Coffs steals last minute draw
COFFS United has stolen a 1-1 draw from the clutches of defeat in a physical and at times very controversial clash with Urunga at McLean St.
A Nathan Silvy goal with three minutes to go was enough to secure a point for the home side only moments after Urunga's Alan Snow had given the visitors the lead.
It was a game which had more twists and turns than a Hitchcock film combined with two teams who clearly didn't like one another.
The first half was an out and out arm wrestle with neither side willing to give an inch as physical challenges came thick and fast.
Gale force winds made passing difficult and limited goal scoring chances with the Lions and Raiders going to the break still deadlocked at 0-0.
While the start of the second half saw more of an impetus on attack the fear of conceding held both teams back.
It was Urunga who were the first to really break free of the shackles pushing forward with quick counter attacks yet lacked the finishing to truly capitalise.
Tensions continued to rise as the half progressed with more than a few challenges going for a bit more than the ball.
Finally referee Bruce Mackie made his mark on the game sending the Raider's Arlen Horton from the field for his second yellow card following a questionable challenge.
In the blink of an eye the unlikely happened when Urunga pounced with a slick counter attack for snow to score despite being down to 10 men.
While holding onto a narrow lead Urunga went down to 9 players when Frankie La Sparda was sent off for a professional foul on Sam Mackay of Coffs United.
With the two player advantage it didn't take long for the home team to equalise with Silvy hitting the net from the edge of the 18 yard box.
Coffs United were robbed of an opportunity to win the match in the final minute when Silvy was blatantly pulled to the ground by the Urunga keeper.
Despite his linesman flagging the incident and a stoppage in play, Referee Mackie waved the penalty claim away before calling fulltime seconds later.
Lions captain Scott Goddard was proud of the way his players lifted when the game seemed all but lost.
"It was a physical match and the boys kept fighting all the way to the end," Goddard said.
"We have been in these situations before and it's a credit to the team that we have taken a point from the game."