Macclesfield Town: 1 (Dave Whittaker 23 pen)
North Ferriby United: 0
Ferriby certainly deserved something from this game. They were the better side for lengthy periods. It could be argued that they should have done better as Macclesfield played for just over an hour with 10 men following the dismissal of John McCombe for a foul on Reece Thompson. However, it as not as easy to play against 10 men as many people think. In fact, Macclesfield played better after the dismissal than they did before it.
Macclesfield’s keeper, Scott Flinders, was the sponsors’ man-of-the-match and he certainly kept the home side in the game.
Ferriby started brightly and Flinders was out quickly to block Taron Hare as he bore down on goal. Shortly afterwards the keeper parried a Simon Russell 25-yarder. Ferriby continued to have the better of the game without seriously threatening the Macclesfield goal.
The game was turned on its head after 23 minutes when Town scored the only goal, very much against the run-of-play. Mark gray was adjudged to have fouled Danny Rowe in the area. It seemed a perfectly fair challenge but the referee pointed to the spot. Dave Whittaker sent Rory Watson the wrong way to score.
The sending off of McCombe after 26 minutes did The Villagers no favours in some respects. Macclesfield had to re-group and re-organise and made life difficult by closing down Ferriby.
Even so, The Villagers were unfortunate with Flinders producing another good save from Connor Oliver.
Macclesfield were largely dependent on the pace of Rowe and Mitch Hancox down the wings. Whittaker did a lot of good work in midfield but Ferriby were strong at the back. Mark gray and Jake Skelton were solid at the centre of defence throughout the game and missed very little in the air.
Simon Russell gave another terrier-like performance in midfield, prompting a number of attacks
The Villagers made a slow start to the second-half and this obviously helped Macclesfield. Rory Watson tipped over a shot from Whittaker and The Silkmen saw another couple of efforts go wide.
Ferriby gradually played themselves back in the game and forced Macclesfield back and in to some hurried defending at times.
Oliver drew another fine save from flinders before debutant Kyle Wootton curled a shot on to the bar with Flinders beaten. That reall summed up Ferriby’s fortune.
Ferriby continued to press with Danny Emerton and Thompson putting shots wide.
The Villagers can take heart from this performance against one of the division’s top sides. Ferriby are generally doing little wrong at the moment. They are creating chances and, mostly, defending well. In a division whre margins are so narrow, a change in fortune could still see The Villagers climb the table. The next opportunity is against Chester at The Eon Visual Media Stadium on Tuesday evening
Manager Steve Housham commented,
“I couldn’t fault the effort from the players. There were a lot of positives from the game. We created more chances and had more corners. There keeper made some good saves and Kyle [Wootton) hit the bar.
“W need to hold the ball more in midfield. We were a bit sloppy at the start of the second-half but got back in to the game.
“A couple of goals and points will make all the difference. Once again, we’ve played one of the top clubs and put in a good performance for no reward.”
NFU: Rory Watson; Sam Topliss, Mark Gray, Ben Middleton (Danny Emerton 45) Jake Skelton (Vinny Mukendi 78), Taron Hare, Connor Oliver, Simon Russell , Ryan Fallowfield (Conner Robinson 67), Kyle Wootton, Reece Thompson Subs not used: Ross Armstrong, Ryan Kendall,
Macclesfield Town: Scott Flinders, Andy Halls, Neill Byrne, George Pilkington, John McCombe, Chris Holroyd, Danny Rowe (Paul Lewis 90+3), Kingsley James, Ollie Norburn, Mitch Hancox, Danny Whitaker (Jack Sampson 90).
Subs not used: Craig Ross, JackMackreth, Chris Sutherland