Demon Knights finished their FFA Cup run in Coffs Harbour on Saturday when the final eight teams in Northern NSW Football battled for the chance to represent the region.
With a trip to the next round up for grabs, Demon Knights faced a lively Byron Bay side containing some exciting international players.
The Armidale-based team managed to match it with their opponents in the opening half with neither side breaking through the other’s defence.
Demon Knights were dealt a blow at the halfway point, losing strike weapon Cal MacGregor through injury.
In the second stanza, it was all the Byron Bay side as they piled on four goals to take the match.
“We had a few chances in the first half and unfortunately we lost Cal MacGregor at halftime and he is a real handful for anyone so we made some changes,” DK coach Evan Quaife said.
“In all honesty Byron Bay are probably a better drilled team than us, they played a little bit of a different style.
“I was really proud of the fellas to be nil-all at halftime.”
Quaife said while his team didn’t progress further in the competition, it was a great learning curve to see where they have to improve.
"There was overseas players and they were too good but it was good to get into the last eight in the Northern NSW and play at an international stadium there on a lovely pitch,” he said.
“I thought we did really well, our defence had a lot to do and they did really well.
“It wasn't one-traffic by any means.”
Demon Knights resume their McDonald’s Northern Inland Premier League season this Saturday in an away match against Tamworth FC.
Quaife is hoping some of his players will have recovered from injuries picked up from the Byron Bay game.
“They are a pretty physical team, most times we've played them they have been tough to break down they pack their defence pretty well,” he said of Tamworth.
“There are a few fellas who had a couple of injuries out of that game.
“A few people went down.
“It was a shame to lose Cal in such a big game because he is such a strike player.”