After the opening round was washed out, and Round 2 matches produced a very high level of football ? even at this early stage of the season ? Round 3 confirmed that season 2008 is going to be a very good season with a high level of quality football.
Manly United, who impressed in their opening match against West Sydney Berries, confirmed their positive start to the season with the scalp of Bankstown City.
Coach Phil Moss would like to see a more attacking style of play this season, and what a start his front-three marksmen have made.
Dusan Mihaljovic, Robbie Cattanach and Craig Midgley have scored one goal each, in both their matches to-date, signaling Manly?s attacking ambitions from the outset.
Midgley?s strike on Wednesday, from all of forty-metres, was a fitting goal to clinch the tie for Manly.
With a strong physical presence at the back, at the expert leadership of Richard Williams in midfield, Manly certainly have the characteristics of a top-two side in the competition.
Despite the loss (3-2), Bankstown City can take many positives from the match, including some promising form from a very experienced midfield.
Robert Mileski and George Nohra looked extremely comfortable pulling the strings in midfield, meanwhile Peter Tsekenis marshalled the defence well.
Notorious slow-starter Wollongong FC impressed in their defeat of West Sydney Berries.
John Turner?s side took a commanding 3-0 lead with goals to Alfredo, Osagie Ederaro, Daniel Aliffi setting up the win, despite a late resurgence from the Berries who scored twice in the final ten-minutes.
Sydney Olympic is also shaping up nicely for the start of the season. After a well fought 1-1 draw with Wollongong FC last weekend, Sydney Olympic claimed their first win with an impressive 4-2 defeat of Marconi.
Paul Wither stole the show for Milan Blagojevic?s side with a double strike, meanwhile Marconi ? who ran out of steam in this one ? had their evening off to a good start with a tremendous Nahuel Arrarte curling free-kick.
Sydney Olympic?s impressive pre-season training gave the side the upper-hand against the Stallions in the final stages of the match as Shannon Cole rounded out the scoring.
Defending Johnny Warren Cup champions ? A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers ? have again failed to take off after their second consecutive defeat of the campaign.
The Tigers, after losing to Blacktown City Demons, were also subdued by Sutherland Sharks at Seymour Shaw.
Two first-half goals were enough for the home-side, as Brian Brown?s impressive start at the club continues.
In arguably the shock of the round, ?new boys? Macarthur Rams upset defending NSW Premier League Champions, Blacktown City Demons.
A late winner by Ronato Jelen, three minutes from the end, secured the Rams a huge scalp.
Blacktown City Demons did seem to gain the ascendancy following former Queensland Roar midfielder Jordan Simpson?s equaliser just after the break, though the Rams did not let up, and secured a memorable victory for the club in their first season of Premier League football.
In the round?s final match, Penrith-Nepean United were extremely close to ?knocking off? the more fancied Sydney United outfit.
The Reds scored two goals in the final five minutes, Luka Glavas and Damon Collina, to annul Penrith?s 2-0 lead courtesy of Chris Camilleri and Devrim Huseyin.
All Reports can be viewed in the Johnny Warren Cup section now.
Johnny Warren Cup Round 3 Results
Sydney Olympic 4 Marconi Stallions 2
Sutherland Sharks 2 A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers 0
Bankstown City 2 Manly United 3
Western Sydney Berries 2 Wollongong FC 3
Blacktown City Demons 1 Macarthur Rams 2
Penrith Nepean United 2 Sydney United 2