Central Coast Mariners held off a spirited South Coast Wolves side to win 1-0 and advance to the last 16 of the Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday night.
The Wolves may have fallen at the first hurdle of the national knockout competition but football in the Illawarra region was a real winner, as more than 6,000 supporters at WIN Stadium cheered on their team against the 2012-13 A-League champions.
The visitors should have been at least 2-0 up by half-time, with Zach Anderson having a shot cleared off the line and Mitchell Duke hitting the post, while Nick Fitzgerald also saw a good chance snuffed out.
Samuel Matthews enjoyed one of the Wolves' best openings six minutes into the second half, but failed to get a shot away before some desperate Mariners defending deprived him of possession.
A few nervy moments aside, Central Coast were relatively comfortable protecting their one-goal lead with the clock ticking down, and almost made it 2-0 through substitute Malick Mane, who had a fierce shot saved with the last kick of the game.
South Coast Wolves 0
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Trifiro 12')