Winless Stallions no match for ruthless Manly


An early goal to Manly target man Dusan Mihajlovic was followed by two brilliant finishes from midfield dynamo Ash Ryan and striker Robbie Cattanach.
With Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna an interested spectator in the stands, Cattanach did his chances of securing an A League contract no harm following a silky individual performance with the highlight a sublime second half chip from 23 metres that oozed class.
Mihajlovic got the ball rolling in the 21? minute in somewhat controversial circumstances.
Joey Schirripa, who has rediscovered the form that once saw him take home the National Soccer League Young Player of the Year in his time with Sydney Olympic, broke free down the right and delivered a telling cross to the far post which was headed back across goal and was forced home by Mihajlovic, who couldn?t miss from two metres.
Marconi vehemently argued the goal as soon as it was given, but after consulting his linesman referee Matthew Gillett allowed the goal to stand, despite the ball appearing to go out for a goal kick.
The Stallions should have equalised five minutes later when Tolgay Ozbey found himself with only Brad Swancott to beat from the edge of the area.
Ozbey, who has made a habit of finding the net against Manly in recent years whilst in a Blacktown City Demons shirt, composed himself and slid the ball passed Swancott but the ball clipped the post and bounced away to safety.
Marconi was made to pay for that missed chance after man of the match Ashley Ryan doubled the home sides lead seven minutes before halftime.
Michael Lloyd Green, who was causing nightmares for the Stallions defenders with his searing runs on the flanks, played in Ryan who cleverly finished from the edge of the box after James Chronopoulos hesitated to collect and was then caught in no man?s land.
Mihajlovic should have given Phil Moss? men an unassailable three goal lead two minutes after the interval but somehow managed to spray his shot over the bar with Chronopoulos stranded.
Cattanach then secured the three points on 65? minutes following a poacher?s finish that would have made the highlights reel from most leagues across the globe.
The Stallions defenders gave him far too much room and the prolific marksman lobbed his shot over Chronopoulos to register his fifth goal in four matches.
Ten minutes later he was denied a chance to double his tally on the night after being tripped inside the area.
Gillett waved played on much to the disgust of Moss who felt it was a legitimate penalty claim.
Cattanach went onto miss an easy chance following great lead up work from Ryan and Lloyd-Green on 78? minutes and could have finished the game with a hat-trick.
Lloyd-Green then broke down the left in injury time and almost posted the home side?s fourth goal after firing a great shot past Chronopoulos but saw his effort slam against the far post.
United coach Phil Moss was happy with his charges responded after their poor showing against Sutherland last week.
?I felt last week we were off our game and we worked this week on our hunger and winning the little battles,? he said.
?We worked hard at winning the physical battle and breaking their spirit and once that was done we worked on winning the game.
?Some patches, particularly in the second half, really pleased me.
?I knew when we went up 2-0 they would throw the kitchen sink at us.
?We lost two players early on in Andrew Mailer and Brad Swancott and recovered well from that.
?The Easter break has come at the right time for us ? we have a few injuries that need some nursing but we won?t be resting on our laurels.
?We set ourselves a target of nine points before Easter and we have achieved that but we will be working hard the next few weeks to maintain our momentum.?
David Barrett said he was pleased with the effort but conceded spots will be up for grabs as he searches for a winning formula.
?It wasn?t one of our better performances as a unit and the boys are very disappointed,? he said.
?The first goal the ball looked to have gone over the byline but was given and then Tolgay hit the post down the other end.
?The game changes if he scored but it?s very simple, we just have to work harder.
?There is plenty of character in the squad and I am sure we will bounce back.
?Manly played to their strengths and put the ball in the back of the net so we can have no complaints about the end score line, the challenge now is to see how the boys respond.
?It simply isn?t good enough for a club of this size to have results like this.?
Match Stats
Manly United 3 (Dusan Mihajlovic 21? Ashley Ryan 37? Robbie Cattanach 65?)
Marconi Stallions 0
Referee: Matthew Gillett
Assistant Referees: Daniel Dewhurst & Nick Backo
Crowd: 1000
Venue: Cromer Park
Manly United: 1.Brad SWANCOTT (Luke FEMIA 38?), 2.Adam Israel 3.Andrew MAILER (Pascal JULLIARD 13?), 7.Ashley RYAN, 9.Robbie CATTANACH, 10.Dusan MIHAJLOVIC (Micky Williams 85?), 12.Michael LLOYD-GREEN, 14.Keith SHELVIN, 16.Joey SCHIRRIPA, 18.Beau BUSCH, 19.Richie WILLIAMS
Subs not used: 6.Brad GROVES
Marconi Stallions: 1.James CHRONOPOULOS, 2.Wade OOSTENDORP, 3.Vuko TOMASEVIC, 5.Nathan MOULDS, 6.Luke CASSERLY, 8.Tallan MARTIN (Stefan Donevski 64?), 10.Tolgay OZBEY, 11.Matthew GORDON (Sean Mitchell 72?), 13.Ante Deur, 26.Nahuel ARRARTE, 32.Ben BRONNEBERG (Ben Gough 68?)
Subs not used: CEM AKILLI (RGK)
Cautions:  Adam Israel (Manly United) 14?, Ben Bronneberg (Marconi Stallions) 20?, Nathan Moulds (Marconi Stallions) 64?, Keith Shelvin (Manly United) 82?
Player Ratings:
3- Ashley Ryan (Manly United)
2- Robbie Cattanach (Manly United)
1- Adam Israel (Manly United)
*By Andrew Hurrell