The Mariners were leading with just six minutes to go, before captain Daniel Jones and striker Boland came to the rescue.

Gully was just the second lower league team to knock out an A-League team and believed it was an indication of how far the NPL has come.

“I think it provides the fairy tale that in the end in this competition, there are players that are capable of playing at the next level,” Papas said

“At the end of the day it comes down to how many opportunities there are available and maybe gives the idea the second division somewhere down the track is important.

“There’s talented players who aren’t allowed to do this full time and it’s important coaches and players get given full time opportunities.”

The Gully coach was also impressed with the tenacity shown by his team, particularly looking second best coming out after half-time.

“It’s very easy against a professional team to drop your heads and not keep doing the things that had put us in a good position already, then at half-time losing 1-0,” he said.

“We spoke about it, staying in the game as long as possible and we believe we had the legs to keep going and also the belief and the spirit.

“We underrate the spirit of the group and this group is amazing, they’ve shown many times. We spoke about it before the game, every time we’re facing the challenge in cup competitions this year we’ve risen to the occasion every time.”

Boland’s goal will stick with him for the rest of his life and conceded it wasn’t the first time he’d tried to beat the goalkeeper from long range.

“I needed to do something, I was having a stinker in the second half," Boland said.

"First half I thought I was alright, I tried it a few times in the league this year and I came close.

“It’s good to come off on the national stage, you know. Pretty happy it came off now unlike the other times.”