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Saints challenge Lions before Coffs City’s class shines through

Coffs City United are faced with their best opportunity at progressing beyond the Australia Cup round of 64 after a 4-1 win over Port Saints on March 24.

Lions coach Glen Williams said they are excited about potentially hosting a home match in the next round following successive trips to Newcastle in previous seasons.

“It’s a little exciting for us because this year they changed the draw so we’ve got a chance to have a home game instead of playing two games in Newcastle on a weekend,” he said.

“The two years where we’ve won the first game on Saturday, by the Monday we’re still recovering because we’re still an amateur team.

“Some of my boys don’t mind a beer after the game so playing two games in two days against that sort of opposition really takes it out of you.”

The Lions led 1-0 at the break before the Port Macquarie side equalised soon after half-time through Mason Moore and then they had a penalty saved that could have changed the game.

Lorenzo Rigoni and Blake Townsend both scored doubles for the hosts.

Williams was impressed with what Saints offered up particularly in the first half which required a change of tactic in the sheds.

“I was impressed with them; their first half was good and you could see they came with a plan that I wasn’t ready for,” he said.

“They’re a good young side and it was a bit physical, but nothing that was bad and once they get some games under their belt they’ll be hard to beat.”

Saints coach Oliver King was pleased with how his side fared against the CPL heavyweights.

“I was happy with it to be honest. They weren’t as formidable as I expected in the first half, but once they got their noses in front they’re hard to stop,” he said.

“There were plenty of positives to take out of it … we moved the ball around pretty well and I thought our shape was pretty good.”

Saints are well placed heading into their Coastal Premier League season opener next Sunday in Bellingen.

“This is just the beginning; I know we’ve got a fair bit of growth to go,” King said.

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