Bonnyrigg White Eagles recorded a 3-0 victory over Manly United but the truth of the tale was that the visitors were fantastic and were disappointed they did not take anything from the match at the Bonnyrigg Sports Centre on a chilly Saturday evening.
But for a missed penalty by Brendan Cholakian with the score at nil-all, they may well have.
The score remained was the same as their previous meeting this season in round two, but although it was another loss for former Bonnyrigg player Paul Dee and Manly, the visitors were far from easy to beat.
Manly came out firing, exemplifying their determination to score in the 5’ minute they were awarded a free kick. Cholakian found himself with a prime opportunity to send a shock to the home side as he was fouled just outside the penalty area.
His shot managed to get over the three man Bonnyrigg wall, but Matthew Nash was on his toes and managed to grab the ball with both hands from an outstretched dive.
Soon after, Dylan Whitlock beat his defender down the left wing in the and found his target Cholakian, but the number 10 couldn’t get enough power on his shot inside the box. Nash was able to get to it with ease.
Cholakian was then again denied by a superb save by Nash, only to be ruled offside anyway.
In the first ten minutes, Bonnyrigg were struggling to create any real chances in the attacking third.
In the 12’ minute, Manly United were awarded a free kick just outside for a handball which was taken quickly.
Cholakian played a nice one-two and as he went to receive the ball inside the area he was brought down by Dylan Fox. Referee Kurt Ams unhesitatingly pointed to the spot.
Cholakian himself stepped up to the spot and drilled his kick down the middle, but Nash was able to pull off a fantastic stop with his feet to keep the scores level at nil. He would go on to claim yet another clean sheet, once again demonstrating the importance of a reliable, calm and occasionally brilliant goalkeeper.
Despite the chances created by Manly, the first goal came at the other end of the park in the 18’ minute.
Alex Canak won a free kick that was swung in from the right, meeting the head of Dylan Fox who thundered a header past Dylan Mitchell in the Manly goal.
Manly were not going down without a fight. Jimmy Oates set up Chris Payne, but he was denied by the mercurial Nash.
Danny Grant fired a shot at goal in the opening moments of the second half, but again Nash repelled the effort, in what was becoming a man-of-the-match performance from the Bonnyrigg gloveman.
Cholakian was on a mission to avenge his penalty miss, and fired an accurate shot at goal that Nash did well to tip around the post for a corner kick.
With 56′ minutes on the clock it seemed that Manly would get the goal they deserved, when a sloppy back-pass was intercepted by Payne. He went around Nash, but was denied by the covering David Vrankovic, who stopped Payne getting his shot away.
Manly’s resistance and resolve was broken by two late goals that put a dominant hue on the scoreline.
84’ minute had been played when the in-form Aaron Peterson chested down a nice cross from Vrankovic, before finishing with deadly accuracy past Mitchell.
The goal broke Manly, who had performed with such sprit throughout.
Two became three when substitute Tynan Diaz raced down the left, before teeing up Howard Fondyke to score a scarcely deserved third goal for Bonnyrigg.
The White Eagles are really flexing their muscle now, but Manly were spirited, determined and deserving of something from the game.
Bonnyrigg coach Brian Brown said: “First thing I wanted to mention is how good Manly were tonight. They played like a team who were desperate and wanted to win. Their commitment and effort was outstanding.
“In the end our boys who came on wanted to prove a point and showed that they wanted to be on this squad.”
“We are not a defensive team, we like to score, so credit to our defence and (Matthew) Nash this evening.
“I said to (Manly coach) Paul Dee after the game, ‘you should be proud of your boys’.”
Dee commented at full time: “I don’t think the scoreline reflected the total game.
"The goals were conceded late and when we tried to push forward and get a result.
“We had enough scoring chances in the game, so I am really disappointed with the result.
“I have to say Nash is a quality keeper. We know he is going to be hard to beat and big credit to them.”
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 3 (Dylan Fox 18’, Aaron Peterson 84’, Howard Fondyke 90+2′)
Manly United FC 0
Saturday 7th June, 2014
Bonnyrigg Sports Club, Bonnyrigg
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Clark and Joon Park
Fourth Official: Sam Grasso
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Matthew Nash; 4.David Vrankovic, 5.Chris Tadrosse (C), 6.Nikola Zonjic, 8.Alexander Canak, 9.Robbie Younis, 12.Dylan Fox, 18.Adrian Ucchino (7.Tynan Diaz 80’), 19.Aaron Peterson, 21.Bo Hyun(Ken) Chun (16.Howard Fondyke 72’), 35.Terry McFlynn (2.Alexander Manseuto 90′)
Substitutes not used: 22.Liam Gobbo (GK), 13.Adam Jenner
Yellow Cards: Terry McFlynn 48’, Adrian Ucchino 62′
Red Cards: Nil
Manly United FC: 1.Dylan Mitchell; 2.Jimmy Oates, 4.Graeme Forbes, 5.Josh Lawson, 6.Josh Ward, 8.Danny Grant, 9.Chris Payne, 10.Brendan Cholakian, 11.Roberto Speranza (13.Masakatsu Tanaka 55’), 15.Rhys Williams (19.Daniel Saric 76’), 31.Dylan Whitlock (7.Scott Balderson 80’)
Substitutes not used: 20.Tonu Liiband, 21.Patrick Wier
Yellow Cards: Danny Grant 80′
Red Cards: Nil
– By Saman Ziaei, National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 Reporter, at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre