Evostik Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hednesford Town 2 North Ferriby United 3
A superb all-round team performance saw Ferriby go nine points clear with this 3-2 win at second-place Hednesford Town.
The Villagers played some very controlled football on a heavy pitch. Hednesford were forced to play long balls as Ferriby's midfield closed down the home side's attacks time after time. Ferriby's defence dealt well with repeated high balls launched in to the box.
Strikers Anthony Wilson and Ryan Kendall proved a handful all afternoon as they hassled the defenders who often had to resort to playing the ball back towards their own goal.
Ferriby got off to a bright and positive start. Wilson went close after just two minutes when he burst through the back line only to his lob over keeper Dan Crane went narrowly wide.
The Villagers took the lead after eight minutes. A move down the right saw Danny Clarke release Wilson and his low cross was met at the far post by Kendall who scored from close range.
The rest of the first-half was an open contest but clear chances were few and far between.
Wilson saw his flick shot saved following Russell Fry's cross. Ryan Williams saw a 20-yard drive saved then Crane needed two attempts to save another Williams' shot.
Hednesford had their moments. Neil Harvey saw his header land on top of the bar although Ferriby keeper Adam Nicklin had it covered. Nathan Woolfe saw a shot deflected for a corner the Francino Francis saw a header go over.
Ferriby opened the second-half in similar fashion to the first-half. Chris Bolder had an 18-yard drive blocked as Ferriby pressed from the start.
The deserved second goal came after 52 minutes. Ryan Williams' deep cross to the far post saw Williams rise unchallenged to head firmly home.
Ferriby seemed to be in control but allowed Hednesford back into the game when Havey scored following a mix-up between Nicklin and Gregg Anderson.
This lifted Hednesford but they were still hard-pressed to create any real chances as Ferriby dominated the midfield battle. Hednesford reallonly had rwo opportunities. it needed a brilliant one-handed save from Nicklin to prevent Woolfe equalising. Skipper Paul Foot then headed a goal-bound shot over the bar
The third goal came after 79 minutes. Wilson was played-in down her right and he outpaced Francis before cutting-in and fired a low angled shot in to the far corner.
This should have killed-off the game but Hednesford were given some hope in the 87th minute when Elliott Durrell scored from the spot following Chris Bolder's challenge on Aaron Rey.
Hednesford threw everything at Ferriby in the closing minutes but The Villagers' defence held firm.
The nine point lead now puts Ferriby back in control of their own fate. One thing is for certain, Manager Billy Heath will not allow his team to become complacent. He commented, "This was a superb performance. They were probably fortunate to actually score twice. We are back in control of our own fate. However, there are no easy games in this division and the closing weeks are certain to have their twists and turns. We need to focus on our own games and performances and not worry about what other teams are doing."
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Paul Robson, Nathan Peat, Liam King (Chris Bolder 41), Gregg Anderson, Paul Foot, Danny Clarke , Russell Fry, Anthony Wilson, Ryan Kendall (Gary Bradshaw 90), Ryan Williams (Steve Ridley 70). Non-playing subs:Robert Youhill, Antoni Pecora
Hednesford Town: Dan Crane, John Disney, Kris Taylor, Ben Bailey, Francino Francis, Dave MacPherson (Kyle Patterson 76) Alex Melbourne, Elliott Durrell, Neil Harvey (Michael Lennon 70), Aaron Rey, Nathan Woolfe Non-playing subs: Sam Barnes, Asa Wright, Jordan Fincher
Scorers: North Ferriby: R Kendall 8; A Wilson 52, 79
Hednesford Town:N Harvey 60; E Durrell 87p;