The Maitland Magpies have been eliminated from the 2017 FFA Cup after a narrow 1-0 defeat to the Edgeworth Eagles on Tuesday night at Speers Point.
A 28th minute goal to youngster Adam Cawley was enough to see the Eagles through to the nationwide round of 32, despite the late dismissal of defender Ayden Brice for an off the ball incident.
In the opening half, where the Eagles carved out the best chances, the Magpies had goalkeeper Matt Trott to thank for going into the break only trailing by a goal.
First, Trott saved down low from a Kieran Sanders left-foot volley which seemed destined for the bottom corner. Trott came to the rescue again in the 26th minute when he denied Daniel McBreen, as a slick passing move sliced through the Maitland defence.
However, Trott was powerless to stop the only goal of the game just two minutes later. Sanders’ cross was deflected into the path of the on-rushing Cawley, who fired his first-time, low strike through a crowd of players and into the back of the net.
It was quite the opposite in the second period, with the Magpies creating the best chances, while being denied by Eagles shot-stopper Nate Cavaliere.
Cavaliere pulled off two crucial saves early in the second half as he denied Jye Mackellar before blocking a goalbound strike from Ryan Broadley shortly afterwards.
Chances started to fall to both teams late in the match as Edgeworth went close to doubling their lead through strikes from Josh Evans and Sanders, while Matt Comerford’s powerful effort was deflected over by Ben Martin.
There would be no further goals, but there was late drama, as Eagles defender Brice was given a straight red card in the 89th minute for an altercation with young Magpies defender James Tassell after the play had progressed downfield.
Despite Maitland pushing hard for an equaliser in the dying minutes with their late numerical advantage, the Eagles hung on for a slender victory to enter the nationwide draw.
The Magpies’ next game is in the NPL at Cooks Square Park this Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm against the Newcastle Jets Youth.