Coffs United Lions came agonisingly close to knocking off one of Newcastle’s top teams in the FFA Cup on Monday, in a very tight and hard fought encounter at Speers Point.
Instead, Broadmeadow Magic progress to the Round of 32, where they could face the likes of Melbourne City or Sydney FC.
Magic won the game 3-1, though the final two goals were scored with less than 20 minutes to go, and the Lions were level with the semi-professional outfit for over an hour of football.
It’s the closest a North Coast team has come to reaching the final stages of the FFA Cup, and although they lost, Coffs will hold their heads high.
Lions coach Glen Williams said “I’m very proud of them. The boy’s played some good football, we had some great chances and if one of those had gone in it could have been a different story.”
“This is the level that these boys are aiming for, and you could see today that most of them can compete. It’s great for a team that trains two nights a week for 6 months of the year.”
Broadmeadow played the better football throughout the first half, though Coffs United had their chances. Lorenzo Rigoni was a constant threat down the wing, whilst Nick Mallet and Scott Goddard bullied Broadmeadow’s midfielders and never let them control the game.
Broadmeadow came out stronger at half time, and scored a fast goal courtesy of Shane Paul, who found the bottom right corner after some scrappy defence.
Coffs then hit back immediately with captain Scott Goddard firing a shot from 25 yards, which Magic keeper Nick Giantsopoulos could only parry into the path of Nick Lambert. ‘Choppy’ made no mistake from that distance, putting the Lions’ level just minutes after conceding.
Coffs United started to tire, and Broadmeadow took control of the game. After 70 minutes of deadlock, it took A-League quality to break the resilient Lions’ defence. James Virgili, former Newcastle Jets player, scored two goals in the final 20 minutes to put Broadmeadow through to the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.