MWFA Men’s Select Team Make History


The underdog story we all love to see came true last night when the MWFA Select team forced Manly United First Grade to a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw at full time and secured their first ever win against the representative side with a 7-6 penalty shootout.

Manly United started the match strong after Jesse Piriz picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and put them in the lead.

It was not long before MWFA’s striker Aaron Peters (St Augustine’s) responded. A loose pass from Manly United saw Peters pounce on the ball and fire into the bottom corner to equalise the score. MWFA Coach, Ryan Butcher (CC Strikers), said “it was the turning point which gave us a bit of belief that we could compete”.

As the 20th minute approached Manly United capitalised off a corner with Alen Agonovic’s strong header into the back of the net.

Manly continued to dominate the remainder of the first half, peppering the MWFA goalkeeper and MWFA man of the match Matt Smith (CC Strikers). As Butcher said “Manly probably could’ve had another goal (or two) were it not for Matt Smith” as a string of saves denied both Dejan Pandurevic and Matt Smit twice.

After 45 minutes the score sat at 2-1 to Manly United, however the next 45 minutes would see history be written.

After a few changes to the Manly United side at half time, MWFA started to dominate the game.

The equaliser came in the 85th minute when Narrabeen’s Lucas Mexia scored a screamer from 25 metres out leaving Manly United goalkeeper Zenden Hart with no chance.

As the full-time whistle blew the teams were equal, 2-2. A winner needed to be named and this was when MWFA saw their opportunity to defeat Manly for the first time through a penalty shootout.

As each player stepped up to the spot victory could have been anyone’s until MWFA finally took the history winning shot.

It was a night of creating history and it could have been for the Benton brothers as well.  Manly United goalkeeper Sam Benton should have faced up against his older brother Bill who was playing for the Select team. However, with a long-term injury to the younger brother keeping him out of the NPL team, an on-field family rivalry couldn’t be realised.

The Manly United First Grade Coach, Adam Griffiths, although disappointed in the result could not fault MWFA’s great victory.

“Full credit to the MWFA team they played some good football and deserved the win” Griffiths said.

“We played some good football in the first half and should have been further ahead at half time, but we need to be better and need to find the will to win and finish off teams and games.”

Butcher on the other hand could not be prouder of his team and their achievement.

“It was a great feeling to put in a strong performance and get the result. It’s pretty cool to be part of the first group to achieve victory against Manly United. I said to the team that to win as the underdog we needed to work hard and play well, and the players did that – everyone did their part.

“The second half was really good from our guys; we found our feet with the ball and began to ask questions and in the end got rewarded.”

Both MWFA and Manly United now look towards their women’s side. With MWFA Women’s Select fighting to take to series lead against Northern Suburbs tonight, 24 February, at 7:30pm on Cromer Park 2. Whilst Manly United’s First Grade Women prepare to face the MWFA Select next Thursday, 3rd March.

Match Details

Who: MWFA Women’s Select vs NSFA Women’s Select

When: Thursday 24 February

Where: Cromer Park 2

Time: 7:30pm kick-off


Who: Manly United First Grade Women’s vs MWFA Women’s Select

When: Thursday 3 March

Where: Cromer Park 2

Time: 7:30pm kick-off


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