SUTHERLAND may well end up being the entertainers of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition this year following their 2-0 win versus Manly United on Sunday afternoon at Cromer Park.
Sharks coach Carlos Villazon has promised his team will play attacking football at every opportunity, and they didn’t let their gaffer down.
The home side started the contest at a busy pace, with the likes of Travis Cooper, Brendan Cholakian and Luke Giverin all looking sharp.
11′ minutes in United should have taken the lead.
After Adam Parkhouse hit the crossbar following a mazy run down the left, the rebound fell to Dejan Pandurevic.
He connected with the loose ball, but couldn’t keep it down, volleying over the crossbar from point blank range.
On 22′ minutes Sutherland went close to opening the scoring when Nick Littler headed wide from a corner.
It didn’t prove to be pivotal, with Josh Da Silva showing his teammates how it was done on 34′ minutes.
The number ten jinked into the area with his trusty left foot and connected well at the near post, beating Shaun Catlin.
The United gloveman, in the starting XI for regular shot stopper Dylan Mitchell, won’t want to see the replay as he should have parried the effort to safety.
Manly coach Paul Dee isn’t known for his halftime sprays, but whatever he said at the break worked as the hosts started the second stanza in the mood.
Skipper Brendan Cholakian was fouled just outside the area with 52 minutes played, leaving the set piece with Giverin.
The Manchester United youth player unselfishly squared the ball to his captain, but Cholakian fluffed his lines, with his effort eventually hacked to safety.
2′ minutes later Cholakian should have been awarded a spot kick, but referee Michael Weiner was having none of it, waving play on, much to the disappointment of the healthy crowd in the Lucas Neill Grandstand.
With 57′ minutes Parkhouse delivered a quality cross from the left, but it wasn’t stabbed home by his teammates.
Sutherland were prepared to be patient and on 66′ minutes doubled their advantage.
Substitute Steve Hayes, who changed the tempo in midfield after being thrown into the fray just after oranges, delivered a pinpoint free kick which man of the match Littler attacked with pace.
His clinical glancing header never looked like missing and the Sharks were then collectively circling with intent.
Pandurevic should have made it a grandstand finish following a great ball from Daniel Saric on 82′ minutes but the striker was unable to muster a decent contact to beat Nathan Denham.
Villazon was happy with what his troops dished up in the "Battle of the Beaches".
"Today we controlled the game most of the time,” he said to Football NSW.
"We played with width and I thought were better in the middle of the park.
"I am very happy with the three points – Manly are physically strong and never give up."
Villazon is also relishing being in charge after a number of campaigns as the Sharks’ number two.
"Yes, it is a good feeling, it is pleasing to do things my way,” he said.
"I want to prove my value at every opportunity."Cholakian was a frustrated man at the final whistle.
"We’ve been working hard all pre-season, so to lose first up and not score a goal is a bit disappointing,” the Manly leader said.
"It is now all about building and showing the right type of character.
"The heat was a factor, but no excuses, we need to be more clinical."
Manly United 0
Sutherland 2 (Josh Da Silva 34′, Nick Littler 66′)
Sunday, March 13
Referee: Michael Weiner
Assistant referees: T.Lee, A.Lyndon
Fourth official: A.Mansour
Manly United: 40. CATLIN Shaun, 18. BRAGG Daniel, (8.FERGUSON Dom 51′) 10.CHOLAKIAN Brendan, 7.COOPER Travis,(19.Daniel SARIC 70′), 6.GALLAGHER Sam, 22.GIVERIN Luke, 3.LOBB Jamie, 4. OUGHTRED Travis, 14.PANDUREVIC Dejan, (16.BERTI Sipan 85′) 11.PARKHOUSE Adam, 2.PAULL Kieren
Substitutes not used: 20.MITCHELL Dylan, 31.SEPAROVICH Nathan
Yellow cards: Bragg 23′, Paull 65′
Red cards: Nil
Sutherland: 1.DENHAM Nathan, 17.ANDREW James, (7.PRESS Jack 76′) 10.DA SILVA Joshua, (10.McSTAY Chris 62′) 9.FIGON Jordan, 19.FITZPATRICK Callum, 6.GORDON Matt, 35. KAJIYAMA Tomohiro, (23.HAYES Steve 51′), 5.LITTLER Nick, 15.MOUSTAKAS Perry, 3.MURAYAMA Takuya, 12.STERGIOU Lukas
Substitutes not used: 11.JOVOVIC Alex, 21.LOE Nikolas
Yellow cards: Murayama 42′
Red cards: Nil
3 – Nick Littler (SS)
2- James Andrew (SS)
1- Jordan Figon (SS)