COFFS United had goalkeeper Josh Wiseman to thank for an excellent display between the sticks as a new football season got under way on Saturday.
Wiseman pulled off a string of fine saves to deny the visiting Great Lakes as United won a dramatic penalty shoot-out in the opening round of the Solo Cup.
Coffs went ahead against the run of play before the visitors levelled just after the break and two further goals from each side saw the game end level at 2-2 after 90 minutes. Wiseman then made two great penalty saves as United got home 4-3 on the shoot-out. The relief was clear for all to see as Coffs showed there is plenty more work needed if they are to dominate North Coast football in 2010.
The Solo Cup also saw success for some other North Coast sides on the opening day of the new season. Woolgoolga had a comfortable 4-0 win over Old Bar on their travels and Sawtell saw off a poor Bulahdelah side 7-1. Urunga and Northern Storm can consider themselves unlucky going out on penalties after finishing their games level.
The Raiders drew 1-1 with a tough Macleay Valley side before losing 7-6 on penalties and the Storm also finished 1-1, against Tamworth, eventually losing 6-5 in another heartbreaking penalty decider.
In State Youth League action, there was mixed results for North Coast sides.
The all-conquering 15s side, who last week won through to the Australian finals of the Nike Cup, went down 3-1 to Mid-North Coast and the under-16 girls team also lost to Mid-North Coast 5-4.
The under-13s and 14s both had good wins, 3-2 and 6-1 respectively.
Solo Cup Round 1: Coffs Utd 2 Great Lakes 2 ( 4-3 pens), Urunga 1 Macleay Valley 1 (6-7 pens), Maclean 4 Taree 3, Bulahdelah 1 Sawtell 7, Old Bar 0 Woolgoolga 4, Tamworth 1 Northern Storm 1 (5-6 pens) State Youth League:
Under 13s 3 Mid-North Coast 2, Under 14s 6 Mid-North Coast 1, Under 15s 1 Mid-North Coast 3, Under 16 Girls 4 Mid-North Coast 5.