The FFA Cup often brings with it welcome twists and turns as regional clubs battle for a chance to contest the national trophy alongside A-League sides, and this year’s third round was no different.
The local derby between Belmont Swansea United and Zone Premier League side Swansea FC was billed as a ‘David vs Goliath’ battle, and Swansea’s 3-1 win certainly delivered.
Swansea’s key man for the evening was Sam Buyers, who bagged a brace and earned the side a penalty.
Logan Williams slotted the penalty home to open the scoring for the eventual winners.
Swansea’s head coach Benny Haddow revealed in his post-match report that the short turn around added spice to the derby, but the squad “proved they are a team that thrive for the big occasion”.
“Massive credit to the boys to come away with the win in front of a big crowd,” he added.
“[The team] genuinely just wanted it more, it seemed clear the sky-blue Swans were up to the task.”
The victorious coach is also embracing the chance in the next round with both hands, and is looking forward to greater challenges for the squad.
“I look forward to the next round,” Haddow said. “I hope we draw another high ranked opponent.”
League One’s Thornton Redbacks nearly joined the Belswans in being shunted as they downed Mayfield United Senior 2-2(3-2) in penalties, while defending League One premiers Cooks Hill were defeated.
Although the champions have won four of their five games in the season thus far, fellow League One side Kahibah managed to progress as they kept them scoreless with a 2-0 win.
Singleton Strikers nearly fell to Zone League 2 team Charlestown Junior in a 1-all (4-2 in penalties) clash.
Raymond Terrace FC, Toronto Awaba FC, Kahibah FC, Wallsend FC, Garden Suburb FC, South Cardiff FC, Cardiff City FC, Dudley Redhead Senior FC and Hamilton Azzurri all qualified for the next round.
In the Northern Conference, Demon Knights moved on to represent Northern Inland Football, in what will be their second attempt at the fourth round contest.
Tamworth will also attend the regional qualifiers for the first time.
Goonellabah and Bangalow will represent Football Far North Coast in 2018, while North Coast Football will send Boambee and Uruguna – both of whom are expected to advance to the Qualifying Weekend’s final 32 teams.
The fourth round Regional Qualifying Weekend will be held at Coffs Harbour at the C.ex International Stadium, on May 12-13.