Round 5 preliminary Westfield FFA Cup matches in NSW produced some high octane football action as well as some incredible results keeping the dream alive for many but dashing others.
The Round 5 action started on Tuesday night as South Coast side Woonona FC made the trip out West to Hawkesbury FC. The State League 1 side’s quality prevailed though as they progressed to the next stage with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Ahmad Khan and Evan Daglis.
At Jensen Park, fans were treated to a true spectacle as PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 2 side Bankstown City welcomed the ‘pub team from the beach’, Coogee United.
The pub boys showed that schooners weren’t the only thing they could put away as they surprised all, taking a 1-0 lead into the break, courtesy of a calm finish from Kevin Kelly.
A shell shocked home side came out firing in the second half, throwing all they had forward and first equalising before taking the lead via Steven Veleski and Aaron D’ Mello. It seemed that would be the end of Coogee’s fairy tale Cup campaign. That was until Jefferey Sykes had the travelling fans in pandemonium, tapping in the equaliser for the black and whites and sending the match into extra time.
The heavy legs of the boys from Coogee began to tell and the heart breaking moment came in the 118thminute with the game destined for penalties, as Bankstown found the winner via Huseyin Jasli, progressing to the latter stages of the Cup.
In another local derby, PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 side Rockdale City Suns hosted St George Association team Arncliffe Aurora at Illinden Sports Centre.
New Rockdale signing Tomislav Arcaba was the hero as the Suns keeper saved two penalties in the penalty shootout as Branko Culina’s men ran out 4-2 winners from the spot.
It was a close scare for Culina’s men as the Association side led by captain Mahmoud Chahine and man of the match, goalkeeper Marcelo Abal did remarkably well against their higher placed opponents.
Nepean FC booked their place in Round 6 and a dream date with either of the Blacktown PS4 NPL sides as they defeated the Leichhardt Saints by a solitary Mikal Awad goal.
For the second consecutive year, Manly United knocked Bonnyrigg White Eagles out of the Westfield FFA Cup at Cromer Park.
The boys from the Northern Beaches, led by former Bonnyrigg fan favourite Paul Dee, once again proved to be a thorn in the high flying Eagles back side with a gritty 2-1 victory.
Reece Caira had opened the scoring for the away side but Brad McDonald and Chris Payne had other ideas, turning the game on its head and gifting Manly a precious victory over their much fancied opponents.
PS4 NPL side Sutherland Sharks travelled down the South Coast to take on Illawarra Premier League side Port Kembla FC who were yet to lose a competitive game in 2015 in their local competition.
Port put up a real fight against their more fancied opponents but the away side held their half time lead through to the final whistle, taking a 2-1 win back to Sutherland.
Sydney University travelled to the South Coast for the second consecutive Cup round, this time taking on Bulli FC. It was a much more comfortable match this time round for Uni as they came away with an impressive 4-1 win.
At Sydney United Sports Centre, Sydney United 58 FC took on Parramatta FC only two days after defeating Frank Cosentino’s men in round 5 of the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 1 competition.
In what must’ve felt like deja vu for Parramatta, another early goal for Sydney United, this time a tap in for Michael Cindric in the 7th minute, was enough for the Reds to progress who also had their star midfielder Nick Stavroulakis a happy spectator making an appearance and throwing his support behind the team.
Sydney Olympic met PS4 NPL 2 team and Cup specialists Mounties Wanderers at Belmore Sports Ground on Wednesday night. It was the home team that took the win with minimal fuss as Dimitri Hatzimouratis and Harris Gaitatzis gave Olympic a 2-0 half time lead before Go Shirai added a third.
At John Crehan Park, the South Coast Wolves had to come from behind in their match against NPL 2 side Spirit FC to earn a 3-1 win. Spirit took the lead just before the half hour mark, holding on to it until half time. A second half hat-trick to Peter Simonoski saw the home side over-turn the deficit and progress on in the Cup.
In one of the big results of the evening Illawarra Premier League side Wollongong United FC defeated Men’s State League One side Inter Lions 1-0 at the Crest. The game went into the break scoreless before the South Coast side scored the winner to progress and earn a match against PS4 NPL Men’s 1 outfit Sutherland Sharks.
It was a PS4 NPL Men’s 2 affair at Mills Park as Northern Tigers entertained the Bankstown Berries. Whenever these two teams meet there’s always a flurry of goals and this was again proved with the home side running away with a 3-1 victory.
It was a hard fought battle at Pluim Park as PS4 NPL 2 side Macarthur Rams did it tough defeating Central Coast Association side Gosford City FC 2-1.
In other matches Kenthurst and District defeated The Entrance Bateau Bay SC 2-1, Prospect United defeated Hurstville FC 2-1 in extra time, current PS4 NPL 2 high flyers Hakoah Sydney City East were knocked off their perch by Men’s State League One side Western NSW Mariners 4-1 on penalties after the match ended at 2-2 at Proctor Park.
The Blacktown derby between Spartans and City was called off due to lightning as was the Round 4 match between North Shore Mariners and Dapto Dandaloo Fury.
Finally Balmain Tigers thumped North Epping Rangers SC 5-0 at Sports Caringbah.Local Bankstown Association side Yagoona Lions travel to Wagga to take on the Wagga City Wanderers on Sunday 26th April at Gissing Oval, while the Blacktown derby will also be played at a later date.