Manly United has fought back to claim a stunning 3-1 victory against Sydney FC at Lambert Park in the early Saturday afternoon kick off that welcomed in round 13 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s top tier competition.
Hamish Lamberton netted early for a resilient Sydney FC but a brace via 20-year-old young gun Lewis Miccio and a late Nikola Taneski strike cancelled out the early advantage in a dominant display from Manly.
It was a solid return to form for the boys from the Northern Beaches as they bounced back from last round’s loss to Sydney United 58.
The result puts them back in the race for finals football closing the gap to the top five.
Lamberton gave Sydney FC the perfect start when he netted after just six minutes.
The striker beautifully planted the ball past Dylan Mitchell in the Young Sky Blues first foray forward as well as notching up his fourth of the 2019 NPL NSW Men’s campaign.
Dejan Pandurevic forced FC keeper, Adam Pavlesevic, into a fine save when tipping over as United got to grips with the match and began to dominate.
Lamberton grazed the bar with a shot-cum-cross in the 23rd minute in an all too rare surge forward that nearly caught out United’s gloveman Dylan Mitchell.
United equalised in the 25th minute when a Brendan Cholakian free-kick found the head of the onrushing Lewis Miccio to glance home at the near post in a training ground move of perfection.
Pandurevic warmed the hands of Pavlesevic but little in the way of goalmouth action transpired with the majority of play contained in the midfield.
It was a disjointed opening 45 minutes, neither side exerting long periods of dominance but from another corner the ball fell invitingly for Miccio once more to fire Manly ahead just before the break.
Manly began the second period far brighter and both Parkhouse and Cholakian threatened in the opening moments.
Parkhouse should have made it a formality but his curling shot in the 74th minute hit the crossbar.
The Sky Blues were finding it difficult to overcome the relentless pressure of a somewhat rampant United side in the second-half as they struggled at both ends of the field.
Sydney FC were toughing it out in midfield but were caught two-on-one at the back when Taneski was set free down the left with Parkhouse free on the right.
The result was inevitable as Taneski stood up the covering defender and planted a neat right-foot shot beyond Palesevic to settle the tie in emphatic fashion.
Sky Blues coach Jim Van Weeren wasn’t critical of his side despite the result.
“We brought in some of our younger players today and a number were on debut and they acquitted themselves well,” he said.
“It took two set-pieces and a late goal to determine the result and it’s a good sign the players could step up against a physically strong side and hold out for so long.
“For us we have a lot of young players so it’s an opportunity for them to step in when we have injuries or players away on A-League duties and that is a positive for us and them.”
Manly assistant coach and former club stalwart Dylan Macallister praised his side’s fighting spirit after going down a goal early in the match.
“We didn’t start well. Sydney FC are structured very well and we’re not used to playing against a front two,” he said.
“We set some things in place but they deserved to be ahead after the first 20-minutes or so.
“We reacted well and played a lot better in the latter part of the first-half and upped the ante in the second so I’m very pleased with the response from the boys today.
“We had to make a few changes to the starting eleven but to get three goals away from home makes me happy. We left it a bit late but 3-points is 3-points and we’re satisfied with that today.”
Sydney FC 1 (Lamberton 6’
Manly United 3(Miccio 25’, 42’, Taneski 89’)
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Saturday, 1st June, 2019
Referee: Steve Laurie
Asst. Refs: Nick Backo & Emma Kocbek
4th Official: Sam Kelly
Sydney FC: 30.Adam Pavlesevic, 3.Ben Van Meurs, 5.Patrick Scibilio, 6.Harry Van Der Saag, 7.Jerry Skotadis, 9.Hamish Lamberton (23.Harry McCarthy 72’), 12.Giuseppe Tilio (16.Paolo Bonanni 75’), 14.Thomas Fay, 15.Ryan Teague, 18.Benjamin Koop, 24.Jack Coleman (17.Callum Talbot 62’)
Substitutes not used: 20.David Malishev, 34.Callum Nieuwnhoff
Yellow Cards: Teague 30’, Bonanni 89’
Manly United: 1.Dylan Mitchell, 2.Keiran Paull, 4.Travis Oughtred, 7.Sam Wilson, 8.Dom Ferguson, 10.Brendan Cholakian, 11.Adam Parkhouse , 13.Scott Balderson (9.Nikola Taneksi 62’), 14.Dejan Pandurevic, 17.Lewis Miccio, 23.Brad McDonald (3.James Georgaidis 86’)
Substitutes not used: 22.Jamie Glover, 32.Symon Mackenzie, 35.Ben Varveressos
Yellow Cards: Balderson 28’
3 – Miccio (MU)
2 – Parkhouse (MU)
1 – Lamberton (SFC)
By National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s reporter Micky Brock