Thistle spurred on in cup

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

Sasol Thistle Groove from Safa Gert Sibande region in Mpumalanga are one step away from their dream of a spot in the Nedbank Cup last 32, and the R100000 prize that goes with it.

But first the Castle Regional League campaigners will have to get past Vodacom Promotional League side FC Spurs.

The two sides meet in the Mpumalanga provincial playoffs tomorrow at Secunda Stadium.

Kickoff is at 3pm.

The winner of this encounter will join the other eight provincial champions from Safa's lower leagues whose names will all be thrown in a hat. The first two names drawn will be pitted against each other. The winner will join the remaining seven teams to make it eight in total.

The eight clubs and a further eight from the National First Division will join the 16 clubs from the Absa Premiership in the last 32.

Zakes Nhlabathi, coach and chairman of Thistle, said they believe they will do well against their experienced opponents.

"We're a very small side, operating on a shoestring budget, and the prizes at stake have buoyed the players to do well. Once we beat Spurs we will hope to be one of the seven teams that will qualify automatically to the last 32," he said.

Groove booked their place in the provincial playoffs after beating Lynnville All Stars 1-0 and Tornado FC 3-0 in Sunday's regional playoffs .