Goulburn Valley Suns comfortably strode through to the fifth round of the FFA Cup on Saturday, but not without an early hiccup.
State League Four Northern Falcons were always unlikely to match the Suns for quality, but levelled the score at 1-1 15 minutes in as Yasin Abdulahi got on the end of a long ball.
But outside the early magic moment, it was one-way traffic flowing the way of the boys in orange, who ran out comprehensive 6-1 winners.
After making seven changes to the side that lost to Box Hill United in the National Premier League Two the week before, the Suns wasted little time showing their strength as Jordan Barrow buried a long bomb inside the opening three minutes.
And after Abdulahi had equalised, the Suns shone again two minutes later through captain Cody Sellwood who restored his side’s lead.
The gulf in class was clear to see, but the Falcons’ defensive tactics shut the Suns out until Sellwood doubled up seconds before half-time for a 3-1 lead.
GV coach Craig Carley said the two-goal gap had been crucial in breaking the opposition’s heart.
‘‘They came to try and frustrate us as much as they could,’’ Carley said.
‘‘They wanted to play on the counter, and really tried to hit their right winger who had quite a bit of pace. That’s how they ended up scoring, with a ball over the top.
‘‘But full credit to our boys, they really focused throughout and scored at crucial times in the game to put the game to bed.
‘‘Scoring that third goal on the stroke of half-time would have been pretty deflating.’’
The Suns would score three second-half goals, Billy Marshall making it 4-1 with a free kick before substitute Carley made it five.
And debutant Fraser Gosstray made it a first game to remember, coming on in the second half and marking the occasion with his side’s sixth.
Carley said the confident display was especially pleasing given the squad rotation he had been able to carry out.
‘‘The boys went out and put in a very professional performance,’’ he said.
‘‘Obviously only four guys from the weekend before started, so it was really encouraging to see the other boys who are knocking on that door for first-team selection really go out there and impress.
‘‘Cody (Sellwood) is our club captain, but he really needed the minutes. He tore his groin and missed five or six weeks, so it was great to get 90 minutes into him.
‘‘I thought Robbie Rimmer was fantastic in the back line as was Zac Balaburov on the right side of defence and it was also good to see Alou (Kuol) and Fraser out there, and to see Fraser score a goal and do well.’’
The fifth round draw will be at 1pm today with the Suns in the state’s last 32 teams.
‘‘(The FFA Cup) brings exposure to the club and the region and hopefully we can go a few more rounds,’’ Carley said. ‘‘Ideally we’d love to make the national stage of 32 teams, but it’s one game at a time for us.’’