FA TROPHY HOLDERS 2015 & NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH PLAY-OFF CHAMPIONS 2016

NFU 1 Harrogate Town 0 (VCN)

Vanarama Conference North

North Ferriby United 1 Harrogate Town 0
Scorer: NFU: Tom Denton 73

This win increased Ferriby’s lead to three points at the top of the Vanarama Conference North. It was a game of two halves to some extent as there was a strong wind blowing from east to west throughout the game. Overall, it was Ferriby who made better use of the conditions and they deserved their win in a hard-fought game.

Playing with the wind, Harrogate had slightly the better chances in a scrappy a scrappy first-half. Harrogate played a largely long-ball game with Jonathan Margetts and Jamie Walshaw as their target men.

In contrast, Ferriby varied their approach with long balls aimed at Tom Denton being mixed with ground play mainly through Danny Emerton on the right.

After just two minutes, Margetts found himself in space and should have put Harrogate ahead but his shot was very well saved by Ferriby keeper Adam Nicklin.

Ferriby responded with a low Emerton cross that was clawed away by Town keeper Phil Barnes ahead of the in-rushing Tom Denton. Immediately afterwards, Nathan Jarman fired wide from eight 18 yards.

After 10 minutes Walshaw drew a fine low save from Nicklin who tipped the ball round for a corner.

The half was punctuated with free-kicks and this did nothing for the flow of the game. Both sides found it difficult to create clear goal-scoring opportunities and neither keeper was seriously troubled for most of the half. Harrogate’s Lloyd Kerry saw a back-header go straight to Nicklin before Liam King shot over the bar at the other end.

Jon D’laryea forced a good diving save from Phil Barnes after 38 minutes who then did well to take a low Danny Emerton cross with Ferriby players surging in to meet the ball.

The second-half saw Ferriby virtually dominate the game. The Villagers ignored the wind and almost every attack came through low passing football. This allowed Ferriby to control the tempo and rhythm to the extent that Harrogate had only one goal-bound attempt. Walshaw did well under pressure to turn and shoot but Nicklin comfortably held the ball.

Either side of this, Ferriby created a number of scoring opportunities. Mark gray headed just over from an Emerton corner. Then Barnes did well to block Nathan Jarman’s shot as the striker was played through by D’Laryea. Dento was denied by a last-ditch block by Matt Heath but the striker could not be denied in the end. He fired home Nathan Peat’s precise cross to the far post after 73 minutes. As the game closed, Peat and Emerton, again, went close.

This was another disciplined performance by Ferriby who have the ability to pressure sides in midfield. This breaks-up opponents moves and provides a launch-pad for Ferriby’s own attacks. Once again, the defence produced another solid performance.

Ferriby manager Billy Heath commented, “It was a solid performance. The weather spoilt the gam and it was not very  pretty to watch. It was more a war of attrition. In games like this we have got to make sure we win and that’s what we did. It’s been a great week-end. It is always difficult for the players with so many games so many games close together. Despite the result so far, we will not be getting carried away. There are lots of difficult games to come but we’re obviously pleased with the way we have started.”                                                             

NFU: Adam Nicklin, Danny Hone, Nathan Peat, Liam King, Matt Wilson, Mark Gray, Danny Emerton, Jon D’Laryea Tom Denton, Nathan Jarman, Russ Fry.  Subs not used: Tom Corner,  Josh Wilde, Antoni Pecora, Adam Bolder, Jamie Yates  

Harrogate Town: Phil Barnes, Lewis Turner (Dominic Rowe 5), Rhys Meynell, Natt Bloomer, Matt Heath, Dave McGurk, Lloyd Kerry, Simon Lenighan, Jonathan Margetts (Leigh Franks 89), James Walshaw, Louis Swain (Jack Emmett 76). Subs not used: Peter Crook, Craig Nelthorpe,

On Wednesday, The Villagers play Ossett Albion at the Eon Visual Media Stadium. This game is a friendly and Billy Heath will use the game to give game time to his players who have not seen much, or any action so far. The game kicks-off at 7.30pm and admission is free. The Sports bar will be open but there will be no catering.

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