Smith stars as Heat storm into Round of 32

Another qualifier for this year’s Westfield FFA Cup round of 32 has been decided with FNQ Heat booking their spot with a rout of Frenchville on Sunday thanks in large part to former Hyundai A-League attacking midfielder Alex Smith.

Against the third-tier Central Queensland Premier League opponent, Heat’s class shone through from the outset as they strolled to a 7-1 win Ryan Park in Rockhampton. 

In the weekend's other match in Queensland, last year’s Westfield FFA Cup quarter-finalists Palm Beach Sharks survived a second straight penalty shootout to advance against SWQ Thunder.

Nik Mirkovic put the Sharks in front midway through the first half, only to be sent off 12 minutes later for violent conduct.

Palm Beach held out until 18 minutes from time when Nykodah Smith finished off a goal-mouth scramble to level the scores and force extra-time.

The added 30 minutes couldn’t separate the sides and it went to penalties where Sharks ‘keeper Ryan Meskell made a crucial save from the penultimate spot-kick to allow Roman Hoffman to seal the Gold Coast’s club’s passage through to the final qualifying round.

But it was ex-Hyundai A-League star Alex Smith who was again the star of the show in Queensland, continuing his hot-streak in the Cup which included four goals in a recent round.