Just six days after being dusted 7-0 by Marconi, many expected the Northern Beaches outfit to rack up a similar score in front of their home fans.
But it was the boys from the south coast who were the better side following a minutes silence before kick-off to remember our fallen ANZAC troops and they can count themselves unlucky not to have walked away with three points.
Early cautions to Alfredo Esteves and Balla Conde showed Wollongong was up for the contest and in the 11? minute they almost took the lead, only for Brad Swancott to pull off a smart save from a Steve Hayes free-kick.
15? minutes later referee James Lewis injured himself and was replaced by fourth official Chris Young, who wasn?t shy in handing out cautions.
On the half hour mark Samet Kaynak should have buried a chance from the edge of the box but he made amends 8? minutes later after side footing past Swancott after the Manly keeper produced an uncertain punch following a teasing cross from the left.
Manly?s Josh Sama then had a golden chance to square the ledger on the stroke of half-time but the out of form striker sprayed his effort over the bar after being played in by Andrew Mailer.
Six minutes after the interval Keith Shevlin was guilty of a weak header with the goal at his mercy and it looked like it was going to be one of those nights for Phil Moss? men.
The turning point of the game occurred in the 67? minute when Esteves was sent off by Young following a needless foul in his team?s attacking third.
It was then a question of when with Manly peppering Wollongong ?s defence and in the 72? minute impressive teenager Joey Gibbs almost jagged a goal for Manly but was unable to connect with a ball on the penalty spot.
Manly skipper Joey Schirripa finally broke Wollongong ?s resistance with a cracking free-kick from 25-yards on 84? minutes which Mat Brandalise should have swallowed at his near post.
In what would have been cruel on Wollongong, Manly?s Keith Shevlin had the chance to win the game after being released by Matt Bingley in the 88? minute but he shot inches past the far post.
Fontana was in an upbeat mood when spoken to outside the sheds:
?We were the better team and it looked like they were bottom of the table, not us,? he said.
?I was always confident we could turn things around, the attitude was great at training all week.
?Most of our boys are under the age of 21 and we had three teenagers on the park so I am happy with what we have for the future.
?I really believe we can turn the corner, it is just a matter of working hard and believing in what we can do.?
His opposite Phil Moss wasn?t in an equally charitable mind frame:
?The only positive I can take out of that performance is that we remain undefeated,? he said.
?Our lack of desire worried me – that is not common for a Manly side.
?We have (Sydney) Olympic this Wednesday night and I guess a few of the boys were looking ahead to that game.
?What tonight does is show the boys they need to turn up to every game otherwise we will get beaten.?
The Under 20?s match was postponed after the floodlights at Cromer Park failed to ignite. The match will be replayed at a later date.
Manly United FC 1 (Joey Schirripa 84?)
Wollongong Community FC 1 (Samet Kaynak 38?)
Venue: Cromer Park, Dee Why
Referee: James Lewis ? replaced by fourth official Chris Young
Assistant Referees: Steve Nguyen and Dave Lockeridge
Fourth Official: Chris Young
Crowd: 350 Approx.
Manly United FC: 1.Brad SWANCOTT; 3.Andrew MAILER, 4.Joel GRENELL, 6.Scott THOMAS (13.Mitch MACEDO 59?) 8.Michael LLOYD-GREEN, 10.Josh SAMA, (9.Robbie CATTANACH 59?) 15.Keith SHEVLIN, 16.Joey SCHIRRIPA, 20.Matt BINGLEY, 24.Brad GROVES, 35.Joe GIBBS (4.Spencer PRIOR 83?)
Substitutes Not Used: 40.Rhyss KEANE, (rgk) 17. Scott WRIGHT
Yellow Cards: Matt Bingley 37?, Mitch Macedo 86?
Wollongong Community FC: 20.Mat BRANDERLISE; 4.Alfredo ESTEVES, 5.David ABEL, 6.Ilija PRENZOSKI, (18.Steve DIMITRIEVSKI 75?) 8.Samet KAYNAK, (19.Corey GAMEIRO 88?) 9.Steve HAYES, 10.Balla CONDE, 12. Brendon KEARNS , 13.Ben BRONNEBERG, 16.Aden WADE, (2.Kieran DEANE 90?) 17.Chris NATHANIEL
Substitutes Not Used: 3.Jamie PITT, 1.Bryce DAENALL
Yellow cards: 4.Alfredo ESTEVES 6?, 10.Balla CONDE 12?, 9.Steve HAYES 35?
Red Cards: 4.Alfredo ESTEVES 67?
3-Samet Kaynak (WCFC)
2- Dave Abel (WCFC)
1- Joey Gibbs (MUFC)
-By Andrew Prentice