The record number of participants in this year’s FFA Cup has been whittled down to just 10 following the completion of Round Six of the country’s most prestigious knockout Cup tournament.
The NPL NSW Men’s league is predictably well represented with 7 teams progressing to Round Seven. The NPL 2 NSW Men’s competition has two teams still alive, whilst the final spot is taken up by the only local Association remaining in this year’s Cup.
That team is Tarrawanna Blueys SC, who ply their trade in the Illawarra Premier League. The Blueys met Kirrawee Kangaroos, themselves a local Association side from the Sutherland Shire Football Association, and the two teams met at headquarters central in the Shire, Seymour Shaw Park.
Tarrawanna were up for the contest from the ‘get go’, with Rick Goodchild putting the Blueys ahead after just 4 minutes. The visiting contingent were up off their chairs again on 16 minutes, when Bradley Acev extended Tarrawanna’s lead to 2-0.
The match developed into an arm wrestle of sorts from there on, with the Blueys holding firm on their lead until late in the game. Kirrawee Kangaroos managed to reduce the deficit on 80 minutes with a goal from Dylan Beardow, but even though they threw everything but the kitchen sink at their opponents, Kirrawee couldn’t draw level, and bowed out after a very creditable performance in this year’s Cup.
For Tarrawanna Blueys it continues their dream run in the FFA Cup, a run having started back on March 18, and a run of four consecutive wins which has included the scalps of UNSW (State League) and Macarthur Rams (NPL 2 NSW Men’s).
Two competition leaders met head on at Peter Moore Reserve in Belmore on the outskirts of Belmore Sports Ground, bringing new meaning to the phrase ‘grassroots football’.
NPL NSW Men’s frontrunners, Sydney Olympic, entertained the undefeated NPL 3 NSW Men’s leaders, Hawkesbury City, in a clash between two sides who have only suffered one defeat between them this year.
Olympic coach, Abbas Saad, gave his side a youthful look by starting a number of youngsters from their U20s squad, and the team responded early when Darcy Burgess scored after just 12 minutes.
The Hawks held their own for the best part of 45 minutes after that goal, but could do nothing to stop Taewoo Jung extending that lead in the 57th minute. Second half substitute, Paul Katsetis, rounded off the scoring in the 68th minute to send Sydney Olympic in to Round Seven on the back of the 3-0 triumph.
The run of State League Men’s leaders, Central Coast United, came to an end at Sydney United Sports Centre when they lost out to Hills United from the NPL 2 NSW Men’s competition.
Glen Kelshaw, Daniel Fogarty, and Peter Cejka all netted for Hills in the 3-1 triumph, whilst Alexander Arbelo replied for the gallant Central Coast.
A local derby of sorts had the fans licking their lips in anticipation at Ernie Smith Reserve, when NPL 3 NSW Men’s side, SD Raiders, welcomed the visit of the Marconi Stallions from the NPL NSW Men’s competition.
Sebastian Malfara put the cat amongst the pigeons when he put SD Raiders in to a 1-0 lead after 36 minutes, reminding Raiders fans of a similar lead they held in last season’s Cup when they played APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
But Marconi regrouped following the half time break, and lifted a gear just after the hour mark to put the contest to bed with four goals in a devastating ten minute spell.
Judah Cleur equalised for the Stallions in the 65th minute, before Theo Kofinas edged them in front in the 69th. Brandon Vella made it 3-1 on 73 minutes, before Dalibor Malesevic rounded off the night’s proceedings at 4-1 in the 75th.
NPL NSW Men’s high flyers, APIA Leichhardt Tigers, left it very late indeed to overcome a plucky St George FC 3-2 in a thrilling Cup encounter at Lambert Park.
APIA commenced the scoring on 31 minutes when George Howard connected to Marc Warren’s deep cross, heading home to make it 1-0 to the Tigers.
But the Saints reacted quickly with two opportunities falling to Jordan Morfitis. His first effort was just wide of the APIA upright, but he was on the mark with his next effort on 38 minutes, his shot deflecting past APIA goal keeper, Ivan Necevski, to restore parity at 1-1.
The teams went in to the half time all even, but APIA took the lead just five minutes after the restart, and it was that man again, George Howard, who scrambled home following a corner.
APIA did look the stronger after the break, but that meant nothing in the 68th minute when St George drew level once more. Aleksander Lekoski showed some nice touches to make space for himself before finding the APIA net with his long range effort, the diving APIA goal keeper, Ivan Necevski, managing a touch but unable to keep the ball out.
St George did in fact manage to hit the woodwork in the 85th minute with a great header, but all that did was wake APIA out of their slumber, and a close range header from Zac McKenzie in the final minute gave the home side the win they craved.
It was a cruel way for their journey to end, but St George FC can be proud of pushing one of the NPL NSW Men’s heavyweights all the way in a real Cup thriller.
NPL 2 NSW Men’s side, GHFA Spirit FC, avoided a banana skin when they accounted for Bomaderry FC 4-0 at Ison Park, South Nowra.
After dispatching NPL NSW Men’s team, Wollongong Wolves, in the previous round, Spirit travelled to Nowra midweek to take on Shoalhaven District Football Association club, Bomaderry FC, knowing the locals were primed to produce an upset.
But goals to Jayden Younes, Ahmed Sweeden, Mason Ireland, and Daniel Colosimo gave GHFA Spirit a comfortable victory, and passage into Round Seven of this year’s tournament.
Hakoah Sydney City East from the NPL NSW Men’s competition put paid to Mounties Wanderers Cup hopes at Hensley Athletic Field, beating the side from the NPL 2 NSW Men’s league by 2-0 in a fiercely contested affair.
Hakoah had a great run in the tournament last season, eventually succumbing to Melbourne City in the main draw, and have hopes of at least emulating, if not improving, on that feat again this season.
Mounties Wanderers put up a great fight for the majority of the match, but Hakoah Sydney City East prevailed with late goals by Mitchell Stamatellis in the 79th minute, and Noji Takajuki in the 3rd minute of injury time.
In an all- NPL NSW Men’s encounter at the Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale City Suns progressed to Round Seven of the FFA Cup with a narrow 2-1 win over rivals Sydney United 58.
Rockdale City Suns were rewarded for their early efforts the opening half when they took the lead with a cracking left footed strike from Bai Antoniou on 26 minutes.
United 58 replied moments later, Matthew Sim hitting the upright from a fierce long range free kick.
Sydney United 58 came out after the half time break with purpose and leveled proceedings at 1-1 in the 52nd minute after a deflected shot by Yianni Perkatis found the back of the Rockdale net.
Not long after Perkatis had a golden opportunity to put Sydney United 58 ahead when he found himself unmarked on the edge of the six yard box, but shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Matthew Sim also missed the mark from close range, slicing over the crossbar as United upped the ante.
But just as the match looked headed for extra time, pandemonium broke out amongst the fans as Rockdale snatched a winner with just 3 minutes remaining on the clock.
Rockdale’s Jordan Figon did so well to race on to a ball in to space on the left, holding up two defenders before squaring a pass into the path of team mate, Jonathan Grozdanovski.
Having entered the fray just prior as a substitute, Grozdanovski made up a lot of ground to reach the pass on the edge of the Sydney United 58 penalty area, and he made the most of the opportunity by striking low and hard in to the bottom corner before being mobbed by team mates and fans alike.
NPL NSW Men’s side, Blacktown City, took their place in Round Seven of this year’s FFA Cup draw courtesy of Gladesville Ryde Magic’s forfeit. Work commitments and injuries resulted in Magic opting not to play, having endured a host of ailments suffered just three days earlier in a 2-2 NPL 3 NSW Men’s league draw with SD Raiders.
While finally the tenth and final match of Round 6 of the FFA Cup took shape on Wednesday 23rd of May at Seymour Shaw as NPL NSW Men’s side Bonnyrigg White Eagles were made to work for their Round 7 spot defeating a gritty NPL 3 NSW Men’s side St George City FA 1-0 in extra time.
The game was destined for penalty shootouts after the match finished 0-0 but up stepped White Eagles skipper Ray Miller who scored in the 113th minute to guide the White Eagles one step closer to a Round of 32 place.
The Round 7 FFA Cup Draw will be released on Friday 25th of May on Football NSW Facebook page at 11am so keep your eyes peeled for that.