Kelleher bags a brace as ruthless Lions put Storm to the sword

Pic courtesy of Coffs United Facebook page

Coffs City United set sail for the C.Ex Coffs International Stadium on Saturday with a ruthless 4-0 disposal of Northern Storm.

Martin Kelleher picked up a brace while Jemila Oko and Chris Dooley found the back of the net as the Lions tuned up for the Coastal Premier League northern conference grand final.

United coach Glenn Williams was pleased with his side’s ruthless nature in the second half after they went to the sheds holding a one-goal advantage.

“The Storm probably backed off a touch so it was a hard game to play,” he said.

“It’s easier to play when a team are coming at you.”

Kelleher continued a breakout season that has seen him transform into a quality striker.

“Martin has really made that position his own because he’s not a natural striker, but he’s playing excellent and has fitted into the role,” Williams said.

“He’s hard at the ball and is a big, tall lad and he’s not a traditional striker build, but he’s doing really well.”

Williams was satisfied with another clean sheet, but was also impressed with his team’s discipline during what was ultimately a dead rubber.

“We spoke during the week about being disciplined and playing our game and not getting caught in any style of play or kick and chase so that was good for us,” he said.

“I can’t be too critical.”

Storm coach Eric McCarthy was disappointed his side gifted the Lions three of their four goals.

“The reality is if you win a game of football 4-0 you’re better, but there were three gift goals we gave them,” he said.

“4-0 didn’t really reflect the 90 minutes, but you can’t give them a three-goal head start.”

McCarthy said his teenage central defensive pairing were the Storm’s best.

“Considering it was 4-0, we had a 17 and an 18-year-old start at centre back and they were the two best on field for us; neither of them were at fault for the four goals,” he said.

The coach was confident the foundation had been laid for the team to rise even further up the CPL ladder in 2021.

“It was a bit of an anti-climax to end our season,” he said.

“But it’s a very young squad mixed in with experience so the younger ones will have another year of senior football under their belts if they are still around next year.

“There is loads to build on and we have some quality young kids coming through.

“We always looked at this year as a transition year where we had 10 remaining across both of last year’s first and reserve grade squads.”

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