Manly United showed their credentials as potential PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s champions with a stunning 6-1 victory over Hakoah Sydney City East at Hensley Athletic Field on Sunday.
Manly was at their attacking best with Dejan Pandurevic scoring in the first minute of the game before Sam Gallagher, Luke Giverin and Brendan Cholakian finished the onslaught.
It was a one sided romp with Hakoah’s only saving grace a 35th minute goal to Kevin Lopes.
With a Waratah Cup final on the horizon, Manly are hitting their straps.
The first half belonged to Manly, who opened the scoring in under a minute. Parkhouse used his pace to beat his man down the left flank and sent in a tantalising cross that was struck home beautifully on the half-volley by Pandurevic.
In the fourth minute, Luke Giverin hit a ripper of a shot only to be denied by the bar. Indeed, within the first four minutes, Manly had three shots on target for a return of one goal, one denied by the bar and one saved by Hakoah keeper Anthony Costa.
It wasn’t long before the visitor’s struck again, with a Sam Gallagher effort in the 13th minute somehow trickled over the line. Even at this early stage of the match, Hakoah had been reduced to chasing shadows.
In the 19th minute Hakoah eventually offered some resistance, with Lee Jones causing some concern in the Manly goalmouth after lobbing in a dangerous cross from the right. The ensuing corner was cleared away to safety.
Manly continued to dominate. Their crisp passing and impressive interplay caused Hakoah plenty of problems.
It didn’t take long for Manly to extend their lead to three, when in the 28th minute Luke Giverin struck home a pearler from long range.
The match began to look like a training run for the visitors but against the run of play, Hakoah gave their small band of supporters something to cheer. Kevin Lopes struck home a beautiful goal from outside the box to bridge the gap to 3-1.
But the comeback was short-lived as Giverin set up Brendan Cholakian, who blasted home a screamer to give Manly a 4-1 lead. Thirty-eight minutes played. Five goals scored. What a game.
Not surprisingly the two teams went to the break with Manly leading 4-1.
Immediately after the restart, Hakoah showed some spirit and launched an attack on the Manly goal. Referee Kurt Ams awarded the home side a penalty, but striker Neil Jablonski slammed the spot kick onto the crossbar. A golden opportunity missed.
As if to punish Jablonski for his miss, Manly’s Brendan Cholakian grabbed his second goal from close range in the 52nd minute after a perfect low cross from Parkhouse, to give Manly a commanding 5-1 lead.
Two minutes later the visitor’s were at it again, with Luke Giverin snaring his second for an astonishing 6-1 lead. The match was turning into an exhibition, with the pace and creativity displayed by Parkhouse and Pandurevic in particular, causing Hakoah plenty of grief.
In the 64th minute, Richie Cardozo rattled the post with a screamer and a moment later, brushed the bar with yet another shot seemingly propelled by jet fuel. Hakoah were holding on by the skin of their teeth and were fortunate not to be more than 6-1 in arrears.
No more goals were scored but Manly continued to show their class, which not only proved to be way too much for the home side, but also demonstrated to the fans that when it comes to championship ambitions, the seasiders are the real deal. Paul Dee’s team passed with precision, ran with pace and showed a skillset way beyond the comprehension of their opponents. Which, given Hakoah’s recent good form and ability to trouble any side in the competition, was a total mystery. Perhaps it was just one of those days.
At the final whistle most of the Hakoah fans had departed the homely grandstand at Hensley Athletic Field and as Manly sang their victory song, the locals were left to wonder just where they had gone wrong.
As expected, Manly United coach Paul Dee was delighted with his side’s performance, especially given their midweek Waratah. Cup semi-final had gone to extra time.
“It was an excellent performance,” Dee said. “I was very pleased with the way the team played, we were very sharp. We moved the ball very well, created a lot of scoring opportunities and showed some desperation in defence. It was a complete performance.
“It could’ve been more if we were a little bit more ruthless but the boys obviously enjoyed that game and there were some outstanding individual performances. In a win like that it’s very hard to single out anyone, but it was really hard to miss the performances of Dejan Panduervic and Adam Parkhouse. I think they just terrorised the defence and had exceptional games.”
Dee added that Pandurevic, 19, and Parkhouse, 22, would be deserving of an opportunity to take the step up to the A-League.
“They deserve at least a trial in an A-League setup, they’re that good. They’re young, the take instructions, they’re organised and they’re committed to what they’re doing.”
Meanwhile, Hakoah coach Mark Robertson wasn’t so upbeat.
“I think from the very first whistle our team was off the pace,” he said. “And that’s me being kind. And once a few of their players got momentum, they hurt us badly.
“As a coach you can only ever take it game by game. And if I was to be that naïve as a coach to look back at the games we’ve won, instead of concentrating purely on tonight, then that would be very silly of me. I have no answers for any of the boys. I have no answers for myself for how poorly the scoreline looked, and all I can say is that as a club we go back to the drawing and we work towards Blacktown City next week.”
Hakoah Sydney City East :1 (Kevin Lopes 35’)
Manly United: 6 (Dejan Pandurevic 1’, Sam Gallagher 13’, Luke Giverin 28’, 54’, Cholakian 38’, 52’)
Hensley Athletic Field, Pagewood.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant referees: S Edeliny, N Wostem
Fourth official: M Mcoist
Hakoah Sydney City East: 1. Anthony COSTA (GK), 3. Dylan BLUMBERG (9. Neil JABLONSKI 46’), 5. Nathan BOWDEN-HAASE, 8. Paul ORGAD, 10. Deklan GILMARTIN, 11. Gavin RAE, 14. Lee JONES (23. Andre DE JONG 45’), 17. Jordan MUNDELL, 31. Kevin LOPES (7. Hussein AKIL 63’), 40. Ryan BLUMBERG, 42. Adrian VRANIC
Substitutes Not Used: 18. Aaron D’Mello, 20. Matthew MCKENZIE (GK)
Yellow Cards: 10. Deklan GILMARTIN 51’, 8. Paul ORGAD 71’
Red Cards: N/A
Coach: Mark Robertson
Manly United: 1. Dylan MITCHELL (GK), 2. Kieran PAULL, 3, Jamie LOBB, 4. Travis OUGHTRED, 6. Sam GALLAGHER, 8. Dom FERGUSON, 9. Richie CARDOZO, 10. Brendan CHOLAKIAN (18. Daniel BRAGG 60’), 11. Adam PARKHOUSE (7. Travis COOPER 63’), 14. Dejan PANDUREVIC (21. Joseph Fox), 22. Luke GIVERIN
Substitutes not used: 20. Shaun CATLIN
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
Coach: Paul Dee
-By Derek Royal, PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s Reporter