Far North Queensland Heat ended the Westfield FFA Cup campaign of rivals Northern Fury for a second straight year after a 1-0 win at Brolga Park on the weekend.
In a dominant performance by the Heat, it was Crios O’Hare’s fifth minute goal which proved the difference and send the club just one win away from the round of 32.
The result flattered 10-man Fury, with Heat wasting a host of chances throughout the contest, hitting the woodwork twice in the closing stages.
O’Hare pounded early as he rifled home through a crowded penalty area.
Fury’s chances then took a massive hit just past the midway point of the first half as George Dalton was shown a straight red card for denying Jamie Carroll a goal-scoring opportunity.
Former Hyundai A-League star Alex Smith had an off-night in front of goal, hitting the frame of the goal twice to ensure a nervy finish for his side.
But they weren’t to be denied, holding on for a well-earned victory to be just 90 minutes away from a shot at national glory.
For Fury coach Ian Ferguson, it was a poor display and a missed chance to show their wares on the big stage.
“It wasn’t a good performance at all and I was very disappointed in the manner we played, particularly for an FFA Cup match,” told the Townsville Bulletin.
“The way we played last week and this week was night and day and I thought the scoreline flattered us in the end.
“Dan Wilesmith had a great game in goals for us, Jacob Crowley and Ari Isman were our two best outfield players but the rest were pretty ordinary.”
The Heat will next travel to Rockhampton to take on third-tier Frenchville for a spot in the round of 32.
Frenchville also triumphed on Saturday night – despite having a player sent off - disposing of Whitsunday FC 1-0 at Airlie Beach.
For all the latest Westfield FFA Cup fixtures and results head to www.theffacup.com.au