FA Trophy sponsored by Carlsberg
Fourth Round Proper
North Ferriby United 1 Ebbsfleet United 0
Scorer: NFU: Liam King 86 penalty
In a tense, absorbing and thoroughly entertaining game The Villagers made Club history by reaching the FA Trophy semi-finals for the first time. A two legged semi-final now stands between them and a visit to Wembley.
Ferriby deserved this win against Conference South side Ebbsfleet United. It took a late Liam King penalty to put Ferriby through and The Villagers will face either Torquay United, FC Halifax, or Bath/Dover Athletic who will replay after a draw.
Ferriby threatened as early as the second minute when a Russell Fry free-kick evaded everybody and slid past the far post. Ebbsfleet responded with Danny Kedwell header which went straight to Ferriby keeper Adam Nicklin.
With play switching from end-to-end, Jason St Juste was blocked out for Ferriby whilst Ferriby had a bit of luck when Nicklin’s clearance bounced off Adam Cunnington. With the ball bouncing away from goal, Nicklin responded quickly to beat Cunnington to the loose ball.
The Villagers thought they had taken the lead after 11 minutes. St Juste played a through ball to King who lobbed the keeper only to find the assistant referee flagging for off-side.
Ferriby kept-up the pressure and Ebbsfleet keeper Preston Edwards did well to beat Danny Clarke to another through ball.
With Fry, King and Adam Bolder controlling the centre of the field, The Villagers had the greater possession and territory. However, it was Ebbsfleet who next came close to scoring with Kedwell bringing a full-length save from Nicklin.
With half-time approaching, Ferriby enjoyed something of a purple patch. First, Clarke put an overhead kick o to the top of the netting, then St Juste’s drive was beaten away by Edwards before Fry had a 25-yard drive blocked.
Ferriby were more in control in the second-half but it was Ebbsfleet but it was the visitors who opened brightly. A defensive mix-up saw Nicklin flick the ball on to the post before it was cleared then three minutes later Nicklin dived low to save a Kevin Langmead header.
A St Juste in-swinging corner was clawed away just inside the near post by Edwards.
Ebbsfleet replied with a thundering drive from Cunnington which hit the underside of the post and bounced out.
Ferriby had another good period with Edwards, again, just beating Clarke to the ball.
Just as Cunnington did in the first-half, Fry hit the underside of the bar with a free-kick and it took some desperate defending to deflect Clark’s rebound for a corner.
Next, St Juste made a jinking 40-yard run before picking-out King on the far side. Unfortunately, his shot found the side-netting. King was unlucky shortly after with a snap shot that went wide.
The visitors were struggling to create chances but Nicklin was called into action to save Cunnington’s header.
The game was settled after 86 minutes. A corner came in to the Ebbsfleet box and the referee blew his whistle. With everybody anticipating it would be the usual free-kick to the defence he pointed to the penalty spot and dismissed Ebbsfleet’s Kenny Clarke for elbowing Danny Hone.
Skipper Liam King strode up and calmly placed the ball low to Edwards’ right and just inside the post. It was King’s first penalty for the club and he commented, “I just fancied taking it!” He was probably the calmest person in the ground at that moment.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath commented, “I thought we made all the running. They had a spell in each half. Given last season’s quarter final defeat, we have laid a ghost today. Didn’t see the penalty incident but fair play to the referee he saw what he said was an elbow and he was brave enough to give it.
“Last night the game was in doubt but thanks to the work of the Chairman and supporters last night they got the pitch playable. That shows the spirit that exists in the club.
“The players have been buzzing since the Farnborough win in the last round and they produced a great performance today. We now need to forget the semi-final and concentrate on next week’s league match. We still have a chance to make the play-offs and we can’t lose sight of that.”
This was a tremendous team performance from Ferriby. There were few errors and the players’ commitment was total against a side that is full-time and is spending heavily on players. The Villagers kept to their game plan, Nicklin and the back four were solid throughout and the midfield controlled the tempo allowing St Juste and Clarke to create problems down both wings. Denton played tirelessly up front and proved a handful to the Ebbsfleet defence.”
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Sam Topliss, Josh Wilde (Nathan Peat 82), Liam King, Gregg Anderson (Mark Gray 14),, Danny Hone, Danny Clarke, Russ Fry, Tom Denton Adam Bolder (Ryan Kendall 79), Jason St Juste. Subs not used: Tom Nicholson, Jon D’Laryea
Ebbsfleet United: Preston Edwards, Matt Fish, Ben Jefford (Brendan Kiernan 78), Kevin Langmead, Anthony Acheampong (Dean Pooley 41), Kenny Clark, Matt Johnson, Stuart Lewis, Danny Kedwell, Adam Cunnington Theo Lewis. (Mark Gower 73) Subs not used: Brandon Hall, Sean Shields,