Manly United has fought back to snatch a 1-1 draw with Blacktown Spartans in its PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Clash at Blacktown Football Park on Saturday.
Dom Ferguson’s 57th minute strike saved Manly from a frustrating away defeat after Jacob Ott gave the home side the lead after only five minutes.
It was a strong bounce back performance from Blacktown after leaking five goals to APIA last round.
It was all Blacktown Spartans from the opening whistle.
A Jacob Ott corner in the 2nd minute surprised Dylan Mitchell in the United net. The ball hit the Manly shot stopper without him knowing too much about it.
A sweeping move involving Futa Nakamura and Anthony Proia set up Ott to open the scoring in the fifth minute.
Adam Parkhouse responded four minutes later when he beat Carlos Saliadarre with a shot across the face of goal which rebounded back in to play only to be cleared by the Blacktown defence.
Manly came back at Blacktown but thankfully Luka Dukic was on hand to clean up as the visitors attacking pressure mounted.
Shu Susaki should have extended the lead midway through the first half only to scuff his effort after heavy pressure from Mitchell.
The visitors mixed it up with long balls from the back and slick wing play to circumvent a packed midfield.
Parkhouse centred a cross in the 32nd minute which found it’s way to the back stick for Brendan Cholakian to attempt a volley.
However, Cholakian’s miss-timed effort bounced past the upright.
Moments later Dejan Pandurevic headed wide as yet another Manly opportunity went begging.
Deep into first-half stoppage time Travis Cooper was able to weave his way through the Blacktown defence but a heavy final touch saw the Spartans ‘keeper easily gather the ball.
Manly produced a more controlled performance at the start of the second period and pinned the Spartans back in their own half but remained let down by poor finishing.
in the 57th minute Ferguson finally found an equaliser for the visitors.
Lining up from range, the midfielder unleashed a rasping shot which Saliadarre could not stop.
It was game on once more with Manly holding the momentum and Blacktown beginning to push back.
Cholakian chanced his arm from an acute angle on the right hand side but his shot whistled over the crossbar.
From then on it was a helter-skelter ride to the finish with many half chances coming and going but neither able to find a winner.
Ben De Haan was relieved after the whistle.
“In the end it was probably a point won because we didn’t take our chances in the first-half. It seems every game we get into the box but can’t put it away and tonight was no different,” he said.
“Shu’s (Sasaki) missed opportunity, when he had the whole goal to aim for, was one example of the luck we seem to have at the moment.
“We’ve played better in our last three games but tonight we’ve come away with a point. We’re not helping ourselves in front of goal and simply couldn’t exploit the space left in behind when Manly pushed forward.
It was a tough result to stomach for Manly coach Paul Dee
“Two points dropped again,” he said.
“We went behind after a schoolboy error and then failed to take advantage of the numerous chances we had to win the game.
“We still manage to accumulate points but we lack that killer finish to closeout matches.”
Blacktown Spartans: 1 (Ott 5’)
Manly United: 1 (Ferguson 57’)
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Blacktown Football Park, Blacktown
Referee: Trent Nash
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Clark & Patrick Teleki
Fourth Official: Michael Bailey
Blacktown Spartans: 1. SALIADARRE Carlos ©, 5. DUKIC Luka, 6. PERKATIS Yianni (20. TOSI Ben 89’), 7. SASAKI Shu, 8. OTT Jacob, 9. PROIA Anthony (11. CRIGHTON Jordan 59’), 10. NAKAMURA Futa, 14. MORTON Hayden, 15. WHITESIDE Thomas, 17. TOMIHIRO Hyams, 25. GAUTHIER Amaury (4. MUTCH William 76’)
Substitutes not used: 3. TANNER Josh, 41. NASCIMBEN Domenic
Yellow Cards: Whiteside 39’
Manly United: 1. MITCHELL Dylan, 2.PAULL Kieran, 3. LOBB Jamie, 4. OUGHTRED Travis, 5. WILLIAMS Rhys, 6. GALLAGHER Sam, 7. COOPER Travis (18. BRAGG Daniel 70’), 8. FERGUSON Dom (22. GIVERIN Luke 61’), 10. CHOLAKIAN Brendan ©, 11. PARKHOUSE Adam, 14. PANDUREVIC Dejan (16. BERTI Sipan 86’)
Substitutes not used: 20. SYRON Mackenzie, 31. WHITLOCK Dylan
Yellow Cards: Gallagher 80’
3 – Brendan Cholakian (MU)
2 – Luka Dukic (BS)
1 – Jacob Ott (BS)
– By PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Micky Brock