Sharks cement top spot with victory over Manly United

a football player on a field

Brian Brown?s men showed precisely why they are undefeated after 14 rounds with Pedj Bojic the standout in their 1-0 victory.
The Sharks began the better with Michael Katz creating a number of opportunities down the right flank in the first twenty minutes.
Brendan Gan and Brad Boardman spurned half chances in the lead up to halftime before Manly clawed their way back into the contest with Robbie Cattanach a constant threat with the ball at his feet.
The introduction of David Reid ten minutes after the interval provided the games major talking point.
After being brandished a yellow card just seconds after taking the field for a deliberate handball, the substitute broke the deadlock after 62? minutes following a deftly waited ball from Gan inside the area.
In an instant Reid went from hero to villain after being sent off for a second bookable offence after taking his shirt off whilst celebrating with his team-mates in front of the Manly bench.
The decision appeared harsh and Reid cut a sorry figure as he made the lonely walk to the sheds and at the same time gifted United a numerical advantage.
Sydney FC recruit Chris Payne was introduced to the fray with twenty minutes on the clock and almost equalised on 78? minutes.
After jinking past two Sharks defenders, the seventeen-year-old composed himself but Bojic was on hand to snuff out the chance.
Wingback Roberto Hamad, who has a knack of scoring when Manly are crying out for a goal, almost did the job seven minutes later after following up a Cattanach free kick but David Huxley threw himself at the post to deny Hamad who was left to rue a golden opportunity.
That kind of urgency typifies Sutherland?s campaign and a jubilant Brown was a happy man after 90 minutes.
?I stressed to the boys to keep playing as they have been the past few weeks and credit to them for doing so,? he said.
?They (United) are a very good side but they only played as well as we let them.
?The boys know they are a long way from getting their hands on any kind of silverware and they aren?t the type of lads to pat themselves on the back.
?What we do have is team spirit in abundance. They all work for each other and never give up.
?We have Manly again on Tuesday in the Tiger Turf Cup at home and that will be another good test for us.
?It goes without saying we are happy to be where we are but we still have work to do.?
Brown signaled out Bojic as his man of the match, believing he has ?A League? written all over him.
?From the moment he came to us I was excited about what he could do and he hasn?t let me down, he has been enormous,? he said.
?Our back four are very hard to break down and he is at the heart of that and really he is too good for this level.
?I am not sure who is looking at him but you would hope someone is tracking his progress, I wouldn?t swap him for anyone.?
In stark contrast United coach Phil Moss was scathing in his assessment of his squad, revealing his concern at particular players ?going missing? in big encounters.
?The first ten minutes was an arm wrestle before they took control of the game,? he said.
?I thought we lacked intelligence and even though we could have nicked something at the end after we tinkered our formation and had a man up we were second best in most aspects.
?We have too many players that go hiding when it matters and it comes down to temperament.
?If you can’t aim up in the big games you won?t go far in your career.?
Manly United 0
Sutherland 1 (David Reid 62?)
Ground: Cromer Park, Cromer
Referee: Kris Griffith-Jones
Assistants: Murray Wilson, Daniel Dewhurst
Crowd: 1000 (Approx)
Manly United: 1.Brad SWANCOTT, 3.Andrew MAILER, 4.Roberto HAMAD, 5.Pascal JULLIARD, (33. Chris PAYNE 68?) 8.Michael WILLAMS, 9.Robbie CATTANACH, 11.Craig MIDGLEY, 15.Cameron JONES, (12.Michael LLOYD-GREEN 63?) 16.Joey SCHIRRIPA, 18.Beau BUSCH, 19.Richard WILLIAMS (Ash RYAN 82?)
Substitutes not used: 2.Adam Israel , 21. Luke FEMIA (GK)
Yellow Cards: 19.Richard WILLIAMS 20? 16. Joey SCHIRRIPA 94?
Red Cards: None
SUTHERLAND SHARKS: 99. Phil ZABAKS, 15. Michael KATZ, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 2.George SOURIS , 11.Ben SPRUCE, (David REID 55?) 3.Brendan GAN, (Mick ROBINSON 80?) 8. David HUXLEY, 39. Neil JABLOUSKI, 7.Jim BAKIS, (14.Nick STAVROULAKIS 80?) 6.Shane LYONS , 9.Brad BOARDMAN
Substitutes not used: 21.Matt BRANDALISE, 10.Matt HALL
Yellow Cards: 22.David REID 56? 3.Brendan GAN 66? Jim BAKIS 77? Pedg BOJIC 85?
Red Cards: 22.David REID 63?
Player Ratings:
3-Pedj Bojic (SS)
2-Brendan Gan (SS)
1- Michael Katz (SS)
-By Andrew Prentice