Chester FC 3
Kane Richards 52; James Alabi 54 pen, 88
North Ferriby United 0
This was another competent performance by Ferriby and the scoreline was a little harsh.
The game was played on a frosty pitch and both sets of players played rather gingerly at times as if they did not trust their footing.
After the opening 10 minutes the first-half was fairly even. There was little to excite the fans as both sides struggled to create chances. In fact, it was The Villagers who had the only on-shot target of the half in stoppage time. Sam Topliss had two on-target shots blocked.
Both sides struggled with their passing game throughout the half and too many attacks broke down.
Chester thought they had scored after 18 minutes when a low cross was deflected towards the line only for Ben Middleton to clear.
James Alabi pushed the ball wide in a one-on-one with Rory Watson.
Alabi, Kane Richards and Craig Mahon caused problems throughout the game with their pace but were generally controlled well by The Villagers’ defence.
Ferriby were undon3 by two goals in two minutes early in the second-half.
On 50 minutes, Alabi broke down the left and somehow Richards managed to force the ball home from a narrow angle.
Two minutes later Alabi burst in to the area. He lost control of the ball as he rounded Watson going well away from goal. He caught Watson’s outstretched arm and the referee gave a penalty. Alabi hammered home from the spot.
Reece Thompson and Ryan Fallowfield both drew diving saves from keeper with Ryan Kendall ready to pounce had the keeper spilled the ball.
After those attempts, Ferriby offered little in the way of threat as Chester regularly threatened.
Richards saw Watson make a good save to turn a shot round the post. Steve Brogan then cleared off the line and Watson easily collected a header from Blaine Hudson.
Richards had a shot deflected for a corner and Watson raced out of his goal to deny Alabi.
The third goal came after 88 minutes when Alabi broke through to score with a powerful shot.
The largest cheer of the night was reserved for Ferriby’s Assistant manager Darryn Stamp who came on as a substitute against one of his former clubs.
Overall, Ferriby defended well apart from that spell after half-timebut they were undone by a team that had pace and strength. Once again it was a reasonable performance but the lack of goals highlighted why The Villagers continue to struggle for points.
Manager Steve Housham commented,
“We gave as good as we got in the first-half. We had the frustrated and told the boys we needed to start the second-half well. But we gave one of our worst defensive spells for a long time and got punished.
“It was disappointing to lose by conceding goals in the way we did.
“On the plus side we have players coming back from injury and suspension and that gives us more options for the Gateshead game on Saturday.”
NFU: Rory Watson; Sam Topliss, Taron Hare, Steve Brogan, Ben Middleton, Mark Gray, Ross Armstrong, (Reece Thompson 59), Levi Sutton, Ryan Kendall, Danny Emerton(Darryn Stamp 81)
Subs not used: Jordan Cooke, Jake Skelton, Jordan Douglas
Chester FC: Alex Lynch, Sam Hughes,Blaine Hudson, Ryan Astles, Johnny Hunt, Tom Shaw, Ryan Lloyd, Elliott Durrell (Jordan Chappell 76), Craig Mahon (Wade Joyce 82), Kane Richards (Willl Marsh 86), James Alabi ,, James Akintunde, (66)
Subs not used:) Luke George, matty Waters