Blacktown City earned an important 2-0 win against Manly United on Saturday night at Cromer Park to push the side back into the challenging places for the Premiership title. 

Lachlan Campbell and Charles Mendy scored within six minutes of each other in a strong showing from Mark Crittenden’s team in the first half.

The 2022 Premiers rested on their advantage in the second half to secure the three points.

Manly looked to make early inroads into the Blacktown City defence conjuring up a shot within the first couple of minutes.

Seiya Kambayashi needed all his pace to get to the left by-line before he crossed towards the edge of the box for Dominic Ferguson who volleyed narrowly over the crossbar.

The side had another chance two minutes later.

A persistent Hunter Elliott snatched the ball on the right allowing Matthew Sim to drive into the box and see his tight-angled effort repelled by City goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast.

However, the visitors turned the game on its head in the 18th minute by stealing the lead.

Matthew Lewis’ left-sided cross found fullback Campbell at the back post who confidently nodded past Manly goalkeeper Levi Kaye.

They almost doubled their advantage seconds later as Jak O’Brien sprinted in behind the right channel but sliced his effort wide of the near post.

Without key central defender James Oates in the team, Manly really struggled to deal with balls into the box looking vulnerable with every cross.

It didn’t take City much longer to pick up their second scoring midway through the half.

Tyren Burnie delivered from the right towards Lewis at the back post who headed back across goal for Mendy, a former Manly United player, who had a simple task to tap in from close in.

City didn’t look satisfied yet as another cross into the area from Lewis caused problems in the 26th minute.

The captain’s right-sided in-swinging cross found an unmarked Campbell who headed onto the left post, denying the defender a brace.

Four minutes later, Carlos De Oliveira could’ve added a third as his header just cleared the crossbar.

The hosts steadied the ship in the final 10 minutes of the first half with Kambayashi’s shot saved before Bruno Mendes steered his header wide.

Despite a blistering start from United, they failed to capitalise on their chances with City racing into a two-goal lead by the break.

The second period adopted a similar tone to the first early on with Blacktown looking to exploit crosses into the box.

Six minutes into the half, O’Brien whipped a ball in from the left and found Campbell who could only head into the gloves of Kaye.

The opportunities kept trickling through for the visitors as the game moved past the hour mark, but they couldn’t find the decisive touch to add further security to their victory.

Manly saw a big chance go begging to halve the deficit with 13 minutes to play when Ferguson’s side-footed effort from the edge of the box cannoned back off the right post.

The side kept pushing to get back into the game with substitute Stefan Visscher sending a header over the bar following Elliot’s left-sided cross as it ticked into stoppage time.

City held on for the remaining moments to claim a big win for the team in their title aspirations.

Match Stats

Manly United FC 0 

Blacktown City FC 2 (Lachlan Campbell 18’, Charles Mendy 24’)

Saturday 20 May 2023

Cromer Park, Manly

Referee: Sebastien Brennan

Assistant Referees: Alessandro Llana and Dion Bradley

Fourth Official: Mitchell Renton

Manly United FC: 20. Levi Kaye (GK), 3. Jesse Piriz, 7. Seiya Kambayashi, 8. Dominic Ferguson (C), 10. Bruno Mendes (41. Stefan Visscher 46’), 11. Matthew Sim, 12. Kristian Stantich (32. Saxon Hillyer 76’), 18. Lucas Rainbird (15. Nick Rainbird 61’), 19. Alen Aganovic, 22. Bilal Belkadi (31. Marcus Lal 76’), 29. Hunter Elliott

Substitutes Not Used: 30. Jay Coates, 39. Stefano Rossello

Yellow Cards: Seiya Kambayashi 32’, Saxon Hillyer 83’

Red Cards: Nil

Blacktown City FC: 1. Tristan Prendergast (GK), 3. Daniel Collins, 4. Lachlan Campbell, 5. Grant Lynch, 6. Matthew Lewis (C), 12. Tyren Burnie, 16. Ben Berry 19. Adam Berry, 21. Charles Mendy (43. Enrico Mazzotta 85’), 22. Carlos De Oliveira, 8. Jak O’Brien (17. Tatsuya Kato 78’)

Substitutes Not Used: 14. Caleb Jackson-Brown, 27. Shayden Sampow, 30. Jacob Fernandez, 36. Darian Daghero

Yellow Cards: Grant Lynch 12’, Carlos De Oliveira 47’, Ben Berry 54’

Red Cards: Nil

Player Ratings:

3 – Matthew Lewis (BC)

2 – Lachlan Campbell (BC)

1 – Tyren Burnie (BC)

Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_

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