Mackay and Whitsunday Magpies Crusaders United versus Coomera Colts at Sologinkin Oval, FFA Cup Round of 32. Lathan Dunn takes a free kick.
Mackay and Whitsunday Magpies Crusaders United versus Coomera Colts at Sologinkin Oval, FFA Cup Round of 32. Lathan Dunn takes a free kick. Aidan Cureton

Kennell: 'I nearly had a heart attack'

HIS players could well send him to an early grave, but even in the midst of his mixed emotions it was hard to wipe the smile from Henry Kennell's face.

Much like the rest of the near-800 people in the crowd at Sologinkin Oval, the Magpies Crusaders coach was left pulling his hair out in the dying stages of Magpies Crusaders' 2-1 FFA Cup win over Coomera Colts tonight.

Mackay had dominated possession and looked the better team for much of the contest, but were unable to kill off the plucky underdogs and it nearly came back to bite them.

With four minutes until the end of regulation, Colts midfielder Payden Pemberton struck to breathe life into the visitors' ailing FFA Cup fairytale.

"I nearly had a heart attack," Kennell said of the final five minutes.

"How we held off to the end was very scary stuff. To Coomera you have to take your hat off."

Even as the emotion of a Round of 16 berth sunk in, Kennell kept his coach hat on with a matter of fact outlook on the contest.

"Mixed emotions. I think we were our own worst enemies tonight. We gave them a glimpse," he said.

"Maybe I'm a hard taskmaster . . . I'm rapt we got through."

Skipper Michael Lyall, who made the early breakthrough just prior to halftime, echoed the sentiments of his coach.

"Disappointed," was Lyall's first word.

"We were losing the ball in the wrong areas. Credit to Coomera they came flying out of the blocks - they're a great team with some talent in there.

"We could have been better. We were stuck in gear on the whole game - not as good as the weekend (win over Olympic FC), I thnk we let ourselves down."

The striker suggested a combination of nerves and perhaps cockiness might have played a part.

"I was probably the worst one for it," Lyall said of the nerves.

"I left work halfway through the day and went home and tried to sleep. Everyone gets nervous, I think it's good - you're passionate, you want to win, it's good nerves.

"We'll learn from today (and) prep our bodies right for the Round of 16."



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