Manly United FC were comfortable 4-2 winners against Mt Druitt Town Rangers on a cold Saturday night at Popondetta Park.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers were handed the perfect start when Japanese import Fumoto Kamada put them ahead after 11 minutes but a dazzling hat-trick from Manly United FC striker Bruno Mendes humbled the hosts.
Substitute Marcus Lal added the fourth to the Northern Beaches boys and although the home side found a late consolation goal to substitute Olayinka Sunmola it didn’t help them rise from the bottom rung of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition.
Trying to atone for their mid-week loss, Mt Druitt Town Rangers were off to a quick start tonight with a chance within two minutes for Kamada that flew wide.
Kamada made amends for his miss with the opening goal of the contest in the 17th minute as he tucked one home in the left corner to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Manly United were the next to try their luck as Seiya Kambayashi stood over a free kick from just outside the box that he whistled over the bar just after the half-hour mark.
The visitors were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute for a foul inside the box that gave them the perfect opportunity to equalise.
Brazilian import Mendes stepped up and rolled it home to equalise.
It was double delight for Manly United soon after as once again Mendes made magic happen.
The striker unfurled a shot that bounced off Rangers’ custodian Robert Fanella and into the net to take the score to 2-1 in the 39th minute.
Mt Druitt had the final chance of the half through sharpshooter Jack Stewart.
He weaved between Manly United defenders like it was peak hour traffic, but his effort flew over.
Straight from the second half kick off, Manly United picked up where they left off as Mendes took a free kick that whistled wide of the left-hand post, then minutes later Kambayashi struck the post with an effort.
The Rangers continued to push forward to find the equaliser and went close through former Manly United player Travis Oughtred.
The tall defender flicked his header towards the top corner, but Manly United keeper Jack Greenwood tipped it over.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when Manly United were awarded another spot kick as custodian Robert Fanella received a red card for bringing down a player in the area.
Mendes stepped up to the spot and rolled home his penalty to secure his hat trick and take the score to 3-1.
The striker almost had a fourth when he struck the base of the post, but the ball fell to the feet of substitute Lal to take the visitors tally to four.
There was some late consolation for Mt Druitt before stoppage time as substitute Olayinka Sunmola strode into the box and fired into the bottom corner to make it 4-2.
Speaking post match, Mt Druitt Town Rangers coach Stewart Montgomery was disappointed his side threw away the game with some defensive errors again.
“The first 20-25 minutes, we were good and took the lead,” Montgomery said.
“We pressed well and it worked on them but then the defensive errors crept back in.
“It is something each individual player has to own to help us turn around the results.
“It is testament to the teams resolve and ability to remain in these contests.
“At 2-1 we were in the contest but it is just moments that are costing us.”
For Manly United FC coach Adam Griffiths, he was happy with the sides effort to take three points away from a tough away trip.
“I thought we dominated in possession,” Griffiths explained.
“There was a lot of movement and chances in the final third while they were dangerous on the counter attack.
“All in all, it was a good three points away from home for us.
“We’ve had a lot of away games so we’ll be able to push up the ladder once we get some players back with the ability that we have in this side.”
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 2 (Kamada ‘17, Sunmola ‘87)
Manly United FC 4 (Mendes ‘35, ‘39, ‘75, Lal ‘79)
Saturday 30th April 2022
Popondetta Park, Emerton
Referee: Craig Fisher
Assistant Referees: Joon Park and Hugh Fenton-White
Fourth Official: Melik Ibrahim
Mt Druitt Town Rangers: 4. Travis Oughtred, 7. Jack Stewart 8. Jason Perez (25. Mohommed Sabbouh ‘78), 9. John Roberts (6. Louis Khoury ‘59), 10. Diogo Barbosa (18. Olayinka Sunmola ‘59), 11. Fumota Kamada, 15. Brayden Burr (19. Bul Juach ‘59), 17. Cooper Coskerie, 20. Robert Fanella, 21. Tarek Elrich, 41. Ivan Sunjic (31. Jerome Narayan ‘75)
Substitutes Not Used: 3. Andrew Tchuda
Yellow Cards: Barbosa ‘35, Elrich ‘46
Red Cards: Fanella ‘73
Manly United FC: 2. Kieren Paull, 3. Jesse Piriz, 4. James Oates, 5. Thomas Fay, 7. Seiya Kambayashi, 10. Luca Kmet (8. Dominic Ferguson ‘69), 12. Finn Ashton (29. Marcus Lal ‘69), 17. Jack Greenwood, 18. Lucas Rainbird, 19. Alan Aganovic, 22. Bruno Mendes (31. Max Martinello ‘85)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Zenden Hart, 21. Nick Rainbird, 35. Stefano Rossello
Yellow Cards: Piriz ‘33, Ferguson ‘78
Red Cards: Nil
3 – Bruno Mendes (MU)
2 – Seiya Kambayashi (MU)
1 – Fumoto Kamada (MDTR)
By National Premier Leagues NSW reporter Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)