Manly discover cure for Blues


This was evidently shown at Belmore Sports Ground, the perfect example was witnessed as Sydney Olympic were eventually beaten by table-toppers Manly United.
Visiting coach Phil Moss would have settled for a point before the game but went home with all three thanks to two goals by Robbie Cattanach with varying degrees of skill attached.
It wasn?t as though Olympic were outplayed but a head-on gale force wind in the first-half didn?t help matters and for large portions of the match it was indeed the home side who strutted their stuff, but it would take a very one-eyed supporter to suggest anything other than a draw would have been a fair result.
Brad Swancott in the Manly goal had to be on his toes, literally, when Iain Ramsay was put through and tried to lob the custodian. Swancott, at full elevation managed to fingertip the ball back over the striker?s head and then run clear of the box to subdue the danger.
However, it was a further sign of the intent from Olympic which, for all their attacking, would prove costly long-term.
With the wind playing havoc, and at the back of visiting United in the first-half, a mix up between Michael Cindric and his goalkeeper, Michael Herbert, saw the defender head the ball out for a corner when a little more vocal action would have seen the ball safely in Herbert?s arms – although the resultant corner was wasted.
With the game heading for a first stanza stalemate there came the moment of madness that would eventually turn the game when a defensive lapse saw Cattanach receive the ball in acres of space to calmly stroke home with no more than fifteen seconds of first-half stoppage time remaining.
It was a fairly unjust interval deficit for Olympic but they came out full of vigor in the second period, albeit with the wind at their backs but dropping in intensity, as always seems to be the way of things.
In the 54? minute A-League target Nathan Sherlock hit a thunderbolt of a shot past a well beaten Swancott only to see it hit the far upright and ricochet back into play, just to compound the frustrations of the home side.
There were plenty of positives for Olympic and a never-say-die attitude that brought its due reward in the in the 73? minute.
Blues skipper Peter Zorbas took a free-kick from around 25-yards out at the angle side of the box eluding all and sundry as it found its way into the back of the net to make it one-apiece and restore parity.
Manly were not to be denied and in the final minute of normal time had a free-kick of their own that whistled past the wall and beyond the despairing reach of Herbert to give the visitors the lead once more and, perhaps more importantly, the winning goal.
A relieved Phil Moss accepted Manly rode their luck at times when saying after the final whistle:
?We were extremely lucky tonight, that?s for sure.
?I would have settled for a point before the game as not many sides will come here and get anything so to go home with all three is a real bonus.
?Olympic asked us plenty of questions tonight and we had answers for most of them but at the end of the day we had that little bit of luck that helped us through.?
A disconsolate Milan Blagojevic commented:
?We were extremely unlucky tonight after creating enough chances to win several games, but at the end of the day we didn?t get the breaks we could have had.
?If Paul?s (Wither) shot hadn?t hit the underside of the bar and then the post or Nathan?s (Sherlock) effort that cannoned back off the upright it would have been a very different story, but that?s football sometimes.
?That said, we gave away a gift first goal for Manly and when they get a lead it?s always very tough to come back against them. When we did it was only to give away another silly free-kick which sealed the win for them.
?We can take a lot of positives out of this game though,? he ended.
Sydney Olympic 1 (Peter Zorbas 55?)
Manly United FC 2 (Robbie Cattanach 45?, 88?)
Venue: Belmore Sports Ground
Crowd: 973
Referee: Peter Vrtkovski
Assistant Referees: Wayne Lenardon, Dale Fuda
Fourth Official: Cameron Bruce
Sydney Olympic: 1. Michael Herbert; 5. Michael Cindric, 3. Emmanuel Zunino, 16. Nathan Sherlock, 7. Milorad Simonovic (18. Chris Triantis 67?), 9. Anthony Hartshorn (10. Anthony Doumanis 85?), 17. Iain Ramsay, 19. Marino Musumeci, 8. Paul Wither, 4. Michael Jurilj, 22. Peter Zorbas.
Substitutes Not Used: 6. Roger Galayini, 11. Carlo Musumeci, 20. Sam Emmanouil
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Manly United: 1. Brad Swancott; 3. Andrew Mailer, 5. Pascal Julliard, 18. Beau Busch, 4. Roberto Hamad, 8. Michael Williams (33. Chris Payne 84?), 19. Richard Williams (15. Cameron Jones 73?), 7. Ashley Ryan, 12. Michael Lloyd-Green, 9. Robbie Cattanach, 11. Craig Midgley
Substitutes Not Used: 2. Adam Israel, 22. Luke Reading, 21. Luke Femia
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Player Ratings:
3 – Robbie Cattanach (MU)
2 ? Peter Zorbas (SO)
1 ? Brad Swancott (MU)
-By Micky Brock