Bulli and Kemblawarra Fury had their respective FFA Cup dreams cut short after both were beaten convincingly on Wednesday night.
The Fury were never in the hunt in a 5-2 loss to Hills Brumbies while Bulli battled hard but fell 3-0 to Blacktown City at Balls Paddock.
Had either team won they would have earned a spot in the Cup’s round-of-32 – a feat no Illawarra Premier League club has ever achieved.
Nevertheless, Bulli coach Matt Bailey was proud of his troops.
“It is a fantastic performance to get to this point,” he said.
“I am really proud of the boys. We have come as far as well could and unfortunately we were beaten by a better opposition on the day.”
Bulli made a nervy start to the preliminary round seven match as City controlled all the ball throughout the opening 15 minutes.
The visitors were rewarded for their dominance when James Andrew turned his defender on the 18-yard box and slotted past Yuya Kuwada.
Bulli settled into the match after the goal and should have had an equaliser on the half hour mark.
Ben McDonald got in behind the City defence before cutting the ball across to Dylan Lewis, who only needed to keep his shot down to score into an empty net.
It was 2-0 four minutes into the second half when former A-League attacker Mitch Mallia tapped in at the back post.
And the result was sealed 20 minutes from time when Mallia scored his second.
Bulli continued to toil hard in the second half, but couldn’t pierce City’s defence.
“They are a good side who are very well drilled,” Bailey said.
“Their movement off the ball was something that was hard for us to contain but we were off tonight too.
“We conceded three goals that we normally wouldn’t concede. That combined with the fact that they are a classy opposition makes it tough.”
At Russell Reserve, Hills were almost always in control after opening the scoring in the 7th minute through Wade Giovenali.
The Brumbies added three more before the half, with Nikolas Dimitriadis, Peter Cejka and Nathan Rayner all hitting the net.
Victor Anyimba made it five midway through the second half before the Fury got consolation goals from Van Elia and Shane Murray.