FFA Cup WA wrap: Four clubs left to fight for two Round of 32 spots

The Western Australian FFA Cup Preliminary Rounds are down to the final four clubs, with just two spots available to reach the national Round of 32 stage. 

FFA Cup: Bayswater KO Perth SC in thriller
Report by: Tommy Doleman

Bayswater City are one game from reaching the national stage of the FFA Cup for the first time since 2014 after they twice came from behind to knock out unbeaten NPL WA leaders Perth SC 3-2 on Monday.

Both sides had chances in the opening 15 minutes of this preliminary Round Six tie at Dorrien Gardens. Michael Domfeh’s volley slid inches wide of the target for Perth, while at the other end Gordon Smith had the ball in the net but he had strayed offside.

City’s Ryan Pearson then fired over the bar after Giordano Colli found him in the area, before the hosts broke through on half-an-hour with a stunning opener.

A corner was only partially cleared as far as Paul Zimarino and he volleyed brilliantly into the top corner from 30 yards, beyond the outstretched glove of Devon Spence.

he lead lasted only eight minutes. Adam Tong’s throw-in was flicked on by Brent Griffiths and the unfortunate Rocco Pizzata turned into his own net.

There was still enough time for Perth to regain the lead before the interval, though. Nicolo Sabatini lobbed a cross into the area and Matt Milenkovic looped a header over Spence and into the net.

The home side started the second half looking to extend their lead as Zimarino volleyed another effort wide when through on goal, then Domfeh sliced over from inside the area.

With a place in the final four of the Belt Up Cup at stake, Bayswater responded and levelled it up at 2-2 when Daryl Nicol was felled in the area and he dispatched the spot-kick into the bottom corner.

The 2018 Gold Medal winner was at it again six minutes later when his free-kick caused chaos in Perth’s defence. The Scot’s set-piece went through a sea of bodies and found the net via a touch off Tong at the back post to give Bayswater the lead.

Another Nicol free-kick flew narrowly over the bar before Gustavo Catarcione was thwarted by Devon Spence at the other end, as he stood tall to deny the Brazilian.

Perth continued to press forward late on but they were unable to level the scores, which meant a first defeat of the season while rivals Bayswater advanced.

FFA Cup: Rockingham make light work of UWA
Report by: Edward Nixon

Rockingham City booked their FFA Cup preliminary semi-final ticket with a 3-0 win over UWA-Nedlands at UWA Sports Park on Monday.

The NPL WA outfit showed their class with goals from Jason Pottier, skipper James Harmer and Blake Sokolowski to knock their State League Division One opponents out of the cup.

Just two days after suffering a 3-2 loss against Floreat Athena in the league, Rockingham looked energised as James Millard headed wide within the opening 10 minutes.

Keen to extend their impressive cup run, City took the lead six minutes later as Lydon Hodgkiss’ ricocheted shot fell into the path of Pottier who smashed his shot past a helpless Tim Rossi.

Rockingham doubled their advantage just 90 seconds later when Harmer nodded in Mitch Firth’s cross.

Playing at home, UWA took until the 41st minute to force Rockingham goalkeeper Michael Farmer into action, winger Nicholas Theororou going close twice before the half-time break.

UWA took that confidence into the second term as they started brightly – Sah Kent heading over from close range before Farmer denied Alex Kretowicz.

The hosts were made to pay for their missed chances when Sokolowski made sure of the result for Rockingham as he capitalised on an error by Rossi 20 minutes from time to send his side to one game from the national stage of the competition.

FFA Cup: Stynes puts Athena into last four
Report by: Peter Simcox

A goal five minutes before half-time from Jon Stynes secured Floreat Athena a hard-fought 1-0 win against Balcatta in the regional FFA Cup quarter-finals at Grindleford Reserve on WA Day.

Midfielder Stynes got on the end of deep cross from Phil Arnold to head past David Keenan to send Floreat into their second consecutive semi-final.

Both sides had come of tiring games on Saturday in the NPL WA, but it was the visitors who opened the better and Balcatta had Keenan to thank for keeping them in the tie.

On five minutes he got down well to his left to tip Robert Petkov’s shot around the post. Ten minutes later he was out bravely to save at the feet of Dennis Galan.

The hosts went close themselves after good work on the right by Shubham Mokala ended with a ball into the feet of Adam Zimarino, but his first-time shot whistled inches over the top. Keenan did well again to tip over Petkov’s cross shot, before Jesse Fuller’s shot on the run fizzed just wide of the target.

But the decisive goal came on 40 minutes. Arnold raced down the right and whipped in a great cross to the back post and Stynes lost his marker to head home, to the delight of the travelling supporters.

Balcatta coach Goran Stajic brought on striker Gavin Knight at the break and the home lside ooked far better. Nic Challot’s header was cleared off the line by Galan, while Knight produced an acrobatic overhead kick after being picked out by Callum Stocks but it was straight at Floreat keeper Jason Saldaris.

It was end-to-end football with both sides pushing forward. Petkov fired just wide for Floreat, Balcatta skipper Calum O’Connell’s snap shot was saved low by Saldaris then Knight headed inches past the post.

As the game neared its conclusion and Balcatta pushed men forward, Floreat were catching them on counter attack. Rob Holding had a shot was well saved by Keenan, before Petkov rattled the crossbar. But when the dust settled it was Floreat going through to the next round.

FFA Cup: Gulls on national trail again
Report by: Samuel Hays

Sorrento are one match from a third national FFA Cup advanture in five years after they booked their place in the preliminary semi-finals by defeating Fremantle City 2-0 at Hilton Park on Monday.

Jack Salter nabbed a goal just before the break for the NPL WA side and David Stokoe doubled the advantage after 70 minutes to ensure the State League Division One outfit’s cup run came to an end.

Sorrento had a couple of early sights on goal through some long range efforts, while Freo looked dangerous from corners with Marco Perizzolo acting as a target man.

The home side were containing their NPL counterparts well and it looked as though it would remain scoreless at the break. But Salter had other ideas as he latched onto a great cross from Jordan Brown for the opener after 44 minutes.

The two sides continued to show great fight in the second half despite both playing a league match on Saturday, as Stokoe saw his low and hard free-kick tipped onto the post by Fremantle keeper Yousri Gharsallah.

Stokoe was in the thick of it again, this time defensively. A fine cross forced him to head towards his own goal and the ball was on its way to the top corner before keeper James Morgan produced a great save to spare Stokoe’s blushes.

Angel Andres was then denied a tap-in after a superb clearance from Stokoe, while down the other end Jordan Roberts unleashed a powerful strike that forced a good save from Gharsallah.

The second goal came from the resulting corner after Roberts picked out Stokoe lurking inside the box and his header found the bottom corner.