Playing for nearly an hour with only ten players, the Spartans showed that simple, aggressive and committed football is all that is required.
The Super League side was too good for A.P.I.A. Leichhardt and deservedly progress to the semi-final stage.
After the game the elated Peter Hubbard, who epitomised what the Spartans are all about, spoke proudly of his team.
?I thought that the boys did well after going down to ten men early,? he said.
?It was an uphill battle but knowing the character of the boys, I knew we had it in us, so we are really pumped,? Hubbar said.
As a defender Hubbard, like all his teammates, gave it his all. The former Dulwich Hill player-of-the-year, who returned only this year to the Spartans, spoke with genuine pride about his team.
?Just in the first 10? or 15? minutes you are a little bit off guard but, once you get into the game, you just keep going,? he said.
?At half-time, all we said was just stick in there, stay tight at the back and as soon as we lose the ball that we needed to get it back.?
It was a game plan that was executed perfectly by all from the Blacktown side.
The early stages of the game were very hard fought, but the Tigers certainly had the better of the half chances.
In fact the Spartans were clearly ready to absorb the pressure from the NSW Premier League outfit; and absorb they did.
A.P.I.A. Leichhardt pushed forward and were repealed each time by the Blacktown Spartans defence who gallantly defended their own box.
In the 22? minute Nick Rizzo played in a lovely ball for Anthony Hartshorn, who in turn found Franco Parisi, who forced a nice save from the ?keeper Saliadarre with his powerful strike.
However, Parisi could hardly believe his luck when the rebound ended up straight back at him, but he headed just wide.
In 24? minute Mario Ghobriel opened the scoring for the Blacktown Spartans when he received a lovely ball that split the A.P.I.A. defence and, with a clinical first-time finish, he scored.
It was arguably the Spartans first real chance of the game, but that?s all you need in the ruthless world of football.
In the 43? minute though the Spartans hit a stumbling block when Daniel Cornett was sent off by referee James Lewis.
He was caught red handed trying to waste time by interfering at an A.P.I.A. Leichhardt free-kick that the new Tigers recruit from the Newcastle Jets, Adam D?Apuzzo, was keen to take quickly.
Unfortunately Cornett had been booked only a few minutes earlier for a reckless challenge and, as such, a second yellow card meant an automatic red.
In the second-half it was clear from the early minutes that both sides were not about to sit back and rest on their laurels.
In the 56? minute a beautiful cross by Rizzo from the right found Hartshorn in the box, but his header was misdirected and wide of the mark.
In the 64? minute a majestic shot by Mark Byrnes, from some distance out, almost had the Tigers bench up in unison when the ball narrowly shaved the post and ended up against the side netting.
In the 83? minute Young threaded a ball through the A.P.I.A. Leichhardt defence for Ghobriel, but his diagonal shot could have been so much more if it had more power behind it.
Right at the death Mohebee scored a goal as the Tigers pushed forward. The Spartans swept downfield in a delightful counter-attacking move that Mohebee finished off with a powerful shot that ended up in the bottom left hand corner of the net.
After the game Mario Raciti, a Tigers official, was left to lament on what could have been for his side.
?At the end of the day we came up against a Super League team that was well-coached and well-drilled and they deserved the result,? he said.
?The Waratah Cup meant a lot for the club and it wasn?t just about the prize money on offer.
?It meant pride and an opportunity to salvage something from the season, but now it?s back to the drawing board to see what we can do for this weekend?s game [against South Coast Wolves].?
Wednesday 22nd June, 2011
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
Referee: James Lewis
Assistant referees: Bachar Allam and Alex Long
A.P.I.A. Leichhardt Tigers 0
Blacktown Spartans 2 (Ghobriel 24?, Mohebee 92?)
A.P.I.A. LEICHHARDT TIGERS: 1.Jose Bello-Amigo; 2.Mark Byrnes, 3.John Kelso, 5.Michael West, 19.Brad Bartels (12.Andrew Vitucci 78?), 15.Adam D?Apuzzo, 8.Anthony Hartshorn, 11.Nicola Rizzo, 14.Sam Messam (17.Wandi Jajaw 57?), 10.Franco Parisi (7.Stephen Kayes 53?), 9.Robbie Younis.
Substitutes Not Used: 40. Stefan Giglio, 18. Thomas Taylor
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Blacktown Spartans: 1.C. Saliadarre, 2.N. Agbinja, 4.D. Wells, 5.L. Boyd, 8.T. Spencer (18.T. McCrae 91?), 9.J. Young, 10.Mario Ghobriel (15.D. King 94?), 11.G. McPherson (3.M. Mohebee 81?), 16.L. Infanti, 17.Peter Hubbard, 14.Daniel Cornett.
Substitutes Not Used: 6. G. Kondek, 7. K. Kurihara
Yellow Cards: Cornett 38?, Agbinja 63?, Ghobriel 66?, Hubbard 85?
Red Cards: Cornett 43?
-By Joe Russo