Lions lift second half tempo to pull ahead of Northern Storm
A HAT trick to exciting young striker Nick Lambert and the clincher from veteran Ben Mackay were the highlights as Coffs United came back to beat Northern Storm 4-2 at the Lion's Den.
It took the home side six minutes for Lambert to get his first notch on the score card but for the rest of the first half, it was the Thunder in control.
Grant Scully slammed home the equaliser in the shadows of the break but after the sides came back, the Lions showed their real class to win with something in hand.
Northern Storm coach Jade Porter was regretful of some lost chances that could have put his men in front.
"We held our possession well in the first half and it was only a bit of clumsiness that let them in," he said.
"When we came back for the second half, we needed to pop the first goal and go on with it but ... well, who knows?
"I'm real proud of the boys for what they did.
"It's just a pity we couldn't put two good halves together."
Thunder's strike men Gum Mayak and Daniel Keam were desperately unlucky on more than one occasion and will look ruefully at United's Brent Turner for upsetting them at the last stage so often.
What sets the Lions apart, however, is their uncanny knack of changing the style and rhythm of the game whenever it suits them or the breaks start going their way.
"That's probably true but sometimes you don't want to follow certain styles, like in the first half," coach Mike Smith said.
"In the end, it's about scoring goals.
"Stopping the other side from scoring is fine but you have to get on the board yourself if you want to win and it took us a while to do that."
Smith admits he gave his men a rev-up at half time.
"They needed a bit if a kick," he grinned.
"We were a whole lot better in the second half and wanted to be."
The Lions continue to please their fans but so did Sawtell striker Luke France who bagged seven goals in the Scorpions 16-0 demolition of battling Woolgoolga.
Without checking record books, North Coast Football media director Terry Allen feels that score-line could be the biggest in about 20 years, when Yamba were in first division.
Club Coffs Premier League
Woolgoolga 2 Orara Valley 0
Northern Storm 1 Boambee 4
Urunga 1 Coffs United 2
South Services bye
Maclean 4 Orara Valley 1
Woolgoolga 0 Sawtell 16
Coffs Coast 2 Boambee 4
Coffs United 4 Northern Storm 2
Urunga 5 Westlawn 0