The Skrill North
Saturday 26 April 2014
North Ferriby United 1 Brackley Town 1
Scorers: NFU: Danny Clarke 18
Brackley: Ryan Rowe 88
Ferriby ended their first season in the Skrill North as runners-up and will now face Guiseley in the play-off semi-final. There was initial disappointment immediately after the game but this was soon tempered by the realisation that this has been a magnificent first season for Ferriby in the Skrill North
To some extent the game was a contrast in styles. Ferriby tried to play the ball on the ground down both wings and through the middle. Brackley played more of a long-ball game utilising the pace and strength of for Steve Diggin and Stefan Moore.
Ferriby started this game brightly and forced Brackley keeper Billy Turley in to three saves in the first five minutes. First, he held on to a Liam King shot then he turned-over a Ryan Kendall shot before holding Mark Gray’s overhead kick on the line.
Brackley responded with a header from Diggin that was taken comfortably by Ferriby keeper Adam Nicklin.
Ferriby deservedly took the lead after 18 minutes when Danny Clarke was left unmarked in the goal area to head home Ryan Kendall’s cross from the right.
Neither side really settled over the next 15 minutes but Ferriby got on top again, forcing Turley to make three saves in two minutes. The pick of them was punching away Ryan Jarman’s 25-yard free-kick
With half-time approaching, Brackley played their most threatening football of the half and Nicklin also had to make three good saves to keep Ferriby in front. He blocked Mitchell austin’s shot, then saved with his feet from Stefan Moore before finally racing from his area to clear the ball ahead of the advancing Diggin and Moore.
Ferriby deserved their half-time lead. They had played the more attractive football and created more opportunities.
The second-half was a more even affair although Ferriby always carried the greater threat. There was always a risk that Brackley would score on the break.
King fired over from 20-yards before Brackley exerted some pressure. David Bridges put a free header wide of the far post following a free-kick. Shortly after Glenn Walker’s 30-yard shot dipped just over Nicklin’s bar but he seemed to have it covered.
Turley again denied Ferriby with good saves from Kendall, King and Clarke. In between, Matt Wilson made a superb tackle on Moore as the striker was getting set to shoot.
The final twenty minutes were rather edgy for Ferriby as Brackley created some pressure but could not force Nicklin to make a save. However they did grab an equaliser through substitute Ryan Rowe after 88 minutes who scored from close range following Glenn Walker’s low cross.
Ferriby will now re-group for the semi-final clashes with Guiseley. The first-leg will be at Guiseley on Wednesday with the second-leg at the Eon Visual Media Stadium next Saturday.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath commented, “I couldn’t have asked for more from the players today. They put in a good performance. What is impressive is that they knew that Telford were winning but they had the character and professionalism to take the game to Brackley. To finish as runners-up is a magnificent achievement and we still have a chance of promotion through the play-offs. The games against Guiseley will be difficult but it is a challenge we are relishing them.”
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Paul Robson, Josh Wilde (Nathan Peat 52), Liam King, Mark Gray, Matt Wilson, Danny Clarke, Russell Fry, Ryan Kendall (Lewis McMahon 83), Nathan Jarman, Danny Emerton
Subs not used: Dean Lisles, Antoni Pecora, Steve Gardner,
Brackley Town: Billy Turley, Izak Reid (Remi Clerima 72), Eddie Nisevic (Owen Story 72), Eddie Odihambo, Tom Sharpe, David Bridges, Mitchell Austin (Ryan Rowe 63), Brett Solkhon, Stefan Moore, Steve Diggin, Glenn Walker. Subs not used: Sam Sherratt, , Matthew Johnson