Bonnyrigg White Eagles secured their second win of the NPLNSW season, seeing off a spirited Manly United side 2:1. In a tough match, the White Eagles ended the game by seeing off the threat the Northern Beaches side posed for much of the second half.
It was blow for blow in the early stages, as both sides looked to assert themselves in the game.
An early injury to Bonnyrigg’s Alex Mansuetto threatened to derail their night. Mansuetto copped a heavy blow to his head when he was on the attack and it looked as though he was out cold. After a few worrying minutes and a thorough check from the physio, Mansuetto stepped back on to the field and was able to continue.
As the first half moved on, it was Bonnyrigg who started to control the game.
Manly United conceded a free kick on the edge of their penalty box. Ken Chun and Robbie Younis stepped, with Chun proving to be a decoy. Younis calmly slotted it past Manly’s Dylan Mitchell’s right hand side, opening the scoring to give Bonnyrigg a 1:0 lead.
With a goal on the board, the White Eagles stepped it up a gear and began to truly dominate. Chances fell to the White Eagles but they weren’t able to capitalise.
That was until a crunching tackle on Ken Chun provided Robbie Younis with another opportunity to score from a free kick. The same routine was followed as the first free kick, the only difference being that Younis slotted the ball to the left of Manly goalkeeper Mitchell. The score was now 2:0 and Bonnyrigg looked to be in cruise control.
Late in the first half, it looked as though Younis had completed his hattrick. He was the first to react to Yuta Kokada’s cross but the linesman was slow to catch up to the ball. The crowd was certain the ball had crossed the line but it wasn’t given.
Bonnyrigg went into half time a two-goal advantage and looked to be home and hosed. As the saying goes, however, 2:0 is a dangerous scoreline.
Manly came out in the second half all guns blazing. The home side was shell shocked as Manly continued to sound the alarm.
Brendan Cholokian thought he had pulled one back for Manly United after Bonnyrigg shot stopper James Chronopoulos parried Dejan Pandurevic’s shot. The linesman spoiled their celebrations, raising his flag for offside.
Manly weren’t to wait for their deserved goal much longer. Adam Parkhouse crossed the ball in from the left and Pandurevic was on hand to slot the ball past Chronopoulos to inject further drama into the game. It was now 2:1 and Manly were inspired.
Paul Dee’s side continued to throw down the gauntlet to the White Eagles. For the remainder of the game, it was Dee’s men who dominated. Chance after chance presented itself but Manly were left with no reward.
Cholokian, Parkhouse and Pandurevic continuously made themselves nuisances to Bonnyrigg’s defence.
In the end, Bonnyrigg withstood the test and saw the game out to seal the win.
It was an improved performance from Brian Brown’s men.
“It was a game of two halves but we’re happy to take all three points,” said Brown. “The competition has changed this season and there are no easy teams. Other than our opening 20 minutes against Rockdale, Our first half was our best half of football this season.”
On the other side, Dee was disappointed.
“I thought we started the match well but then we concede from two set pieces and go into the break down,” Dee said. “I was very impressed with the way the boys responded in the second half. We pressed them, had plenty of chances but couldn’t put them away. Disappointed with the result but pleased with the response.”
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Younis 18’, 35’)
Manly United FC 1 (Pandurevic 63’)
at Bonnyrigg Sportsground
Referee: K. Patterson
Assistant Referees: J. Adabjou & R. Osbourne
4th Official: M. Bailey
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1. Chronopoulos, 2. Mansueto (14. McDonald), 3. Vrankovic, 4. Robinson, 5. Jenner (6. Zonjic), 9. Younis, 10. Kokado, 16. Galloway, 17. Gil, 19. Peterson (31. Lo), 21. Chun.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Savicic, 18. Douglas.
Yellow Cards: Gallaway 60’, Younis 90’
Manly United: 1. Mitchell, 2. Paull, 3. Lobb (16. Berti), 4. Oughtred, 7. Cooper, 10. Cholakian, 11. Parkhouse, 23. Pandurevic, 18. Bragg (6. Gallagher), 19. Saric (Williams), 22. Giverin.
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Syron-Mackenzie
Yellow Cards: Cholokian 20’
Quotes and Title Photo via Football NSW