FA TROPHY HOLDERS 2015 & NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH PLAY-OFF CHAMPIONS 2016

AFC Fylde 1 NFU 0 (Evo Prem)

AFC Fylde 1-0 North Ferriby United

North Ferriby came away empty-handed from their first ever trip to AFC Fylde, with a bizarre first half goal from Harry Winter the only difference between the two sides in a fraught and fairly even contest.

It all could have been very different had Ferriby succeeded in taking the lead in the open minute; Ben Hinchliffe tipped over Liam King's effort to deny the midfielder his first Ferriby goal. The opening half hour was short on chances for either side, with Fylde attempting a long ball game but frequently losing out in aerial battles with the Villagers' backline, while Ferriby tried to unlock their hosts with their usual crisp passing game but were also frustrated. It took a peculiar and rather fortuitous moment on the edge of the Ferriby box on 33 minutes to bring the game to life. A long ball into the penalty area deflected out to Winter, who extended his leg out to meet the ball in mid-air, and unwittingly guided it over a startled Adam Nicklin and into the back of the net. Ferriby nearly caught a lucky break of their own to level the scores soon afterwards, when Steve Gardner's shot cannoned off the leg of Fylde defender Phil Doughty and landed fractionally wide on Hincliffe's right hand post, and Jack Muldoon headed Russell Fry's cross narrowly over the bar before the half was out.

As in the first half, King was the first to test Hinchliffe in the second; the goalkeeper briefly looking like spilling his dipping shot from Danny Clarke's flick-on before clutching the ball to his chest. At the other end, a misplaced pass by Ferriby substitute Chris Hall gave Joe Booth chance to aim a 30-yard lob over the stranded Nicklin, but the young stopper recovered excellently to punch over the bar. The pace of striker Michael Barnes gave the Ferriby defence plenty to worry about, and the former Manchester United youngster looked set to double Fylde's advantage when he latched onto his namesake Bradley's long ball and rounded Nicklin, only for the keeper to go to ground and push his effort around the post for a corner. Having had their hopes of an opening day win dashed in added time the previous week, Ferriby very nearly snatched a point in the dying stages, Russell Fry's 25-yarder forcing the diving Hinchliffe into the best save of the match as he pushed the shot around the post just as it looked destined for the top corner. Ferriby welcome Yorkshire rivals Frickley Athletic to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday.

Man of the Match: Michael Barnes (Fylde)

Attendance: 239

Ferriby: Adam Nicklin, Steve Gardner, Nathan Peat, Liam King (Ryan Kendall, 74), Gregg Anderson, Paul Foot (c), Danny Clarke, Russell Fry, Jack Muldoon (Lee Morris, 79), Gary Bradshaw, Steve Ridley (Chris Hall, 39) Subs not used: Antoni Pecora, Mark Gray

Fylde: Ben Hinchliffe, Phil Doughty, Adam Sumner, Matty Hughes, Glenn Steel (c), Bradley Barnes, Joe Booth, Harry Winter, James Dean (Adam Farrell, 65), Michael Barnes, Jimmy McCarthy (Jack Dorney, 82) Subs not used: Danny McDonald, Adam Carden, Matty Kay

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