NPL 1 Review: Wanderers secure back-to-back wins with courageous victory over Manly

The Western Sydney Wanderers NPL side have secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a courageous 2-1 over Manly United.

On a rainy night at Wanderers Football Park, a Zac Sapsford double gave the Wanderers all three points in a match where they played with a man less for most of the contest.

After a tight opening to the match, the Wanderers were forced to change their shape after Ariath Piol was given a straight red card for dissent. There were few chances in the opening 45 minutes as Manly had much of the possession, but the Wanderers compact shape meant they were unable to create meaningful opportunities.

The game wouldn’t be goalless at half time, though, as the Wanderers would find a goal on the break in stoppage time. Sapsford picked the pocket of a Manly defender high up the pitch, made his way into the box and finished well at the near post.

Marcus Younis almost doubled the lead in the 51st minute with a fierce drive at goal, but Jack Greenwood saved well for the visitors.

Manly introduced Matt Sim and Bruno Mendes on the hour mark in an attempt to turn the tide of the match, and in the 70th minute they found an equaliser through Seiya Kambayashi, who finished from close range after getting on the end of a deflected cross.

Far from being demoralised, the Wanderers went in search of an equaliser. Jarrod Carluccio went close when he got a shot away after a marauding run down the right, but the effort was straight at Greenwood.

Sapsford would have no such problems in the 77th minute, when he got on the end of a Frans Deli pass and lashed home a powerful drive into the far corner of the net, restoring a deserved lead for the Wanderers.

There would be another twist as both Sapsford and Manly’s Belal Belkadi were sent off after an altercation on the pitch, but the Wanderers would hold on through 10 minutes of added time to secure a fourth win of the season.