Tigers pounce into the fourth round of the FFA Cup with a 7-2 win over the Nambucca Strikers Coffs Coast Sport News Of The Area by News Of The Area - Modern Media - March 25, 2021 The torrential rain made possession football challenging for both teams. THE Coffs Coast Tigers pounced into the fourth round of the FFA Cup as three quick second half goals laid rest to any dreams of a cup upset from a spirited Nambucca Strikers. The magic of the FFA cup allows teams from different leagues to compete and many pundits thought the Coastal Premier League Tigers would overpower the Strikers from the opening whistle. However, it was the spirited Strikers who laid down the gauntlet when Riley Hayden opened the scoring after eight minutes to provide hope to the Strikers in wet conditions at Coronation Park. The torrential rain and boggy pitch hampered the Tigers passing game, but classy finishes from Nicholas O’Mullane and James Palmer gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead at half time. The Tigers added to their tally shortly after the break but when Strikers centre forward Cameron Malloy nodded the ball home after 61 minutes it provided a glimmer of hope for the plucky Strikers. Any dreams of a fairytale comeback were firmly put to bed as the Tigers exploited the space left by the tiring Strikers and pounced with three goals in quick succession in a game enjoyed by both sets of supporters. The Tigers added to their tally in the final minutes to secure a 7-2 victory and a ticket into the fourth round of the FFA Cup. Nambucca Strikers Club President Jenna Welsh was encouraged by the performance of the spirited Strikers. “The first match of the season for North Coast Football and 8 minutes into the match the Nambucca Strikers scored the first goal for the season,” declared Welsh. “Wet and slippery conditions and a never give up attitude, in the final minute of the game saw Ollie Walsh back up his goalkeeper to save a last minute goal. “A game played in great spirits and it’s extremely encouraging to see how the 2021 season will unfold for our strikers men with their level of commitment and teamwork,” said Welsh. Tigers club president Mellessa Bennett praised the fighting spirit of the Strikers. “It is never easy playing matches in wet and slippery conditions, however we are happy with the result and excited to progress to the next round. “Nambucca played some good football and definitely kept us on our toes, they never gave up, full credit to the Nambucca goalkeeper, he had a fantastic game and made some remarkable saves,” said Bennett. The weather has wreaked havoc for all clubs on the east coast. “As for the season ahead, it’s been a difficult start for all clubs with the persistent rain, however our coach has been working on strength and conditioning training, and ball work when we manage to get outdoors. “We are happy with how the team is progressing, we have high numbers at training and all the boys have a positive attitude. “Coffs Coast Tigers are looking forward to getting back on the pitch and a full season of CPL in 2021,” concluded Bennett. By David WIGLEY Somchai Tha for the Tigers turning defence into attack. A team performance from the Tigers as O’Mullane thanks Somchai Tha for the assist. A towering header from Cameron Malloy in the 61st minute to put the score at 3-2. Zac Baldwin, Cameron Malloy, Riley Hayden and Grant Martin celebrate as the Strikers close the gap to 3-2 and hope for a comeback. Dakoda Bennett with a nutmeg as Tigers dominated possession in the last 25 minutes. Nicholas O’Mullane pounces for the Tigers. The spirited Strikers bench cheered on the team until the final whistle, with Ben Mander, Sarah Mander, Brandon Gregory, and club president Jenna Welsh.