Cardiff City officials and players are walking a few inches taller this week after claiming the biggest upset in the short history of the FFA Cup in Northern NSW.
The Tigers, who are mid-table in the third-tier Zone Premier League, beat sixth-placed National Premier League side Lake Macquarie 2-1 at Macquarie Field on Wednesday night.
It is the first time a Zone league club has knocked out a top-tier Northern NSW club since the FFA Cup began four years ago.
Ethan Reay and Mun-Nee Morgan scored for the Rob Askew-coached Tigers before half-time after Tom Sparre had given the home side the lead.
The Tigers, whose history dates back more than 100 years, reformed 20 years ago after a long hiatus.
“To beat an NPL club, the boys are stoked. Anything can happen on the day if a team’s up for it,” club president Chad Lane said.
“In the second half we started to feel the legs a little bit, but the boys just played quite well and hung on.
“A lot of things happen in pre-season in trial matches. Teams will tinker with their line-ups and you might get a few results that are out of the ordinary.
“But to beat a side that’s just outside the four, the boys are absolutely rapt, and good on them. Everyone in the club’s ecstatic.”
Cardiff City will join NPL clubs Edgeworth, Valentine, Maitland, Broadmeadow and Lambton as the six southern pool representatives in the eight-team Northern NSW finals on the June long weekend.
The top two progress to the round of 32, when A-League clubs enter the competition.
“If we get one of the big boys like Jaffas or Edgeworth, I think the boys won’t take a backward step and they’ll give it their all and enjoy it for what it is,” Lane said.