The final round of the Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) FFA Cup Northern Conference matches are set to take place in the coming days with two huge fixtures featuring sides from North Coast Football (NCF), Football Mid North Coast (FMNC) and Football Far North Coast (FFNC).
These two important fixtures will decide who will progress to the ‘State Qualifiers’, Round 6 and 7, where they’ll meet the last six Southern Conference teams.
From each of the two matches played this week, NNSWF’s Major Partner in Education and Training, TAFE NSW will identify a TAFE NSW ‘Game Changer’ – Player of the Match.
Boambee Bombers vs. Coffs City United FC
Thursday 2 May, 6:30 pm, C.ex Coffs International Stadium
Thursday night will see defending NCF champions Boambee Bombers, hosting their fellow league-heavyweights Coffs City United, in a match which features two teams who have both come close to entering the Round of 32 in the past.
Last year, Boambee successfully progressed through the Northern Conference where they eventually went down to National Premier Leagues (NPL) NNSW side Charlestown City Blues in Round 6, while in 2017, Coffs City United went all the way to Round 7 before narrowly losing to NPL NNSW team Broadmeadow Magic.
The Bombers have been rather dominant in their quest for qualification, gaining a 4-0 and 7-1 victory, but have also had a tight match where they progressed on penalties against Port United, while for the Lions, they’ve had a bit more of a difficult run with a 3-1 an 3-2 win.
The two teams have a storied past having met in the past two Grand Finals in the C.ex Group Men’s Premier League where they’ve traded championship victories.
This season, Coffs City United sit on the top of the table but Boambee are close behind and still undefeated and when they met earlier in the year, the Bombers edged out a 4-3 victory over their rivals.
Both of these sides would have been considered two of the favourites to make it through to the State Qualifiers, but due to the luck of the draw, it only makes this match between two foes all the more exciting.
Bangalow SC vs. Kempsey Saints
Saturday 4 May, 3:00 pm, JSF (Bangalow Recreational Reserve)
The second and final fixture of the Northern Conference sees the Bangalow Bluedogs from FFNC, hosting FMNC Kempsey Saints for the last spot in the State Qualifiers.
The two teams both received a bye in Round 2 of the FFA Cup, but in the third round they smashed their opponents – Bangalow defeated Oxley Vale Attunga 6-1, while Kempsey beat Armidale City 9-0.
In Round 4 however, the Saints needed a penalty shootout to separate themselves and Goonellabah, and Bangalow scraped through with a 2-1 win over Coffs City Tigers.
For the Bluedogs, this match will prove to be the third time they’ve progressed to Round 5, and a win would see them qualify for the State Qualifiers for the first time ever, but for their opponents, it’s already a momentous occasion as the Saints had previously never made it past Round 4.
In their respective leagues, both are sitting in third place. Kempsey is still undefeated to start the season; however Bangalow have only lost one, making this match, and who will feature in Round 6 against the Southern Conference teams, almost impossible to call.