Newcastle Olympic coach Joel Griffiths was thrilled with the response and hunger of his side as they moved within reach of a first round-of-32 spot in the FFA Cup with a 1-0 upset of NPL leaders Lambton Jaffas.
Backing up from a 2-0 NPL loss to second-last Adamstown, Olympic met the Jaffas in the last of four round six qualifiers in the NNSW section of the nationwide knockout at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Saturday.
A header from Jed Hornery put Olympic ahead midway through the first half and they held on to set up a clash with Coffs City on Monday at the same venue from 1.30pm. Coffs City earlier upset NPL club Lake Macquarie City 5-4 on penalties after scores were locked at 2-2 at fulltime and 3-3 after extra-time.
Broadmeadow host Weston, at a time to be decided, in the other clash to determine which two teams make the round of 32 main draw from NNSW.
Griffiths said it was an important game for the club and he may stick with the same side, despite Olympic's derby clash with Magic looming in the NPL on Saturday.
"They definitely responded from the Adamstown disappointment," Griffiths said.
"I just felt that we were hungrier. We had a few good chances in the first half to go further in front, but BK [Ben Kennedy] made some good saves.
"The boys were tremendous. I thought we definitely had the majority of the chances. We always looked dangerous going forward and that was probably the biggest thing I was pleased about.
"The boys were up for it. They just wanted to prove something to myself."
NPL side Weston started the day with a 1-0 victory over second-tier Belmont Swansea. Jarryd Sutherland scored in the ninth minute with a corner kick that eluded both sides.
Bears assistant coach Anthony Richards said his side were "comfortable with possession without creating a lot of clear-cut chances. It was a game of chess and they were dangerous at set pieces".
"They were hard to break down and they had a few chances through the game as well," Richards said. "The better teams in that comp, they more than hold their own [against NPL teams]. It was always going to be tough, but to our credit, we were able to keep a clean sheet."
Richards said Cooper Buswell made his first appearance of the year after overcoming a knee injury. Suspended keeper Scott Carter and the rested Tom Duggan and Marcus Duncan could return for the clash with Magic, who beat Mid North Coast's Port United 8-0. Mitch Rooke and Sam Walker scored hat-tricks. Jeremy Wilson and Jake Harris got Magic's other goals.
In the most exciting clash of the day, Coffs led on 25 minutes through Jamila Oke. Lakes equalised via Shukurani Sunzu early in the second half, then went ahead thanks to John Majurovski.
Martin Kelleher levelled with four minutes to go for Coffs, who led through Chris Dooley early in second-half extra-time. Carter Smith sent the game to a shootout deep in stoppage time. Nick Charlesworth missed his penalty to open the door for Coffs.