Sydney FC were edged out at home in a hard fought encounter against reigning NPL NSW Champions Manly United at Lambert Park on Saturday night.
Goals to Manly’s Sasa Macura and Travis Oughtred cancelled out an equaliser from Sydney FC’s Sam Mcillhatton to secure a victory for the visitors.
It was a slow opening to the first half for both teams as play went from end to end with neither team able to make their mark on the game in the early stages.
Keiren Paull and Marley Peterson orchestrated several opportunities for Manly early in the opening moments of the game, but it was Nikola Taneski who gave them their first real goal scoring opportunity in the 15th minute.
Jeremy Cox and Hassan Jalloh were dangerous for Sydney FC in the early stages of the match but were unable to secure the lead, with both teams heading to the sheds scoreless.
Dylan Mitchell denied Sydney FC the lead in the 48th minute but was injured during his efforts, retiring early from the match with Shaun Catlin taking his place.
Manly United’s Sasa Macura opened scoring in the 58th minute with a powerful strike hitting the back of the net and giving the reigning National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Champions the advantage.
Sydney FC weren’t quiet for long with an equaliser coming just minutes later.
McIllhatton sent the ball into the top corner and out of reach for Manly’s substitute custodian Catlin to equalise and keep Sydney FC in the game.
It was only five minutes later that Manly United took back the lead with Oughtred getting a touch on the ball to send it past Duro Dragicevic.
Nikola Taneski looked dangerous in the 84th minute, cutting in to send a ball towards goal but it was collected calmly by Dragicevic.
After the game Manly United coach Paul Dee paid tribute to Sydney FC’s performance while expressing his satisfaction in coming away with the win.
“We’ve been working hard to try to turn around a slow start to the season,” Dee explained.
“Sydney are a very organised, young, fit, capable team and we know they can cause trouble so getting three points is a good result for us.”
Sydney FC coach Robbie Stanton was happy with his team’s performance, despite the result.
“We make these mistakes, one or two in a game, every week and it tends to cost us,” Stanton said.
“Nevertheless, I’m very happy with the players and proud of them and we just move forward.”
Despite the slow first-half, both Sydney FC and Manly United put in a strong second-half, with the visitors returning to Manly with three points.
Sydney FC 1 (Mcillhatton 62’)
Manly United 2 (Macura 58’, Oughtred 67’)
Saturday 21st April, 2018
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: M. Weiner
Assistant Referees: J. Park, B. Wright
Fourth Official: J. Casey
Sydney FC: 2. Brendan Curtis (18. Hamish Lamberton 78’), 3. Patrick Flottmann, 4. Liam McGing, 6. Andreas Agamemnonos, 7. Jerry Skotadis, 8. Sam Mcillhatton, 9. Hassan Jalloh (10. Patrick Scibilio 75’), 11. Luke Ivanovic (12. Jackson Bandiera 66’), 15. Jeremy Cox, 16. William Mutch, 30. Duro Dragicevic
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Mitchell Evans, 19. Marco Tilio
Yellow Cards: Brendan Curtis 77’,
Red Cards: Nil
Manly United: 1. Dylan Mitchell (20. Shaun Catlin 50’), 2. Kieren Paull, 3. Jamie Lobb, 4. Travis Oughtred, 6. Dominic Ferguson, 8. Sasa Macura (21. Joseph Fox 68’), 10. Brendan Cholakian, 11. Nikola Taneski, 12. Leigh Egger, 23. Daniel Alessi, 33. Marley Peterson (9. Dylan Macallister 46’)
Substitutes Not Used: 14. Mitchell Rooke, 17. Gianni Stensness,
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
3- Travis Oughtred (MU)
2 – Sasa Macura (MU)
1 – Patrick Fottmann (SFC)
Sydney FC 1-0 Manly United, 5.45pm at Lambert Park
Hamish Lamberton’s ninth goal of the season ensured Sydney FC defeated Manly United 1-0 in their clash at Lambert Park on Saturday.
The Sydney forward struck again to clinch a vital three points for the Sky Blues and improve his golden boot lead as Sydney tightened their grip on third position.
The Sky Blues hierarchy will be particularly pleased about securing their first clean sheet of the campaign after several high profile lapses during the campaign’s opening.
With a match against Sydney Olympic to come next Sunday, Sydney will their eyes on maintaining pace with competition frontrunners Sutherland Sharks and Blacktown City in the coming weeks.
Manly on the other hand must find some consistency after slumping to their fourth defeat in five matches – United have their biggest match of the season so far next Saturday against Sutherland.