Blacktown City have secured the 2022 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Championship with a 2-0 victory over Manly United in the Grand Final at CommBank Stadium on Saturday night in front of just under 4000 spectators. 

After dropping the Premiership in the final match of the regular season, redemption came for Blacktown in the Grand Final as the Western Sydney outfit secured some silverware with a strong performance in the high-pressure match.

A first half goal to Blacktown’s Lachlan Campbell had City with the advantage heading into the break and a classy finish from Travis Major saw them double their lead as one of Blacktown’s favourite sons hit the incredible milestone of 100 goals for the club.

Jesse Piriz created the first real close call of the game in the 13th minute as he found some space and sent a shot from range towards the goal, however his effort slid just wide of the woodwork.

Manly came close in the 25th minute as James Oates got on the end of a ball from Thomas Fay inside the area, but his header was well defended by Dylan Niksi.

Blacktown had their chance in the 28th minute as Campbell received the ball in front of the goal but fell to the ground under the pressure of Oates.

Tensions flared in the aftermath as Jordan Smylie collided with Jack Greenwood, and the two came face to face, but referee Hassan Jomaa managed to get the situation under control quickly.

The Western Sydney side managed to earn a dangerous free kick minutes later but they couldn’t capitalise on the goal-scoring opportunity.

They did however make the most of their next opportunity, opening the scoring in the 32nd minute.

Travis Major sent a ball into the area to an on-running Campbell, who tapped the ball into the net as he slid past the goal.

After earning a free kick in the perfect position in the 37th minute, Manly’s Matt Sim sent the ball soaring above the goal as Manly searched for an equaliser.

Kristian Santich looked like he was going to equalise as he fired a powerful strike towards the target from range in the 39th minute, but Niski defended well.

Manly found the back of the net in the 49th minute as Bruno Mendes fired towards goal, but the ball hit Oates’ hand on the way and, after conferring with assistant referee Emma Kocbek, Jomaa called a hand ball.

Lucas Rainbird fired from range in the 62nd minute, with his effort flying just high off the crossbar, but the ball came off Blacktown’s defence to give Manly a corner.

A 70th minute run from Jesse Piriz almost saw Manly equalise as substitute Dejan Pandurevic sent a ball through Blacktown’s defence to the winger, but Niski was able to block his shot and keep the lead for Blacktown.

Blacktown were able to double their advantage in the 83rd minute and put themselves in a great position to seal the win.

Major ran away with a ball from the midfield and placed a well-timed shot past Alen Aganovic and Jack Greenwood to take Blacktown’s tally to two.

Substitute Danny Choi had an opportunity in the 92nd minute but after weaving his way through Manly’s defence, was just off target with his shot.

Blacktown Coach Mark Crittenden was thrilled his side was able to secure the Grand Final victory, particularly after an unfinished season last year.

“We’ve had a pretty big two years and I think they thoroughly deserved something last year and COVID hit,” he explained.

“We started slow and mid year we really hit our straps and look, they’re a really good football team, we know that, and more importantly they’re a great bunch of lads and they thoroughly deserved what they won today.

“Grand Finals are always pretty average games of footy.

“I’ve watched a lot over the years and they’re never pretty games of football, both teams are trying not to lose and you’re trying to win.

“I don’t think it was a great game to watch but it was exciting and Manly took it to us in the second half big time and we were resilient, then a wonderful goal by Trav [Travis Major] to get to 100 for the club, and now we’ll go and celebrate.”

Match Stats

Manly United FC 0

Blacktown City FC 2 (Campbell 32’, Major 83’)

Sunday 27th August, 2022

CommBank Stadium, Parramatta

Referee: Hassan Jomaa

Assistant Referees: Cameron Wright and Emma Kocbek

Fourth Official: Michael Weiner

Manly United FC: 3. Jesse Piriz, 4. James Oates, 5. Thomas Fay (14. Dejan Pandurevic 60’), 7. Seiya Kambayashi, 8. Dominic Ferguson (9. Benjamin Koop 77’), 11. Matthew Sim, 13. Kristian Santich, 18. Lucas Rainbird (17. Daniel Fabrizio 85’), 19. Alen Aganovic, 20. Jack Greenwood, 22. Bruno Mendes

Substitutes Not Used: 6. James Georgaklis, 10. Luca Kmet, 42. Hugo McKay

Yellow Cards: Mendes 64’, Oates 83’,Piriz 91’

Red Cards: Nil

Blacktown City FC: 3. Daniel Collins, 4. Lachlan Campbell, 5. Grant Lynch, 7. Travis Major, 10. Mario Shabow (45. Danny Choi 90’), 16. Ben Berry (12. Tyren Burnie 60’), 19. Adam Berry (8. Jak O’Brien 77’), 24. Jackson Bandiera, 32. Hirokai Aoyama (6. Matthew Lewis 90’), 40. Dylan Niski, 89. Jordan Smylie (11. Mitchell Mallia 60’)

Substitutes Not Used: 30. Alexander Robinson

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

Robbie Slater Man of the Match: Travis Major


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