Urunga Raiders are through to the next round of the FFA Cup following a strong performance against Coffs United on Wednesday Night.
Urunga got the better of Coffs for the majority of the match, winning 3-0 to book a 5th Round encounter with Bangalow SC from Football Far North Coast.
The Urunga v Coffs rivalry is one that never fails to impress, and the FFA Cup Zone Final was no different, with both teams coming out fast and strong.
Urunga had more to prove following a disappointing 3-1 defeat to the Lions in the second round of the North Coast Hotel Group Premier League. Coffs dominated that match whilst Urunga never really looked on song.
With that performance in the back of their minds, the Raiders were quicker to the ball on Wednesday night and looked a completely different team.
Urunga coach Peter Snow said the defeat to Coffs made this match that much more important, and a change of structure in their defensive set-up was key to their win.
“In the first game we allowed Coffs too much room in midfield so we worked on shoring that up a little bit, and tonight we allowed them to play with the ball, and made sure we kept our shape to frustrate them. To the boys credit, they did everything I asked of them, and it worked.”
Several first half chances were squandered by Urunga before a lapse of concentration from the Coffs defence allowed Grant Holmes to head the ball home in the 38th minute.
Urunga went into the break with a 1-0 lead, though Coffs United weren’t going to go down easily. A contentious penalty was awarded to the Lions at the start of the second half, and when it looked like Scott Goddard would draw level, Urunga goalkeeper Ben Sonter made a fantastic save to keep Urunga ahead.
Sonter acknowledged the save was a key moment in the match.
“I guess the save was a turning point, if they scored it would have been 1-1 and who knows what could of happened. I knew which way he was going to go, I’d watched him against Boambee and against a few other teams so I was confident I could make the save.”
Just minutes later new recruit Tim Reprecht made a smart run down the left wing and slotted past Lions’ keeper Josh Wiseman to double the Raiders’ lead.
Ben Dooley then capped off a strong performance with a clever chip in the 79th minute. Luke France found Dooley on a counter attack, and the midfielder used his body well to create space for the shot, and then finished over Wiseman’s head from 25 yards out.
It was a performance that Urunga will remember for a long time, and one that coach Peter Snow will use in preperation for Bangalow Bluedogs SC.
“We don’t know anything about Bangalow, so we’ll work on the system that we used tonight, which seems to work nicely, and we’ll probably go in with a similar game plan.”
Coffs United Coach Glen Williams wished Urunga all the best in their next round, and admitted that on the night Urunga were the better side.