Yarraville Glory’s attention will turn to the season proper after it was ousted from the FFA Cup in a 3-2 extra time loss to Caroline Springs George Cross in the third round at Paisley Park on Saturday.
The Glory twice came from behind in the match, but the Georgies had the last laugh with a goal from James Kemal with eight minutes left in the extra time period.
Glory coach Paul Donnelly said there was little to separate the sides for most of the game.
“We huffed and puffed as much as we could but we couldn’t get an equaliser at the end,” he said.
“It was just one of those good FFA Cup games that you get nowadays.”
Striker Lewis Shannon wore two capes for Yarraville – the hero and the villain. For most of the game, he was the star, scoring two goals and continuing his scintillating pre-season.
But Shannon’s inability to find the back of the net in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper just before the full-time whistle in regulation time would prove costly.
Shannon will be a key to Yarraville getting off to a flying start in state league 1 when the season kicks off on March 23.
The Glory will be without his strike partner Darcey Den Ouden, who has a groin injury, for at least the season opener.
“He’s probably going to miss the first couple of rounds of the season,” Donnelly said.
“We’ve got Lewis and young Musa Kamara, who finished last season really well for us and is doing well up front [in the pre-season].”
Nick Basile looks to be a player to watch for Yarraville. The young right back, who was part of Heidelberg United’s under 20 NPL set-up, has an ambition to return to the higher level, but is being urged by Donnelly to stamp his authority on state league 1 first.
“He went off and had some NPL trials and we had a discussion with him to let him know he’s got support here,” Donnelly said.
“Hopefully he gets a full season under his belt here and then goes back to NPL.”
While the Glory is still open to strengthening the squad, Donnelly is pleased with their player retention and believes the club culture is right.
“We couldn’t get anyone to leave, so that’s a good sign,” Donnelly said.
“I’m working with the same bunch of boys again and hopefully we can continue what we did last year.”
In the NPL, Altona Magic broke through for its first win of the NPL season.
Magic mowed over Dandenong Thunder 3-1 on the road at George Andrews Reserve on Saturday night.
Ross Archibald, Daniel Kuczynski and Callum Richardson found the back of the net for the Magic.
In other FFA Cup results, Williamstown went down 2-1 in extra time to Casey Comets.
Alex Vlassis scored the Blues only goal.
Altona City was pummelled 4-1 away by Preston Lions.
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