SUTHERLAND took the three points away from Cromer Park in emphatic style, defeating Manly United FC 3-1.
The game opened up with a lack of intensity from both sides and no clear chances came in the first 20 minutes.
However that all changed at a Sutherland corner in the 21st minute. A nice delivery came in from Steve Hayes and Jacob Tratt was able to beat his man at the near post to head it home and open the scoring for the Sharks.
It was Tratt’s third goal in two matches bring his tally for 3 for the season for the big young Shire defender.
Manly’s best opportunity in the first 45 came in the form of a shot from distance by Adam Parkhouse.
Unfortunately for the home supporters, the strike sailed just over the crossbar.
After going into the break a goal down, Manly came out in the opening stages of the second half with more energy. Chris Payne was able to get a shot away from 20 yards after he beat his man, but he struck it straight at the Sharks custodian Nathan Denham.
The game had come to life after a lacklustre first half as both teams came out of the sheds with more energy.
Sutherland looked dangerous with the ball and when Manly surrendered possession on the half way line, Jordan Figon was able to obtain possession. With space around him, Figon was able to draw in the Manly defence and pass it to Perry Moustakas, who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Moustakas re-joined the Sharks after returning from his second stint in Cyprus only further strengthening the Sutherland back-line.
Manly hit back immediately. As Parkhouse found space down the left flank, he was able to play a lovely ball through into the box and Dejan Pandurevic hit it into the right hand corner to put the home side back in the game.
It was Dejan’s second match back after his stint with the Central Coast Mariners this year.
Manly’s hopes of a comeback were soon quashed though as Sutherland sealed the game in injury time.
Alex Jovovic, who had been strong all game for the Sharks, found space down the right flank.
The former St George attacker curved the ball into the top right hand corner. It was a wonderful finish which sealed the game for Sutherland.
After the game Manly United coach Paul Dee described his frustration.
"I think we just appeared flat, whether the impact of having three games inside one week mattered or not, the performance just wasn’t up to standard today," he said.
"I think collectively we were below our best. There were some positives today though, so we won’t think about it too much and just get back to what we’ve been doing."
Meanwhile Sutherland Sharks coach Steve O’Connor was stoked with his teams victory.
"I thought we played well and deserved the win, were still a young side and we’re learning every week, especially at the back but I’m happy to take the win," he said.
Manly United FC 1 (Pandurevic 59′)
Sutherland Sharks FC 3 (Tratt 21′, Moustakas 58′, Jovovic 90+2′)
Sunday 3rd May
Cromer Park, Cromer
Referee: Khodr Yaghi
Assistant Referees: Matthew McOrist and Janush Adabjou
Fourth Official: Peter Liaros
Sutherland Sharks: Denham, Tratt, McKenzie, Little, O’Connell, Park (Caton 88′), Jovovic, Stergiou, Moustakas, Figon, Hayes
Substitutes not used: McStay, Antoniou, Depta, Crevani
Yellow Cards: Figon 32′, Tratt 80′, Moustakas 81′ Mckenzie 86′
Manly United FC: Liiband; Beauchat, Bragg (McDonald 69′) Cholakian, Lobb, Oughtred, Parkhouse, Paull, Payne, Saric (Pandurevic 40′), Williams (Kuleski 78′)
Substitutes not used: Forbes, Mitchell
3- Jovovic (Sharks)
2- Moustakas (Sharks)
1- Figon (Sharks)
– by Jack Hislop, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Cromer Park