With nary a victory in the league since Round 11, Wollongong took on the top of the table team Manly United and was ahead 1-0 at the half time break. It looked on the cards at this stage that a win might just follow as the team to the fore. However, Manly had other intentions and levelled the score through a set piece, with a draw being the final outcome of the match.


The Wolves were running southwards in the first half and in addition kicked off proceedings. With a virtual first touch of the ball in 2022, Marcus Beattie provided a defensive clearance and a few minutes later was involved in an offensive manoeuvre and only Jesse Piriz was there to stop his threat. An early Manly corner kick by Matt Sim saw Alen Aganovic head over. Two other corner kicks by Seiya Kambayashi kept up the pressure with the second in succession had Senna Stevenson chesting down and subsequently clearing. The Wolves tried a shot from distance with a Leroy Jennings that went narrowly wide.


The Wolves were fashioning some opportunities and the industrious midfielder Jake Lavalle worked into scoring position and subsequently shot. The ball rebounded off a player and came back. He produced another effort but it did not bring up the desired outcome. Joshua Macdonald lifted the ball into box in enterprising move but no one was there to take advantage. At the other end, Nick Littler kicked the ball into touch just as the dangerous Kambayashi was about to instigate control and a later free kick saw Macdonald sending the ball into the box with a host of players present but Manly custodian Jack Greenwood was able to pluck the ball out of the air. The custodian later denied a Macdonald powerful shot and Banri Kanaizumi achieved a long run down the middle leaving a few players in his wake to instigate an attacking ploy. Lavalle produced a shot that lacked power and Manly coped.  Kristian Santich provided a scoring opportunity but this brought out the best of Durose. 


Each team was trying to get an upper hand but neither side would break. Kambayashi produced a top shot on the half hour. However, Durose parried out to prevent the danger and he kept a corner kick taking with relative ease.


On forty-four minutes, after an error by a Wolves player in giving the ball away, Kambayashi played a strong shot that alas for Manly did not breach Durose’s domain. A ground breaking run by Piriz was actioned before he sent a cross into the box. Manly attackers steamed forward and tried to reach the ball, but all were in vain.


However, somewhat against the run of play, the home team broke the deadlock in injury time.  From a Beattie throw in on the right side, a Manly defender, Lucas Rainbird, headed it forward. It only went as far as Thomas Fay who headed forward as Tsujimura vied at the identical time. Stevenson gained possession and dispatched it to his left for Madden. He progressed, and then passed to Macdonald. On receipt of a return ball, he pushed it into the penalty area for Scott. The ball bounced off Scott’s knees and he subsequently played it up in the air. Jimmy Oates rose above Scott to head the ball out of harm’s way or so he thought. It ran fortuitously to Lavalle.  He in turn cushioned ball down with his right foot then switched the ball to left. He immediately produced a pile driver shot that zoomed inside the far post. This was his debut goal at this level and one to savour.


At half time the Wolves had reached the lead.


The second half saw Manly mounting an immediate attack in order to reduce the arrears. Scant time later, Piriz lifted the ball into the box but Durose was ever alert.


A Wolves corner kick from Macdonald had Littler producing a header at the left post but it did produce the required joy.


Eleven minutes into the second stanza, Durose punched out to defuse an   attack and when the dangerous and experienced Matt Sim shot from the edge of the box, Durose was equal to the task by punching out.  Second half substitute for Manly was Bruno Mendes, an American striker. He had won a free kick narrowly outside the box. Sim took it and directed the ball just over the bar.


Manly restored parity in the sixty-ninth minute. Kambayashi whipped in a corner kick from the left. It caused consternation in the Wolves goal vicinity. The ball elude custodian Hayden Durose in a crowded area bounced off the feet of Oates slightly to the right of centre.  The ball went back across with Tsujimura on the goal line. The Wolves had difficulty in clearing and from range close, Bruno Mendes managed to slot the ball in. This was his tenth goal of the campaign and now is still leading in the goal scoring for his club. 


Mendes went looking for a brace only Kanaizumi arrived just in the nick of time to thwart and indeed Manly close when a Sim free kick thumped into the cross bar. Another Sim free kick went sailing over the cross bar. In between these attempts, Wolves substitute Kout Maliet, after receiving a Madden pass, fired across the face of goal but there was nobody there in attendance.


Despite opportunities, neither team could produce a winner and this result was the home team’s fourth draw in succession in league matches against teams positioned higher in the table.  Manly have retained the top position until the result of APIA’s and Marconi’s next match results.  


Luke Wilkshire -  ‘I was disappointed not to win the game. I think the effort from the boys and some of the quality, especially in the first half was good, I thought we probably deserved more from it,’


Joshua Macdonald – ‘it is a shame we did not play like this earlier in the season. I thought we were going to win it.’


Marcus Beattie – ‘it was good (for a first run out) and it was nice to be back.’  







Jake Lavalle 45+3’


MANLY UNITED………………………..…1


Bruno Mendes 69’


@ WIN Stadium, Wollongong.


SATURDAY 25th June 2022


6.00 p.m. Kick Off




Coach: Luke Wilkshire 


1.Hayden Durose (GK) 3.Darcy Madden (8.Brendan Griffin 87’)  5.Banri Kanaizumi 10.Takumu Tsujimura 15.Nick Littler 17.Marcus Beattie 19.Jake Lavalle 24.Lachlan Scott (Capt.) 22.Leroy Jennings. Senna Stevenson 11.Joshua Macdonald (20.Kuot Maliet 72’)


Substitutes not used: 13 RGK Tomas Butkovic 12.Harrison Taranto 25.Nav Darjani 16.Guy Knight


Yellow Cards:  Joshua Macdonald 22’ Banri Kanaizumi 36’ Kuot Maliet 74’)

Red Cards:




Coach – Adam Griffiths


20. Jack Greenwood 3.Jesse Piriz, 4.James Oates, 5.Thomas Fay (22.Bruno Mendes 53’)  7.Seiya Kambayashi 8.Dominic Ferguson (6.James Georgaklis 51’) 11.Matthew Sim 12.Finn Ashton 15.Kristian Santich (9.Daniel Fabrizio 84’) 18.Lucas Rainbird, 19.Alen Aganovic


Substitutes Not Used: 24. Mitchell Mattison 27.Hunter Elliott  42.Hugo McKay


Yellow Cards: Jesse Piriz 36’ Finn Ashton 39’


Red Card: nil


Referee: Kelly Jones


Assistant Referees: Cameron Wright and Matt Staples


4th Official: Isabella Libri



By Malcolm Rowney