Round 5 of the FFA Cup Football NSW Preliminary matches kicked off overnight as four matches took place across Sydney with APIA Leichhardt FC, Marconi Stallions, NWS Spirit FC and Wollongong Olympic progressing to the next stage of the prestigious knockout tournament.
Marconi Stadium played host to a tense affair as the Stallions faced the Sutherland Sharks in the round’s only top tier NPL NSW Men’s encounter. It was the hosts that finally etched out a win, something they’ve failed to do in the past month in their respective competition defeating the Sharks 1-0 albeit in extra time. Peter Tsekenis’ squad thought the game was in the bag when the Sharks went down to ten men in the 33rd minute when Sharks defender Chris Lindsay was shown a red card after a second bookable offence. Nick Dimovski’s men stood strong and battled gallantly, forcing the match into extra-time after the game ended 0-0. It needed a goal from Marconi’s Martin Fernandez in the 113rd minute that sealed a vital victory for the former NSL giants that pushed them to the next stages of the Cup.
Elsewhere, Lambert Park played host to a tight contest as APIA Leichhardt FC continued its winning form edging out NPL 2 NSW Men’s outfit Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2-1. It was the visitors that started off on the right foot as David Vrankovic scored from the spot in the 8th minute. Paul Dee’s men equalised thanks to an own goal from Goran Subara before defender Josh Symons scored what was the winning goal in the 57th minute that granted them an FFA Cup round 6 pass.
It was one-way traffic at Christie Park as NPL 2 NSW Men’s club NWS Spirit FC trounced Manly Warringah FA club side Manly Vale FC 6-0. Goals from Ahmed Sweedan, Mitchell Davidson and braces from Michael Konestabo and Jose Teal-Meson secured a big victory for David Perkovic’s men.
Finally at JJ Kelly Park, Illawarra Premier League club Wollongong Olympic advanced to the next stages of the Cup defeating NPL 3 NSW Men’s side Inner West Hawks 2-1. Built up of a side full of former NPL NSW Men’s players, it was former Wolves stars Chris Price and Josh McDonald that proved to be the difference as they cancelled out Peter Yannopoulos’ goal. Apart from Price and McDonald, Olympic had Justin Pasfield, James O’Rourke, Ben Zucco and John Martinoski star, all of which have played in the NPL.
A further four matches will take shape tonight (Wednesday 28th April) as Enfield Rovers host Manly United, Blacktown City take on UTS FC, Rockdale Ilinden tackle Prospect United and Hakoah Sydney City East face Parramatta FC.