MANLY United were ruthless on Sunday afternoon, smashing Blacktown Spartans 5-0 at Cromer Park.
Heading into the clash, United’s captain Brendan Cholakian and goalkeeper Dylan Mitchell spoke about the importance of not being complacent against the cellar dwellers.
Coach Paul Dee clearly also drummed home that message collectively, with the home side ruthless from the outset.
Thirteen minutes in Manly took the lead.
Left winger Adam Parkhouse, who along with Cholakian and Luke Giverin recently played in a trial match for the Central Coast Mariners, slotted home after following up an effort from Richie Cardozo which hit the post.
Blacktown then almost equalised with 32 minutes on the clock.
Jordan Crighton, who was the only Spartans player to cause Manly any headaches, smashed an effort against the crossbar.
United were still in cruise mode when they took a 2-0 lead on 36 minutes.
Young gun Dejan Pandurevic unleashed a spectacular shot on the turn from 25 yards which never looked like missing.
How he hasn’t been snapped up by an A-League club ahead of the 2016/17 campaign continues to puzzle good judges of football.
Crighton then hit the woodwork again on 41 minutes following a swift counter attack from the visitors and it proved to be pivotal, with Manly taking a 3-0 lead moments later.
Parkhouse drove home his second moments before the break, and should have slotted his hat-trick with 45 minutes played, only to see a retreating Spartans defender block the goal bound effort.
United took a while to wake up after the break, with the Spartans almost pegging one back on 47 minutes.
Josh Tanner’s header was a bullet, but Giverin was alert to the danger at the near post, clearing off the line with a crucial header.
United made it 4-0 on 58 minutes.
Cardozo reacted first to a corner at the far post, smashing an effort past the hapless Carlos Saliadarre.
Both teams cleared the bench in the last half an hour, with the match becoming a virtual training run for Manly, who are in red hot form with the semi-finals looming.
Pandurevic then made it 5-0 on 73 minutes.
The local junior had an age to fire the ball home, and he didn’t need a second invitation.
United substitute Scott Balderson should have made it 6-0 moments later, but Saliadarre stood tall and the chance went begging on 76 minutes.
Crighton almost had a consolation goal on 88 minutes, but the striker produced a tame effort at the vital moment which skewed wide.
"Today we couldn’t get anything right,” Crighton said post game.
"We didn’t play to the best of our ability and the scoreline shows that.
"I was impressed by Manly, they keep the ball well and take their chances.
"Our focus now is to train hard and look to avoid relegation over the next few weeks."
Stand in Manly skipper Sam Gallagher was understandably happy with how the 90 minutes unfolded.
"We executed our game plan well,” he said.
"The early goals helped our cause.
"It was also good to keep a clean-sheet, any 5-0 win is good to be involved in."
Manly United 5 (Adam Parkhouse 13′, 43′, Dejan Pandurevic 36′, 73′, Richie Cardozo 58′)
Blacktown Spartans 0
Sunday July 24, 2016
Assistant referees: A.Giev, N.Backo
Fourth Official: M.Reidy
Manly United: 1.MITCHELL Dylan, 2.PAULL Kieren, 3.LOBB Jamie, 4.OUGHTRED Travis, 6.GALLAGHER Sam, (18.BRAGG Daniel 66′) 9.CARDOZO Richie, (13.BALDERSON Scott 68′) 11.PARKHOUSE Adam, (7.COOPER Travis 58′) 14.PANDUREVIC Dejan, 17.CANSDELL-SHERRIFF Shane, 21.FOX Joseph, 22,GIVERIN Luke
Substitutes not used: 5.WILLIAMS Rhys, 20.CATLIN Shaun
Yellow cards: Gallagher 33′
Red cards: Nil
Blacktown Spartans: 1.SALIADARRE Carlos, 16.CARLE ANDRE,(2.JAJAW Wand 78′) 11.CRIGHTON Jordan, 14.MORTON Hayden, 10.NAKAMURA Futa, 6.PERKATIS Yianni, 3.TANNER Joshua, 20.TOSI Benjamin,(17.WHITE Aaron 78′) 25.TRIFIRO Jason, 15.WHITESIDE Thomas, 4.QUIGLEY Xavier (8.OTT Jacob 66′)
Substitutes not used: 41.NASCIMBEN Domenic
Yellow cards: Tanner 35′
Red cards: Nil