FFA Cup Qualifying Round Wrap
Passion and Drama Aplenty As Teams Battle For Spots In Round 1
By Jordan Lim
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Gippsland natives Churchill Rams played host to an electric Westfield FFA Cup Qualifying Round tie against East Bentleigh Strikers, the hosts triumphing in extra time to secure a 2-1 victory.
The locals began in fine fashion, controlling proceedings and offering little time on the ball for their State League 5 rivals. Winger Ellis Hayes-Hills opened the scoring with a well-timed header on the stroke of half-time, which helped spark the Strikers into life.
Danny Ballan found a scrappy equaliser just after the hour mark, with substitute Koras Salih peppering the goals with a number of quality strikes from range. Churchill were being pushed but held on to hear the sound of the full-time whistle, signalling extra-time to decide the tie.
They hit through captain and man-of-the-match Taylor Jackson, who tapped his way past the East Bentleigh goalkeeper to slot home into an empty net.
“The rural areas, we have a lot of talent down here as you can see a couple of the local teams Pegs [Morwell Pegasus SC] and Warragul [United SC] playing in the State League One division. There’s a lot of talent in the old GSL too,” captain and match winner Jackson said.
“We’ve had a good history at Churchill in the local division. Just recently we’ve had a lot of young talent come through, we’ve always been about that. Hopefully they can go even further and progress even further this year and do well.”
Elsewhere, Rosebud Heart dominated proceedings against Thornbury Athletic, securing a 5-1 rout of their opponents. The game was a tight fought affair in the early stages of the second half however with Thornbury striking the bar with the scoreline modestly sitting at 2-1.
From there on out, it was Rosebud’s game with David Greening grabbing four of the Heart's five goals.
Lara United set up a date with Zagame's State League 4 side Collingwood City after dispatching Heidelberg Eagles 2-0 in a flowing contest. Both sides had control of the contest at different stages but in the end, a double to Dale Walker was enough to secure passageway to the next round.
Ballarat District Soccer Association clubs Ballarat North United and Champions Forest Rangers didn’t have too much luck in their FFA Cup ties, both suffering heavy defeats at the hands of Swinburne University (6-1) and Dandenong Warriors (9-1) respectively.
Albury-Wodonga Football Association side Myrtleford Savoy survived an absolute thriller against State Five Old Trinity Grammarians, triumphing 3-2 in a goal fest at Savoy Park to pull one back for the regional outfits.
Mt Lilydale Old Collegians held on for their own 3-2 victory over Greenvale United. With the scores locked at 1-1 at half-time, Mt Lilydale found two late goals to surge into a 3-1 lead. Greenvale were perhaps unlucky to have fallen so far behind, given their impressive performance in the tie, but were able to pull one back for their troubles via a keeper error. A couple of late chances and a penalty shout amounted to nothing for the chasing side as the Old Collegians held on to progress.
Newly formed Senior outfit Monash City triumphed on their competitive debut, earning a 2-0 win over Chelsea FC. George Kapalos and David Cho nabbed a goal each to secure the result, much to the delight of former Heidelberg United and Melbourne Victory midfielder Daniel Vasilievski, who presides as their current Technical Director.
Baxter SC secured a maiden Westfield FFA Cup win in the club’s history with a 4-0 rout of Glen Waverley SC. They put their first goal on the board after just 90 seconds through forward Liam Kilner, before Bryce Ingram soon doubled the lead with a classy finish. The game tightened up after the initial flurry, only for Ingram to make it three with a 30-yard lobbed effort. Kilner also grabbed a brace with the club’s fourth, to book a spot against Lalor United.
State League Four outfit Cleeland United showed their class against State Five Gisborne SC, securing a hard-fought 2-0 win. United broke the deadlock by bundling home a goalmouth scramble, with Gisborne pushing hard for an equaliser. They were eventually caught out as they conceded on the break to seal the contest.
North Melbourne Athletic proved too strong for State League Five outfit Casey Panthers, who fell to a heavy 5-0 scoreline. Pedro Ose was the star with a hat-trick, while there were also singles to Max Clarke and Ross Burnett.
Cobram Roar were trumped at the death by Mitchell Rangers SC, who pinched a 2-1 win to progress to the next round.
A 10-man RMIT University FC made the long trip north worth it, wining against Kyneton District 3-1, with Jol Latcham grabbing a brace alongside Piers Brelsford’s single.
The battle of the regional sides saw AWFA Champions Wangaratta City triumph 2-0 against FFV Geelong’s Golden Plains. The result was sealed by half time with goals coming from Adam Burchell and George El Kotta.
In the designated Match of the Round, White Star Dandenong were taken into extra time by Parkmore SC but were able to seal a late 2-1 victory to put themselves through to Round One of the Cup. Jude Toohim's well-timed lob put White Star Dandneong in front only for Stephen Pappas' late attempt to squeeze in and send the game to extra time.
A penalty from Miguel Iturbe would seal passage for White Star Dandenong and spark joyous scenes in the rooms.
Albert Park on the other hand comfortably accounted for opponents Keon Park, triumphing 4-1 with Andrea Speranza grabbing a double in the win.
Elsewhere. Laverton Park defeated Meadow Park 3-0 while AWFA side Twin City Wanderers also progressed with a 4-0 win over Pakenham United.
A few other clubs did it easier, with Shepparton South, Moreland Eagles, Craigiburn City, Old Ivanhoe Grammarians, Chisholm United and Reservoir Yeti all progressing with the bye, while there were forfeit victories for Melbourne Lions, Old Mentonians, Healesville SC and the Yarra Jets.