Box Hill United’s new-look senior men progressed to FFA Cup Round 4, following a convincing 3-1 extra-time victory over Caroline Springs George Cross.
Despite Jon McShane negating Jamie Mammino’s opener at the City Vista Recreation Reserve, experienced midfielder Nicholas Kokolakis and new arrival Stuart Edgar scored in extra-time to script a solid win.
The Con Karagiannidis-coached Box Hill side began proceedings on full throttle, as Mammino netted on three minutes after George Cross keeper Satoshi Osugi had parried Edgar’s initial effort.
Over the next half-hour spell though, the hosts looked to regain control, carving up several corners. But Box Hill held on to their fort until 33 minutes, when McShane equalised after the Georgies countered.
Box Hill’s Japanese import Junya Takabatake then missed a sitter, smashing straight at Osugi in first-half injury-time. While the Georgies’ custodian denied Edgar at his near post right before the half-time whistle.
Box Hill began bossing affairs after the restart, as Scottish midfield dynamo Scott Lochhead saw two powering strikes repelled by the opposition backline. Full-back Andrew Stubley then found his 30-yard goal-bound strike claimed by Osugi on 56 minutes.
On 74 minutes, Takabatake executed a lung-bursting run down the left wing following skipper Jordan Templin’s feed, but the former’s effort was booted off the line by a George Cross centre-back.
On their part, the hosts managed to stage a handful of hopeful efforts. But the combination of Stubley and goalkeeper Yianni Skliros kept out Rhys Saunders and McShane to keep the scoreline locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Box Hill then sprung to action in extra-time, with Kokolakis turning in the second from a corner on 94 minutes. While winger Jack Palazzolo cut in from the right with a Cristiano Ronaldo-esq dribble, only for Osugi to intervene on 105 minutes.
Moments later, Skliros produced the save of the match for Box Hill, as he tipped John Black’s 35-yard free-kick at the other end.
But Edgar sealed the deal tucking in from point-blank range on 112 minutes, after Stubley had squeezed in a cross from the right of the penalty box.
Box Hill United starting-XI: T Aresti, S Edgar, J Kamper (R McNamee, 101’), S Lochhead (S Fidele, 79’), J Mammino (N Kokolakis, 60’), A McLean, J Palazzolo, Y Skliros (GK), A Stubley, J Takabatake, J Templin (C)
Unused substitutes: B Skliros, E Yokarinis