Forest Green Rovers 0
North Ferriby United 1 (Reece Thompson 69)
What a superb team performance from Ferriby. There is no doubt that they deserved this win against National League top scorers Forest Green.
Manager Stvee Housham told his palyers after the game, “You’re a part-time side and olaying full-time professionals and they were the ones who looked tired at the end of the game. You’ve beaten a team with a £3,000,000 budget. I’m proud of every one of you.”
Ferriby produced a superb performance at The New Lawn. The Villagers gave as good s they got against third placed Forest Green and Reece Thompson’s second-half goal sealed a famous victory.
It may not keep Ferriby up but the team is not going to go down without a fight.
Manager Steve Housham played a 4-5-1 line-up and this helped to frustrate Rovers. The home side was often forced back or sideways as they tried to make space and create chances.
Ferriby went close after just two minutes when Ben Middleton’s goal-bound header was blocked on the six-yard line.
On-loan keeper Owen Evans made his debut and had to show his ability after just eight minutes with a superb close-range reaction save from Jake Gosling.
Rovers had a good shout for a penalty turned down on 10 minutes. Ferriby then started to have the better of the game in terms of chances although possession and territory was fairly even.
Robbie Tinkler had a shot blocked on the 18-yard line with Ryan Fallowfield putting the rebound over the bar.
On 17 minutes Fallowfield had a shot blocked on the six-yard line and Tinkler followed-up with two shots that were cleared off the line.
Reece Thompson was taken unawares when an Oliver free-kick somehow managed to reac him. Unfortunately, he could not get in a telling header.
Thompson was causing no end of problems for Rovers ‘ defence with his constant harrying, pace and control.
Rovers almost took the lead when Gosling’s shot cannoned off the post and on to Evans’ back before bouncing behind for a corner.
The second-half saw fewer chances at each end. Rovers had more attempts at goal but they were generally wayward and they did not really trouble Evans.
The Villagers back-four was organised and disciplined with Mark Gray dominant in the centre.
The midfield worked solidly both defensively and in trying to get Ferriby going forward.
Ferriby only had two attempts on goal in the half. Thompson put a header wide before scoring the winner after 69 minutes. Danny Emerton won the ball in the air on the right touchline, turned his marker and crossed to the near-post where Thompson stooped to flick home with his head.
The Villagers played the game out without too many worries.
“”We had a game plan and we kept to it. We made very few errors and matched a top side in every aspect of the game.
“I’ve talked all season about the spirit in this side and today was a great example of it. We may have little more than pride to play for but that is important. “
NFU: Owen Evans, Sam Topliss, Ryan Fallowfield (Kojo Keyi 59), Mark Gray, Taron Hare, Ben Middleton, Robbie Tinkler , Matty Dixon. Connor Oliver (Jordan Cooke 89), Reece Thompson (Sam Cosgrove 76), Danny Emerton
Subs not used: Tom Bolton, George Bell
Forest Green Rovers: Sam Russell , Curtis Tilt, Drissa Traore (Kaiyne Woolery74), Mark Ellis, Dale Bennett , Christian Doidge, Marcus Kelly (Daniel Wishart 61) Rob Sinclair, Charlie Cooper, Fabien Robert (Omar Bugiel 63), , Jake Gosling.
Subs not used: Manny Monthe, Darren Carter,