FFA Cup: Bayswater KO Perth SC in thriller

Bayswater City are one game from reaching the national stage of the FFA Cup for the first time since 2014 after they twice came from behind to knock out unbeaten NPL WA leaders Perth SC 3-2 on Monday.

Both sides had chances in the opening 15 minutes of this preliminary Round Six tie at Dorrien Gardens. Michael Domfeh’s volley slid inches wide of the target for Perth, while at the other end Gordon Smith had the ball in the net but he had strayed offside.

City’s Ryan Pearson then fired over the bar after Giordano Colli found him in the area, before the hosts broke through on half-an-hour with a stunning opener.

A corner was only partially cleared as far as Paul Zimarino and he volleyed brilliantly into the top corner from 30 yards, beyond the outstretched glove of Devon Spence.

The lead lasted only eight minutes. Adam Tong’s throw-in was flicked on by Brent Griffiths and the unfortunate Rocco Pizzata turned into his own net.

There was still enough time for Perth to regain the lead before the interval, though. Nicolo Sabatini lobbed a cross into the area and Matt Milenkovic looped a header over Spence and into the net.

The home side started the second half looking to extend their lead as Zimarino volleyed another effort wide when through on goal, then Domfeh sliced over from inside the area.

With a place in the final four of the Belt Up Cup at stake, Bayswater responded and levelled it up at 2-2 when Daryl Nicol was felled in the area and he dispatched the spot-kick into the bottom corner.

The 2018 Gold Medal winner was at it again six minutes later when his free-kick caused chaos in Perth’s defence. The Scot’s set-piece went through a sea of bodies and found the net via a touch off Tong at the back post to give Bayswater the lead.

Another Nicol free-kick flew narrowly over the bar before Gustavo Catarcione was thwarted by Devon Spence at the other end, as he stood tall to deny the Brazilian.

Perth continued to press forward late on but they were unable to level the scores, which meant a first defeat of the season while rivals Bayswater advanced.

Report by: Tommy Doleman

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