Once again, Manly United?s ?bomber? Robbie Cattanach led his side?s charge, hitting an impressive double to ensure his side took full advantage of Sutherland Sharks? slip-up against Marconi on Saturday.
Sydney Olympic, who did have the better of the match had no answer to Manly?s double-hit ? the winner arriving just moments before the final whistle ? keeping the Blues win-less on home soil now two-weeks running.
Sydney Olympic?s best chances fell to Paul Wither and Nathan Sherlock who hit the cross bar and post respectively, though it was not to be the Blues? evening.
Peter Zorbas had drawn Olympic level just after the break, though Cattanach added his second to secure the win with a now trademark free-kick.
Also on Sunday, A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers rid themselves of the ?demons? that had entered and overtaken their ability to perform following the disastrous performance against Sydney United in Round 8.
The Tigers returned to winning ways with an emphatic defeat of win-less Macarthur Rams, with Coach John Romeo extremely happy with his side?s reaction after the set-back one-week earlier.
Robert Younis ended the encounter within the first 12? minutes as he hit a quick-fire double in the 1? and 12? minute of the match.
Despite the Rams dominance of possession for large spells, Younis added his third of the afternoon 21? minutes from the end to secure a resounding 3-0 win.
Sutherland Sharks? win-less streak continued with a third consecutive draw – their second in succession at Seymour Shaw. The Sharks, who are still undefeated, could not overcome a solid Marconi Stallions defence ? despite the Stallions poor run heading into the clash.
Brian Brown?s men created enough chances to seal the win, though their finishing in-front of goal lacked conviction on each occasion.
The Stallions? unbelievable ?zero wins from nine matches? has certainly raised the temperature on the coaching staff at the club, though despite the poor run David Barrett?s men did nearly snatch the win against the Sharks with two late chances falling to Matthew Gordon.
At Sydney United Sports Centre, the impressive Sydney United ? who had suffered a form slump in recent weeks prior to the comprehensive showing against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers in Round 8 ? seemed certain to continue their revival as Ivan Petkovic?s men lead their encounter against Penrith-Nepean United.
Ivo Bosnar?s opener for the Reds in the 21? minute was cancelled out shortly after by the in-from Erick Anabalon for Penrith, though Sydney United was back in control in the 33? minute via the head of Ben Vidaic.
Seemingly destined for the three-points, Anabalon was involved in Penrith?s equaliser, albeit it via the boot of Reds? Captain Joe Vrkic who ? most unlucky ? saw his clearance finish inside his own net in injury-time.
Blacktown City Demons? run of ?better? results continued with Ken Schembri?s men holding the in-form Wollongong FC to a 1-1 draw at Gabbie Stadium.
Ilija Prensoski put the visitors ahead from the penalty-spot in the 28? minute following a foul committed by the Demons? Ben Ellis inside the area.
The goal seemed to spur the home-side back into action, as the Demons searched for the elusive equaliser to get them back into the contest.
Good performances by Brian Vanega and Ken Chun lifted the home-side?s spirits, and moments after the second-half re-start, Blacktown had clawed their way back into the match.
Former Sydney FC player Adam Biddle timed his run into the penalty-area to perfection as he slotted home in stunning fashion past Wollongong FC?s Justin Pasfield.
The Demons? late charge ? and dominance ? failed to spark a winner, though the slow-starting Blacktown have gone three-matches unbeaten – certainly a welcome sign for the defending Champions.
On Anzac Day, West Sydney Berries sealed three-points at ?home?, despite playing their match against Bankstown City at Jensen Park ? the home ground of Bankstown.
Scott Baillie?s side has continued to amaze on-lookers as his newly assembled side delivered yet another warning shot to all adversaries that they are serious contenders for finals football in this their first season in the top League.
Bankstown City, who yet again played some of the best football the competition has seen, cannot buy a goal at the moment, and their ?bad luck? continued against the Berries.
Scott Baillie has found a tremendous young talent in striker Nicolo Sama who was again on target for the Berries with a late first-half effort.
Dimitri Zakilas added the Berries second in the 66? minute with the easiest of finishes following a failed clearance by the Bankstown City defence.
-By Joseph Carlucci
TELECHOICE PREMIER LEAGUE: ROUND 9: FIRST GRADE RESULTS:
West Sydney Berries 2 (Nicolo Sama 43m Dimitrios Zakilas 67m) Bankstown City FC 0, Blacktown City Demons 1 (Adam Biddle 46m) Wollongong FC 1 (Ilija Prenzoski 28m pen), Sutherland Sharks 0 Marconi Stallions 0, Sydney United 2 (Ivan Bosnar 21m Benjamin Vidiac 33m) Penrith Nepean United 2 (Erick Anabalon 28/ Joe Vrkic own goal 90m), Sydney Olympic 1 (Peter Zorbas 55m) Manly United FC 2 (Robert Cattanach 45/85m), Macarthur Rams 0 APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 (R Younis 1/12/69m).