Don't laugh too hard at Central Coast Mariners.
That's the message from ex-clubman Nick Fitzgerald, who says any A-League players taking National Premier League (NPL) opponents lightly could be the ones to look stupid next.
Victorian NPL side Green Gully turfed Central Coast out of the competition on Tuesday night with a 2-1 triumph sealed in second-half injury time.
Fitzgerald's former teammate Liam Reddy joined a chorus of rival A-League fans to make fun of the Mariners on Twitter, posting "No upsets tonight... " in a dig at their permanent underdog status.
At the same time on Tuesday night, Fitzgerald and his Melbourne City teammates squeaked past Floreat Athena - on their FFA Cup round of 21 debut - winning 2-1 at Dorrien Gardens in Perth.
For more than a moment, Fitzgerald said he saw Central Coast's fate unfolding for City.
"That could have been us tonight," he told AAP.
"We didn't really take our chances and they pinched a goal on the break.
"People underestimate the quality of NPL opposition but we didn't tonight.
"Teams like Green Gully, they take it very seriously. But so do we.
"We got there in the end. Job done."
City were certainly the dominant side in Perth, scoring first through Fitzgerald and taking a 1-0 lead into half-time.
Floreat's Chris Gate scrambled home a counter-attack to put the West Australians on terms before Anthony Caceres' cracker won it for City.
On the balance of play, City might have bettered their final scoreline but Fitzgerald was happy to get through in a competition in which the club aims to better last year's semi-final result.
John van `t Schip gave four players their first competitive game for City - Bruce Kamau, Manny Muscat, Luke Brattan and substitute Fernando Brandan.
Fitzgerald said they'd all be better for the run and would each improve in their round of 16 appearance later this month.
"It's all about trying to get players gelling," he said.
"We'll be a lot fitter by the next game. To get the result against a quality opposition is a great start."
Fitzgerald nominated Brattan - who impressed with his range of passing - as one City fans would quickly take to this season.
"His quality has shown in the short time he's been here and he'll be one to watch out for this year," he said.