Manly sneak last minute winner against unfortunate Berries


English import Craig Midgley headed home an injury-time cross from Joey Schirripa to give Phil Moss? men all three points in a game where their opponents shaded them for large portions of the ninety minutes.
In a scrappy contest described by some onlookers as ?painful’, the home side took the lead on 48? minutes from a Schirripa corner.
The Griffith born wingback delivered a teasing ball to the near post which Berries keeper Hamish McLean should have collected.
Instead Coach Scott Baillie, who replaced the injured Michael Cunico at halftime after the former Manly crowd favourite succumbed to a calf injury, inadvertedly diverted the ball off the back off his head for an own goal.
The Berries played their way back into the game 25 minutes later via Giouse Sama from the penalty spot after a handball from Pascal Julliard to set up a grandstand finish.
Midgley almost gave his side the lead with a spectacular overhead kick two minutes later but McLean managed to flick the ball over the bar.
The Homebush based outfit then were guilty of missing a series of chances with Brad Swancott reacting smartly to deny Dimitri Zakilas and Ryan Jones on  87 ? and 90 ? minutes.
With referee James Lewis about to call a halt to proceedings, Schirripa found room down the left before having time to measure his cross.
His delivery was met by an unmarked Midgley who forcefully found the back of the net, much to the relief of the Cromer Park faithful who were well aware their side had got out of jail.
Moss was honest enough to win it wasn?t the most cohesive performance but stressed how far his charges have come along in recent years.
?Credit to the Berries, they came here and played a compressing game and asked us a lot of questions,? he said.
?I felt when we had the ball we lacked composure but games like this are a great test for us.
?It was a game either team could have won; the boys are very hungry and they know they need to win as many games as possible to figure heavily in the finals.
?You can?t win championships if you don?t win ugly and a few years ago we wouldn?t have got a result like today so it shows the character we have.?
Baillie cut a despondent figure in the sheds almost half an hour after the final whistle and lamented the wastefulness in front of goal.
?I thought we were the better side, even Mossy (Phil Moss) congratulated me on how we played and said we deserved more than what we got,? he said.
?They (Manly) are a good side who have been together for a while with a professional set up.
?We couldn?t be any different, I picked my team from 100 trialists and I really believe we have a better side (than them) in terms of our structure.
?Our problem is we keep slipping up at the end of matches and it?s costing us dearly.
?They are where they are because they finish their chances which is something we just are not doing.
?We aren?t progressing quite as well as I had hoped so hopefully over the next few weeks a few things will go our way and we can go on and record some wins.?

Match Stats
Manly United 2 (Scott Baillie own goal 48? Craig Midgley 92?)
West Sydney Berries 1 (Giouse Sama 71? pen)
Venue: Cromer Park  
Referee: James Lewis
Assistants: Daniel Dewhurst, Steven Duckwitt
Crowd: 800 (Approx)
Manly United FC: 1.Brad SWANCOTT, 2.Adam ISRAEL, 4.Roberto HAMAD, 5.Pascal JULLIARD, 7.Ash RYAN, 9.Robbie CATTANACH, 10.Dusan MIHAJLOVIC, (11.Craig MIDGLEY 54?)12.Michael LLOYD-GREEN, 14.Keith SHELVIN, (8.Michael WILLIAMS 77?) 16.Joey SCHIRRIPA, 19.Richie WILLIAMS (22.Chris PAYNE 84?)
West Sydney Berries: 1.Hamish McLEAN , 5.Michael CUNICO (4.Scott BAILLIE 45?) 6.Jack SOBCZYK, 8.John FOTIADIS, 9.Nick SAMA, 11.Aheleas KOTSOPOULOS, 15.Ryan JONES, 16.Kosta LAGOUDAKIS, (Dimitri ZAKILAS 74?) 17.Sash TIROVSKI, 18.Giouse SAMA, (13.Sargon GEORGES 89?) Angelo PETRATOS
Yellow Cards: 4? Pascal Jullaird (MU), 34? Richie Williams (MU), 74? Nick Sama (WSB), 80? Ryan Jones (WSB)
Player ratings:
3 ? Brad Swancott (MU)
2- Joey Schirripa (MU)
1- Sash Tirovski (WSB)
-By Andrew Hurrell