The South Coast Wolves kept their finals hopes alive with a 2-0 victory over Manly United FC at WIN Stadium in Round 21 of PS4 National Premier League NSW Men’s 1 on Sunday afternoon.
First-half goals from Sam Matthews and Darcy Madden ensured that the race for the coveted fifth position would head into the final round of the home and away season.
The first real chance of the game turned into the first goal in the seventh minute when Manly couldn’t clear their lines.
Matthews ran onto the ball from outside the box and blasted the ball into the back of the net.
Five minutes later the home side had a string of corners but they could not find the back of the net.
The Wolves were playing like a team with their season on the line and in the 17th minute Peter Simonoski found himself free to play a ball into the box but the cross was cleared before the home side could extend their lead.
The visitors almost got back into the game after being awarded a series of corners themselves in the 27th minute but despite mounting some pressure, the attack came to nothing.
It was almost 2-0 in the 33rd minute when striker Simonoski found some space but his shot hit the side netting for a goal kick.
Right on the stroke of half-time the South Coast Wolves had their second when a scramble in the box ended with Madden putting the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead at the break.
Four minutes into the second half, the Wolves were awarded a free-kick just outside the area but fullback Dhari Al Saad could not test the goalkeeper as his shot sailed over the bar.
Manly United made some early substitutions in the second half and it almost paid off when Bradley McDonald found a little bit of room just outside the 18-yard box but he could only shoot over.
With 12 minutes to play the home side were down to 10 men when James O’Rourke received his second yellow card of the game.
From the resulting free-kick, Brendan Cholakian had the chance to make it a nervous last few minutes but his bending shot went wide of the post.
Some nice lead-up work from Jamie Lobb in the 88th minute, by beating a few defenders, only ended with a shot that trickled wide.
Into injury-time, substitute Anthony Proia had the chance to put the game to bed but a scramble in the box saw Manly goalkeeper, Dylan Mitchell, gather the ball.
South Coast Wolves head coach Jacob Timpano was pleased to get the win after stressing to his players the importance of getting the three points out of the game.
“I told the boys it was a simple scenario that we had to win and I didn’t care how it was; I didn’t care how pretty it was and it wasn’t pretty but we got the points we needed and we’re still alive for another week,” Timpano said.
“I think Marconi is going to be very desperate, they’re fighting for relegation so they’re going to be no pushovers. Next week is probably going to be the toughest day to play Marconi all season but hopefully the boys can do a job again.”
On the other hand, Manly United FC head coach Paul Dee was disappointed with the loss but took nothing away from the Wolves performance.
“I think it was evident throughout the game that individually I think we weren’t at our best and the Wolves were probably more committed to the game and the battle itself and out-enthused us in a number of areas,” he said.
“I haven’t seen the other results from this week so I’m not sure what the total make-up is of the possibilities of making the finals next week but we won’t change too much, we’ve been pleased with the style of play we have developed over the year and we’ll play every game to win.”
The Wolves go into the last round with a game against Marconi Stallions while Manly face Parramatta FC.
South Coast Wolves 2 (Matthews 7’, Madden 44’)
Manly United F.C 0
Sunday 9th August 2015
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referees: Sarah Ho & Matthew Cassidy
Fourth Official: Samuel Grasso
South Coast Wolves: Alsaad, Baldacchino, Griffin, Madden, Manos, Matthews, Murray (Fielding 80’), O’Rourke, Price, Simonoski (Proia 89’) , Zucco (Lavalle 67’)
Substitutions not used: Hamilton, Welch.
Yellow Cards: O’Rourke 57’, 78’, Price 60’
Red cards: O’Rourke 78’
Manly United F.C: Bragg (Whitlock 67’), Cholakian, Gallagher, Kuleski (Ferguson 53’), Lobb, McDonald, Mitchell, Oughtred, Pandurevic, Parkhouse, Saric (Payne 46’)
Substitutions not used: Catlin, Arditti
Yellow Cards: Bragg 16’, Pandurevic 38’, Gallagher 68’
By Jake Bull, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.