Manly United booked a date on Sunday July 6th at Lambert Park against Blacktown City FC in the Waratah Cup Final after a crushing 4-1 victory over the South Coast Wolves at John Crehan Park on Wednesday evening.
A crowd of three hundred and fifty of mostly faithful Wolves supporters and a small number of Manly fans gathered to witness this semi-final with high expectations.
Manly, when in possession broke out with speed and applied pressures through an early corner kick that Wolves goalkeeper, Tom Hamilton, plucked out of the air. At the other end a Chris Price cross was met by Ricky Zucco but his header was not met with due force and the ball flew harmlessly away.
The away side drew first blood early when James Oates was positioned at the far post. A cross came over from the left and Oates placed his first time volley across the goal to put Manly United 1-0 up.
Brendan Cholakian was a thorn in the opposition side as he skipped past defenders and provided passes to teammates that split the defence. On 12 minutes Cholakian put the ball on a plate for Chris Payne to score but his effort traversed wide.
Manly rammed home their early advantage with their second strike. Defender Joshua Lawson, in a crowded area, managed to get the ball into the net and Manly were practically on their way to the Cup final.
Manly’s supremacy was shown again when a Payne header looked to be in until a top notch save by Hamilton saved the Wolves’ blushes. Payne was proving to be a handful and he got through minutes later only for Hamilton to push his ensuing shot away to thwart him once again. However, he was not going to be denied for long. Cholakian provided a pass for Payne to run onto and outsprinted Wolves defender Jacob Timpano to thump the ball past Hamilton.
The Wolves were having a torrid time trying to keep pace with Manly but on occasions were within goal range. On the half hour Sam Matthews’ shot was narrowly over after Price got the benefit of a ricochet off Chris Nathaniel.
The Wolves were getting a little desperate and Zucco tried an audacious back heel that failed to trouble the scoreline with halftime signalling a 3-0 scoreline to the visitors.
Nahuel Arrarte rung in three changes at half time in the hope of changing things around.
Hamilton moved out sharply to grasp the ball before Payne arrived on the scene.
Wolves were restricted with shots from distance.
James Baldacchino had a couple of chances when he moved up field from the back. However, no matter what the Wolves tried they were outgunned.
Cholakian scampered across the field looking for an opening to shoot before he took a bit of time allowing substitute Michael Robinson to close him down.
Following, a Cholakian corner kick, tall Manly captain Graeme Forbes got up to launch a powerful header into the goal and his team looked certain winners with a four-goal buffer.
Three minutes later however, the Wolves scored a consolation goal when Price headed home.
Manly recoverd quickly and it looked like Cholakian had scored just minutes later when he placed the ball past Hamilton. However, the assistant referees flag went up and the goal was not awarded.
At this time and following the confusion with non-goal, Zucco was shown his second yellow and then red carded with the Wolves having to see out the last half hour with a man down.
Further shots by Oates and substitute Dominic Ferguson could not add to the four goals and they ran out comfortable and deserved winners.
Manly’s Brendan Cholakian was delighted with the final verdict.
“We have playing well the last few weeks but the results have not been going our way.
“All the boys have been working hard and it has paid off tonight.
“We have taken our chances well and we deserved the win.
“We have been working on coming out and firing early. We started well and kept up the pressure for the whole game’.
Wolves’ coach Nahuel Arrarte was visibly disappointed with the final result.
“I think we gave totally different performance from last Sunday and there was only one team in the contest tonight and unfortunately it wasn’t us.”
SOUTH COAST WOLVES FC 1 (Chris Price 62’)
MANLY UNITED FC 4 (James Oates 5’, Josh Lawson 16’, Chris Payne 27’, Graeme Forbes 59’)
John Crehan Park, Cringilla.
Wednesday 11th May 2014
7.30 p.m. Kick Off
SOUTH COAST WOLVES: 1.Tom Hamilton 2.Jack Keating 3.Chris Nathaniel (15.Darcy Madden 46’) 26.Jacob Timpano (4.Michael Robinson 46’) 5.James Baldacchino 6.Zac Mackenzie 7.Chris Price 8.Matthew Bailey (Peter Simonoski) 10.Ricky Zucco 20.Joseph Lavalle (25. Jordan Murray 46’) 22.Sam Matthews
Substitutes not used: 30.David Hamilton
Yellow Cards: Ricky Zucco 36’, 62’
Red Cards: Ricky Zucco 62’
MANLY UNITED: 20.Tonu Liband (GK); 2.James Oates 3.Leigh Egger 4.Graeme Forbes (Capt.) 6.Josh Ward (13.Masakatsu Tanaka 73’)10.Brendan Cholakian (12.Dom Ferguson) 5.Josh Lawson, 9.Chris Payne (30.Dejan Pandorevic 60’), 15.Rhys Williams 23.Daniel Drakopoulos 21. Patrick Weir 31.Dylan Whitlock (22.Jack Green 68’)
Substitutes not used: 1.Dylan Mitchell
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Card: Nil
Referee: Adam Susz
Assistant Referees: Craig Fisher and Joon Park
-By Malcolm Rowney