at oranges, and it paid off, with the away side much hungrier from the outset in the second half.
Paul Reid snatched at a chance on 51’ minutes, and Danny Grant bailed Manly out moments later when he cleared an effort off the line.
United keeper Dylan Mitchell then denied Themba Muata-Marlow brilliantly from point blank range.
It proved to be in vain, with the Suns scoring what proved to be the winner on 58’ minutes.
A contentious foul went Rockdale’s way and up stepped Sean Symons.
His effort from 35 yards disturbed the spiders in the top corner, and wouldn’t look out of place in any highlight reel.
Oates should have levelled proceedings with 62’ minutes played.
Running on to cut back from Payne, he only had Bradasevic to beat, but the keeper narrowed the angle and the chance went begging.
Oates was guilty of missing another huge chance after 78’ minutes.
After creating space for himself, he hammered an effort straight at Bradasevic from six yards when he should have hit it across him.
It was a crucial moment, with Rockdale then holding firm at the back late on to ensure three points on the road.
Culina was a content man at the fulltime whistle.
“We were off the pace in the first half, but after the break I felt we controlled the game,’’ he said.
“We are not a side that scores too many goals, it has been a problem all season.
“As long as we keep creating chances I will be happy – structure and shape is everything to us.
“Sean (Symons) took his goal well, he is a young player on the rise.”
His opposite Paul Dee was delighted with the effort his team dished up.
“It was our best effort all year, it is just disappointing we didn’t get a result,’’ he said.
“We had enough chances to get something out of the game.
“It is one of those games we will look back and wonder how we didn’t get anything out of it.”
Rockdale City Suns 1 (Sean Symons 58’)
Manly United FC 0
Saturday May 24, 2014
Cromer Park, Cromer
Referee: Jason Blackwood
Assistant Referees: Thomas Lee and Joon Park
Fourth Official: Gareth Williams
Manly United FC: 1.Dylan Mitchell; 2.Jimmy Oates, 4.Graeme Forbes, 5.Josh Lawson, 6.Josh Ward, 8.Danny Grant, (22.Jack Green 83’) 9.Chris Payne, 10.Brendan Cholakian, 11.Roberto Speranza, 15.Rhys Williams, (21.Patrick Weir 62’) 31.Dylan Whitlock (19.Daniel Saric 71’)
Substitutes not used: 13.Masakatsu Tanaka, 20.Tonu Liiband
Yellow cards: Dylan Whitlock 46’
Red cards: Nil
Rockdale City Suns: 22.David Bradasevic; 3.Steven Hesketh, 8.Paul Kohler, 18.Tony Lo, (14.Patrick Savor 63’) 19.Themba Muata Marlow, 6.Takuya Murayama, 9.Tadhg Purcell, (17.Hristijan Tanoski 84’) 5.Paul Reid, 4.Sean Symons, 11.Nikola Taneski, 12.Idriss El Hafiane
Substitutes not used: 6.Takuya Murayama
Yellow cards: Idriss El Hafiane 49’
Red cards: Nil
3 – David Bradasevic (RCS)
2 – Sean Symons (RCS)
1 – Brendan Cholakian (MU)