It was a hard-fought battle between Manly United and Sydney Olympic at Cromer Park on Friday evening as the two teams shared points in a 0-0 draw.
Despite both sides creating plenty of chances in an entertaining end-to-end match, neither side could get the ball into the net to secure the valuable three points on offer, settling for one point each as they remain locked on the ladder.
Olympic mounted a lot of pressure on the hosts in the opening stage of the match, creating a number of chances that they were unable to convert.
Roy O’Donovan came close just two minutes in, giving Manly United a scare as their captain Jimmy Oates made a clearance to deny the visitors and early lead.
Former Manly United attacker Adam Parkhouse was in prime position to net one for Olympic in the 15th minute, receiving the ball around the penalty shot, but he rocketed his shot well over the target.
Manly settled into the match by the 24th minute, passing around the area before Seiya Kambayashi let off a shot from range that was knocked out for a corner.
Kambayashi sent the corner into Oates, but the captain couldn’t capitalise and a subsequent corner saw Parkhouse start a counterattack after intercepting the ball.
While Olympic made their way to the other end of the park and maneuvered the ball to Oliver Puflett, he couldn’t find the target.
O’Donovan came asking for more in the 42nd minute but Manly United ‘keeper Jack Greenwood denied the Irish striker the chance to steal the lead before the half-time break.
The hosts had their clearest chance of the match in the 61st minute from a free kick to the right of the 18-yard-box.
The free kick went past the far post to the head of Oates and past the goalmouth to Kambayashi, who sent his shot into the sky
Olympic retaliated five minutes later as they created an incredibly close chance.
Puflett received the ball from a Peter Politis clearance in the 66th minute and crossed the ball into O’Donovan.
O’Donovan was quick to let off a shot but Oates managed to get a foot in the way, leaving the ball to fall near the post.
Parkhouse collected the ball and looked to shoot but sent it soaring high once again.
O’Donovan came close again in the 68th minute, firing a strike from just inside the 18-yard-box towards the target, but Greenwood pulled out an impressive save to deny.
Olympic ‘keeper Nicholas Sorras did well to get a hand to a Kambayashi cross just before it met the foot of Bruno Mendes in front of goal to keep the home side from getting on the scoreboard.
Sorras was called into action again in the 84th minute as Lucas Rainbird curled a beautiful ball towards the goal.
Sorras managed to react well and dive to knock the ball out of contention.
As both sides continued to apply pressure, the clock ticked down until the final whistle with the two sides sharing points in a goalless draw.
Manly United FC 0
Sydney Olympic FC 0
Friday, 20th May, 2022
Cromer Park, Cromer
Referee: Michael Weiner
Assistant Referees: Ivica Covic and Logan Jones
Fourth Official: Rebecca Mackie
Manly United FC: 2. Kieren Paull, 3. Jesse Piriz, 4. James Oates, 5. Thomas Fay (9. Benjamin Koop 77’), 7. Seiya Kambayashi (29. Marcus Lal 82’), 10. Luka Kmet (35. Stefano Rossello 62’), 12. Finn Ashton (15. Kristian Santich 62’), 18. Lucas Rainbird, 19. Alen Aganovic, 20. Jack Greenwood, 22. Bruno Mendes
Substitutes Not Used: 17. Zenden Hart, 21. Nick Rainbird
Yellow Cards: Rossello 65’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney Olympic FC: 1. Nicholas Sorras, 2. Thomas Whiteside, 3. Nikola Udjur, 6. Mathieu Cordier, 8. Sam McIllhatton, 9. Oliver Puflett, 11. Adam Parkhouse (22. Fabio Ferreira 72’), 19. Darcy Burgess, 23. Daniel Dias (10. Brendan Cholakian 64’), 36. Peter Politis, 99. Roy O’Donovan
Substitutes Not Used: 15. Kristofer Nicolaou, 17. Marley Peterson, 20. Christopher Parsons, 24. Hagi Gligor
Yellow Cards: Dias 28’
Red Cards: Nil
*Player Ratings have now been hidden