Lions through to state cup final
COFFS United's fairy tale State Cup run continues with a 4-0 semi-final thrashing of Barnsley Senior SC at BCU International Stadium this morning.
The win means the Lions will line up against NBN State League side Broadmeadow Magic in the NNSWF State Cup final at 2.30pm today.
Just like in Saturday's quarter final, Coffs United put its foot on the gas early and once again it paid dividends.
A marauding run from Scott Goddard in the eighth minute saw the home side take the lead.
While Ben Mackay's header from Goddard's cross was parried, Sam Mackay had plenty of time and space to line up a sniping low driven shot which hit the back of the net from 25 metres out.
Consistent pressure on the Barnsley defence lead to a second goal with five minutes to go until half time.
Striker Nick Lambert received the ball at the edge of the 18 yard box and with only one touch unleased a stinging shot into the top right corner.
With a 2-0 lead at the break confidence was high amongst the Lions camp.
"It was such a great start to the match and all the boys were buzzing in the sheds," Striker Ben Mackay said.
"We knew we had to give it everything from the outset and once again we managed to steal an early lead."
The second half brought more of the same from the lions with the home side pressuring Barnsley deep into their own half.
Much to the delight of the home fans the score doubled in the first seven minutes of the second half with goals to Will Bailey and Goddard all but ensuring the home side secured a fairytale State Cup final berth
"We kept the pressure on the all game and they were unable to keep us out," he said.
"It was a team performance and the boys deserved the result.
"We only had one change from the team that played New Lambton so we were always confident."
Adding insult to injury, Barnsley could not convert from the penalty spot in the 50th minute with Coffs keeper Josh Wiseman making a spectacular diving save to his right.
The later stages of the second half became a grind however the when the final whistle went Lions players and fans went into raptures with a historic grand final match up on the horizon.
"For the older guys in the team like me the state cup is the reason you keep playing," Mackay said.
"It is great to test yourself against the best and it's incredible to be in the final.
"Broadmeadow are a strong side and will be the favourites going into the match but if we can maintain the form we have shown so far we could be in with a chance.
"It has been an amazing cup run and hopefully we can have the perfect ending later today."
COFFS UNITED LIONS 4 (S Mackay 8' N Lambert 12' W Bailey 38' S Goddard 43') bt BARNSLEY SENIOR SC 0
Referee: Kahn Johnston
At BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour