A ten-man Sutherland Sharks have ended their four game losing streak after holding on for a scoreless draw against Manly United at Seymour Shaw on Saturday.
It was a hard earned point for the bottom of the table Sharks who were lucky to not concede a late goal after captain Marc Warren was sent for an early shower after receiving a second yellow card.
Both sides had their chances but paid the price for poor finishing in front of goal.
Goalkeepers Anthony Bouzanis and Dylan Mitchell were stand out performers as the Sharks and United ensure they took something away from an at times dour contest.
Warren picked up a caution in just the second minute for a foul on Dejan Pandurevic however, Adam Parkhouse skied the resultant free-kick over the bar.
Quivi Fowler produced a fantastic save from Dylan Mitchell six minutes later as the Sharks surged forward in numbers with Manly desperately blocking in the box in rapid succession.
Manly countered when a delightful cross found the head of an unmarked Scott Balderson but his effort never troubled Anthony Bouzanis.
It was a let off for Sutherland after being caught on the counter.
Juan Carlos Heras Romero spun in the box but opted to shoot rather than centre from an acute angle that Mitchell always had covered at his near post. It was symptomatic of the Sharks’ season to date.
The half drew to a close scoreless following a tigerish midfield battle.
Terry Palapanis was forced to ring the changes at the restart when sending Quentin Cheng on for Fowler after the latter sustained an injury toward the end of the opening stanza. It was news the Sharks could ill afford with a number of players carrying knocks.
Keiran Paull strode forward from right-back and tried his luck from distance that Bouzanis dealt with comfortably in the 56th minute, Lachlan Everett responded with a 30-yard pile-driver that had power but lacked direction in tit-for-tat fashion.
Warren unleashed a free-kick from 40-yards out on the hour mark that Mitchell spectacularly palmed around the upright raising the crowd to their feet. The execution was masterful, the reaction was sensational.
Juan Romero wriggled free and sent in a curling right-footer that had Mitchell scrambling but again, it was wide of the target.
Sutherland switched to three at the back and it almost paid immediate dividends when another Warren free-kick was fired in at pace however, Mitchell saw it all the way and safely gathered.
Warren, Sharks’ paler of the game, received his 2nd yellow in the final minute of normal time to leave Sutherland a man down to face the closing stages of the match.
However, United were unable to make their superior numbers count and the lack of clear openings condemned the match to a goal-less stalemate that suited neither side.
Sharks coach Terry Palapanis rued his teams poor execution in the final third.
“It wasn’t our best in front of goal,” said Palapanis.
“We’ve been working of course and we’ve had opportunities but we just can’t seem to find the net.
“It was an even match and we kept a clean sheet so you look to the positives and with our FFA Cup game coming up in midweek we need to look forward.”
It was a similar sentiment shared by Manly boss Paul Dee who felt his team wasted their moments.
“I think we did well to get into the attacking third,” he said.
“But we lacked a little quality and composure at the pivotal moments.
“The balance of possession and intent was good but it didn’t;t amount to much in front of goal but the positive is another clean sheet to build on.
“We knew Sutherland are a tough side to beat after watching some of their games and they have the players to worry teams with their pace. They’ve been a little unlucky in their results and we always get a tough game here so tonight we accept the point and move on.”
Sutherland Sharks 0
Manly United 0
Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda
Saturday, 13th April, 2019
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Assistant. Referees: Scott Edeling & Andre Giev
fourth Official: Sam Kelly
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Anthony Bouzanis, 3.Mark Warren, 4.Patrick O’Shea, 6.Lachlan Everett, 7.Juan Carlos Heras Romero, 9.Jeremy Cox, 10.Raul Beneit Romero, 12.Blair Brown (11.Jordan Morfitis 68’), 16.Quivi Fowler (2.Quentin Cheng 46’), 19.Harry Sutherland 21.Tarik Ercan,
Substitutes not used: 15.Thomas Papa, 18.Mitchell Evans, 25.Brodie Clarkson
Yellow Cards: Warren 2’, Ercan 45’, R.Romero 89’
Red Cards: Warren 89’
Manly United: 1.Dylan Mitchell, 2.Keiran Paull, 4.Travis Oughtred, 5.Sam Gallagher, 8.Dom Ferguson, 10.Brendan Cholakian, 11.Adam Parkhouse (12.Charles Mendy 78’), 13.Scott Balderson (22.Jamie Glover 78’), 14.Dejan Pandurevic, 15.Bradley McDonald, 17.Lewis Miccio
Substitutes not used: 6.Joe Fox, 7.Dam Wilson, 32.Mackenzie Syron
Yellow Cards: Oughtred 51’, Paull 69’
3 – Pandurevic (MU)
2 – Warren (SS)
1 – Cholakian (MU)
-By National Premier Leagues NSW Mens reporter Micky Brock