A strong second half performance helped Manly United register a 5-0 victory over the MWFA In the annual Select Game in front of a big crowd at Cromer Park last night.
Marcus Lal caught the eye with a second half double, while CC Strikers junior Jack Mason also notched the first two goals of the game and Stefan Visscher got his name on the scoresheet midway through the second half.
MWFA Select started brightly, with Narrabeen’s Tomas Pospisil and Aaron Peters from CC Strikers threatening the United goal. At the other end of the field, Manly United’s Bruno Mendes (Mosman) / Harry McCarthy (Wakehurst) combination looked promising and Ben Koop (Forest) also looked lively in attack.
It was Mason who scored the opener in the 33rd minute, just after coming onto the field. The young midfielder found space 25m from goal and sent a powerful shot into the bottom corner.
The MWFA Select nearly equalised in spectacular fashion on 41 minutes, with Pittwater’s Odin Racano firing just over the crossbar from near the left touchline.
Mason scored Manly United’s second goal eight minutes into the second half, as his low free kick took a wicked deflection, sending it passed MWFA Select goalkeeper Matt Smith (CC Strikers), who seemed to have it covered before he was wrong-footed.
MWFA Select responded well and could have pulled a goal back, but Forest Killarney’s Darragh Reynor struck the underside of the crossbar.
However, Manly United were in the mood and made it 3-0 on 62 minutes. Visscher finished off a fine team move by slamming the ball home after an excellent cross from Corey Cronin (CC Strikers).
As United pushed for another goal, MWFA ‘keeper Smith came into his own, making excellent saves to deny Hunter Elliot and Nick Rainbird (Wakehurst).
After scoring a hat trick for the Manly United U20 side on Saturday, Lal continued his goal scoring form in the closing stages of this game. The young forward scored United’s fourth goal in the 74th minute when he dinked the ball over Smith. Lal then rounded off the scoring with the last kick of the game, coolly converting from the penalty spot.
The two Player of the Match Awards, selected by the opposition coaches, went to Riley Kilpatrick (MWFA) and Marcus Lal (Manly United).
Manly United will travel to Sydney United Sports Centre for their next game, which is against Sydney United 58 at 5pm on Sunday March 5. As for the MWFA Select players, this was a valuable hit out ahead of the MWFA Men’s Premier League campaign, which kicks off on Sunday 12 March with all games at Cromer Park for the first three rounds.
Manly United 5 (Mason 33’ 53’, Visscher 64, Lal 74’ 90’)
MWFA Select 0