Seven goals, $8 Coronas and a dominant performance by the QLD side saw Olympic FC roll into the Round 16 of the FFA Cup.
The televised Cup is my favourite time of year. Some fantastic teams get to showcase their talent on the national stage and the local cuisine is front and centre at local grounds. As one of three Olympics playing on Wednesday night in the Cup, Ben Cahn’s Olympic FC hosted Chris Coyne’s (yes, that Chris Coyne) Bayswater City SC at the ever-charming Perry Park.
As good as Perry Park is as a venue, it would have been great to see this game at Olympic’s Goodwin Park. Perry Park oozes Brisbane Strikers at every turn and it was odd not seeing them take the pitch. Sure, Strikers’ staff were running around before the match making sure everything was perfect for their guests, but the smell of gyros was definitely missing.
Playing their home game away from home seemed to make no difference to the boys in red and white. From the outset they were the dominant side and it wasn’t a matter of if they would beat Bayswater but rather, by how many goals?
Olympic had at least five attempts on goal within the first 20 mins, as Jez Lofthouse, Chris Lucas and Alex Smith ran riot with Bayswater’s defence. Very entertaining to watch the Olympic juniors behind the goal fight each other off in a bid to return the ball to the pitch after each Olympic miss shot. Olympic finally put the crowd out of their misery in the 24th minute as Lucas slotted home Smith’s cross inside the penalty box. Olympic then doubled their lead in the 35th after Lofthouse played in Lucas, who provided for Smith with a cheeky back flick inside the area.
Just as Olympic seemed to be flying there was some concern when veteran Matt Mundy came off shortly after the goal and headed straight for the bench before being replaced by Danny Driver. Not to be outdone, Bayswater soon followed with their own first half substitution following an injury concern to Ryan Pearson who was replaced by Jake Sardelic.
Things went from bad to worse for Bayswater as their captain Trent Kay chased Lucas down to the goal line but left his hand trailing when going in for the block to give a hand ball in the box. Lucas stepped up as cool as anything, smashing the pen home off the with some help from the side post in the 45th .
Half time: Olympic FC 3 – 0 Bayswater City SC
There was no letup from Olympic at the start of the second half as they came out searching for more goals. The Olympic Active Support were certainly preparing for as much as they matched along the sideline to change ends, banging their drum as they went. It seems the family next to me were prepared for this as they brought what I can only assume were noise cancelling headphones for their baby so he could sleep through the ruckus. Parenting skills I can’t help but applaud.
Olympic fans didn’t have to wait long for the next goal as Lucas bagged his hattrick in the 56th minute. Former Brisbane Strikers man Shelford Dias saw off Bayswaters’ Steve Hesketh to cut back into the box and set Lucas up from close range. Shortly after Lofthouse finally got on the scoresheet in the 59th as he sprinted down the left wing to meet Dais’ pass and slot the ball past Bayswaters’ Devon Spence to make it 5-0. Lofty has been outstanding all game and it’s crazy to think how young he is.
Bayswater finally find the back of the net not a minute later as Gordan Smith beat an onrushing Brandon Cuminao to make it 5-1 in the 60 th . Despite clawing one back you can’t help but feel that Olympic had this game wrapped up. Bayswater scored their second consolation goal in the 88th minute through Brent Griffiths’ but his celebration was as flat as his team’s performance.
When the ref blew his whistle the Olympic Active Support erupted in celebration. Is there a better active support in the Queensland NPL then these guys? Commiserations to Bayswater. They travelled a long trip out only to face a dominant Olympic FC and return home with nothing.
By Bree Reidy