The addition of the speedy Tim Higgins to the centre of Coffs United midfield proved to be a masterstroke as the Lions raced away to an emphatic 4-1 win against highly touted opponents New Lambton in the NNSWF State Cup Semi Finals.
The addition of the speedy Tim Higgins to the centre of Coffs United midfield proved to be a masterstroke as the Lions raced away to an emphatic 4-1 win against highly touted opponents New Lambton in the NNSWF State Cup Semi Finals. Leigh Jensen/The Coffs Coast Adv

Lions march into history with win

COFFS United has put together its best performance of the season to upset New Lambton 4-1 in the quarter finals of the Northern NSW Football State Cup at BCU International Stadium.

The win sees the Lions through to the semi finals of the State Cup for the first time in the competition's three year history after narrow quarter final exits in both 2010 and 2011.

With the home crowd behind them, Coffs United simply outclassed a frustrated Eagles outfit.

Two goals in the first 15 minutes had the home side on a high and their shell shocked opposition looking for answers.

"We changed things around for this game and sacrificed size and strength in the middle for speed," Lions coach Mike smith said.

"It really paid off and as soon as we won the ball we could move it out to the wings quickly and create chance after chance.

"The New Lambton full backs could not handle the extra pressure coming their way and the extra space was what led to all our goals."

The strategic masterstroke saw Coffs United all but secure a semi final birth before the half time break when Antony Wiseman finished off a slick passing movement to claim his second goal for the game.

A moment of ill discipline from the Lions saw the visitors hit the net off the head of Peter O'Neil but it wasn't enough to dampen the spirits of the home side who took a 3-1 lead into the break.

The cold, windy and wet conditions seemed to hold the players back in the second half but luckily for United the damage had already been done.

A late goal from Nick Lambert made it two for the day from the speedy marksman as Coffs United collected a much celebrated victory.

"The boys really stood up today and took advantage of all the nervous energy they had before kickoff," Smith said.

"As soon as the first goal hit the back of the net the confidence was high and I knew we would be able to carry the momentum on for the rest of the match."

On Sunday the Lions will face off against Stockton club Barnsley Senior for a place in the State Cup final.

Kickoff is at 10am.

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