Cup Shake-Up As Zagame's State Leagues Teams Roar
Westfield FFA Cup Wrap Round 4
The FFA Cup Round 5 draw will be held at approximately 1:00pm on Monday April 4, 2016.
Round 4 Wrap
By Jordan Lim
While they fell to a shock early deficit, PS4 NPL Victoria Champions Bentleigh Greens rallied with distinction to register what was in the end a comfortable 6-1 victory over State League One side Diamond Valley United on Friday night.
William Dixon was the man who lifted the visitors to a shock lead, catching the Bentleigh defence napping on three minutes with a tap in at the far post; the ball in supplied by Anthony Hammer.
A Jack Webster double restored the status quo, much to the relief of the modest crowd who braved the wintry conditions at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.
The Englishman’s first was a peach of a finish, applying a low strike to beat Diamond Valley keeper Gavin Watson. He was left the simpler task of rolling home from close range for his second, following a spilled Troy Ruthven free-kick.
Kamal Ibrahim was forced out of the contest just before half-time with a suspected knee injury, as replacement Matthew Thurtell took just seconds to open his account for 2016, with an opportunistic goal making it 3-1 at the break.
A penalty won by Lucas early in the second half saw Webster step up from 12-yards for the match ball. Unfortunately, the centre-half technique evaded him as he blazed wide from the spot.
Chris Lucas soon tapped home from close range to spare the blushes of his teammate, while Thurtell made it five with a tap in of his own.
Lucas rounded off the result with the pick of the goals, a perfectly executed chip getting the better of Watson, who couldn’t scamper back in time to keep the ball from dipping under his crossbar.
South Melbourne 10 Keysborough SC 0
Saturday saw a heavily rotated South Melbourne FC do what was expected of them, breezing past State League Four side Keysborough SC 10-0 at John Cain Memorial Reserve.
To their less-facied opponent’s credit, they put in a solid defensive display across the opening 45 minutes, and proved to be harder to break down than expected, with Steve Hatzikostas taking 23 minutes to register the first of the afternoon with a left-footed drive.
Milos Lujic – one of three remaining senior players from the 2-2 draw against Bulleen on Monday night - tapped home from close range before looping a header in for the team’s third before half-time.
He completed his hat-trick just after the resumption of play, and was promptly substituted, with his work done for the afternoon.
Keysbrough had earlier enjoyed their best opportunity of the contest; Victor Pinto unable to steer his chip inside the post after his nipping run was picked out by Ali Husen.
Chris Irwin was a monumental figure in the win and grabbed a goal of his own on 50 minutes, before substitute Matthew Millar grabbed the sixth with a driving run and finish on the right wing.
Leigh Minopoulos profited off the tired legs of the opposition - who were still in their preparation stages of the State League season - nabbing a late hat-trick in a nine minute spurt, the pick of the bunch seeing the forward round the keeper and finish from a tight angle.
Millar was able to find the net for a second time to round off the result in the dying embers of the contest.
State League Teams Shock
Casey Comets Comets had Pascoe Vale on the ropes with an early goal to midfielder Daniel Waddup putting the Zagame's State League 1 side in front after just seven minutes. Luca Santilli equalised on 57 minutes to put the game into extra-time, where Luka Prelevic and Davey van ’t Schip scored late to round off a 3-1 result.
Green Gully squeezed past Cairnlea courtesy of an 88th minute George Lambaridis goal, which spared the blushes of Arthur Papas’ men.
Three of the bigger shocks of the round came courtesy of South Springvale, Mooroolbark SC and Altona Magic, who knocked out PS4 NPL 2 clubs Eastern Lions, Bendigo City and Ballarat Red Devils respectively.
Eastern Lions didn’t bring their shooting boots in their loss to South Springvale, and weren’t able to crack the home defence at Warner Reserve, as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat. They controlled large portions of the game without breaking through - South Springvale continuing their reputation as cup specialists with another large scalp to add to their growing collection over the last three seasons.
Mooroolbark SC registered a much more convincing win over Bendigo City, 5-2. The Barkers shot to a 4-0 lead at half-time, courtesy of a brace from both Eric Huynh and Mario Riveria. Bendigo grabbed one back courtesy of Daniel Purdy from the spot, before Bryce Ziada hit back to make it five. Bendigo grabbed a late consolation courtesy of substitute Say Ka Pow to round off the scoring.
Altona Magic put in an inspired performance to book their spot in the Fifth Round, thrashing Ballarat 4-1 away from home. Former Green Gully and Northcote City man Jason Hayne grabbed a hat-trick, with Jon McShane grabbing the other goal to help the Magic storm to a 4-0 lead. Shaun Romein grabbed a late consolation goal for the hosts, but they’d be left bitterly disappointed by both the result and the performance.
The biggest surprise however was the progression of Geelong SC over PS4 NPL 2 West outfit Moreland Zebras. The Zagame's State League Two side - coached by Steve Laurie - has recruited aggressively in the off-season and their star-studded squad was able to match it with the Zebras as the game ran its course. Josh Talev opened the scoring after just 10 minutes as they were able to hang on for a memorable win.
The only PS4 NPL Victoria top-flight side not to progress to the next round was Northcote City, who were trumped 1-0 by St Albans, courtesy of a goal to substitute Teddy Yabio.