It was one for the history books with Manly United FC defeating Wollongong Wolves FC 2-0 on Saturday night for the first time since 2016.
Back on the unfamiliar ground of Cromer Park #2, it was an entertaining display from both sides, however goals to Manly United’s Bruno Mendes and Thomas Fay would be enough to bring home the three points.
Both teams started with pace and intensity, which saw Wollongong attack the goal in the first minute of the game.
Sent over the back for a corner, the opening minute set the tone for the next 30 minutes of the match.
Sustained pressure from both sides in the centre of the pitch saw the score line kept to 0-0.
Nicholas Duarte fired the first shot at Jack Greenwood in the 14th minute, however a diving save kept the game scoreless.
It did not take Manly long to respond to the intensity with a strong counterattack against the visitors.
The 35th minute saw Brazilian maestro Bruno Mendes score his second goal in the Manly jersey for the 2022 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s season.
A pass from Thomas Fay at the top of the box saw the Brazilian turn and slam the ball into the bottom left corner, giving the hosts the lead.
The momentum of the goal was clear with Manly United dominating the remainder of the first half and entering half time with a 1-0 lead.
The second half saw Wollongong put their foot back on the pedal with Lachlan Scott taking the place of Nicholas Duarte, looking to add some extra fire power.
A counterattack from a corner in the 54th minute saw Manly once again find the back of the net, only for it to be disallowed, keeping the score to 1-0.
It was back and forth between the teams, with neither sides dropping the intensity.
A handball from Manly in the 66th minute gave Wollongong the opportunity to even the score.
Joshua McDonald stepped up to take the set piece, sending the ball into the box nearly finding Nick Littler’s head however he could not capitalise.
Wollongong’s continuous hard work nearly paid off with a series of passes that worked the ball up the field, eventually finding Peter Simonoski at the penalty spot with a clear shot on goal.
As the crowd’s nerves at Cromer Park #2 were settling from the Wollongong attack Manly acted quickly to further their lead.
A long ball from Matt Sim in the 69th dropped over the top, finding Thomas Fay who, with pressure from the Wollongong defence, lobbed Wollongong keeper Hayden Durose to bring the score to 2-0.
The Luke Wilkshire coached side did not drop off though with shots on target in the 87th and 89th minute from Lachlan Scott and James Stojcevski respectively.
The consistently strong Manly United defence lead by captain Jimmy Oates and Alen Aganovic meant neither shots from Wollongong found the back of the net, and Manly United would walk away with the three points for the second week in a row.
Manly United FC 2 (Bruno Mendes 35’, Thomas Fay 69’)
Wollongong Wolves FC 0
Saturday, 9th April 2022
Cromer Park, Dee Why
Referee: Christian Verdicchio
Assistant Referees: Patrick Teleki and Joon Park
Fourth Official: Logan Rhys Jones
Manly United FC: 20. Jack Greenwood, 2. Keiren Paull, 3. Jesse Piriz, 4. Jimmy Oates, 5. Thomas Fay, 7. Seiya Kambayashi, 11. Matt Sim, 12. Finn Ashton (10. Luca Kmet 75’), 18. Lucas Rainbird, 19. Alen Aganovic, 22. Bruno Mendes (14. Dejan Pandurevic 66’)
Substitutes Not Used: 17. Zenden Hart, 29. Marcus Lal, 31. Max Martinello, 33. Lachlan Mills
Yellow Cards: Alen Aganovic 10’, Thomas Fay 72’, Jesse Piriz 83’, Jack Greenwood 94’
Red Cards: Nil
Wollongong Wolves: 1. Hayden Durose, 3. Darcy Madden, 5. Banri Kanaizumi, 8. Brendan Griffin (17. James Stojcevski 72’), 9. Peter Simonoski, 10. Takumu Tsujimura, 11. Joshua MacDonald, 14. Nicholas Duarte (24. Lachlan Scott 45’), 15. Nick Littler, 16. Guy Knight, 22. Leroy Jennings
Substitutes Not Used: 13. Tomas Butkovic, 6. Senna Stevenson, 19. Jake Lavalle, 25. Nav Darjani
Yellow Cards: Nicholas Duarte 31’, Nick Littler 59’, Darcy Madden 61’, Leroy Jennings 82’,
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Jimmy Oates (MU)
2 – Thomas Fay (MU)
1 – Bruno Mendes (MU)
-By Sophie Tarrant-Foder