Billy Bly Memorial Trophy
North Ferriby United 1 Hull City 1
Mark Gray 79 Shane Long 51p
Ferriby surprised their Premier League neighbours to earn a draw that nobody could really begrudge them. It was to be expected that City would have the greater possession and create more scoring opportunities but Ferriby gave an organised, disciplined, determined and skilful performance.
The game was an entertaining affair played in hot and humid conditions with, perhaps surprisingly, the second-half seeming to be played at a faster tempo than the first.
City certainly enjoyed the better of the first-half in terms of possession and they created the best opportunities. However, the half remained goalless. Ferriby hassled and harried City in midfield and The Tigers found it hard to break past a solid Ferriby defensive line.
Jake Livermore was at the heart of many of City’s attacks but they lacked a good final ball on too many occasions.
Ferriby’s defensive discipline was so good that City were frequently caught off-side as forwards failed to time runs.
City did have the first chance after four minutes . Shane Long, who had a fine game until his late substitution, broke down the right to feed Sone Aluko who fired wide from the edge of the area. Shortly afterwards, Gregg Anderson made a good defensive header to clear a dangerous cross from Long.
Ferriby attacked when they had the opportunity. Russ Fry and JonD’Laryea created a number of promising attacks and frontman Tom Denton created problems with his height and heading ability. Danny Emerton headed over , as did Liam King but City keeper Allan McGregor was not seriously threatened.
Tom Ince finally managed to breach the Ferriby defence but he shot somewhat tamely at home keeper Adam Nicklin. The keeper made two good saves from headers by Long and Curtis Davies as half-time approached.
The second-half opened with a flurry of action as both sides pressed forward. Long’s 20 yard drive was saved by Nicklin but the striker was on the score-sheet after 51 minutes. Gregg Anderson fouled Long in the area and Long picked himself to stroke home the penalty.
Two minutes later Ferriby had the opportunity to equalise. Tom Denton was fouled by Davies. However, Nathan Jarman hit the penalty just past McGregor’s top left corner to keep City in the lead.
A minute later Robert Snodgrass almost doubled City’s lead but he fired over. Just as in the first-half, City enjoyed the greater possession and the better scoring opportunities but their finishing was certainly not what manager Steve Bruce would have expected.
Ferriby’s approach play was often skilful but chances were hard to come by with Dean Lisles shooting wide from one opportunity.
Long’s run down the left saw him fire the ball across the goal but somehow Livermore faled to make contact at the far post.
City were left to rue their missed chances. In the 79th minute Jamie Yates’ corner was headed down and over the line by Mark Gray at the far post, the goal being signalled by the assistant referee who was perfectly placed.
This spurred City into a final effort and Ferriby were grateful to substitute keeper Antoni Pecoa who made a great save with his legs from Ince.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath made full use of his squad with many substitutions in the second-half. This can often be risky but such is Ferriby’s training ground work that the system that Heath had set-up never lost its organisation and discipline.
City should, on balance, have won the game but there is no doubt that Ferriby deserved the draw in the end due to their ability and organisation.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath commented, “I’m absolutely ecstatic. W kept our shape and I’ve told the players that they were magnificent. We kept the game tight and squeezed City. Up front, Tom Denton caused City’s centre-halves a lot of problems. We changed our formation in the second-half and we will be more flexible this season.”
NFU: Adam Nicklin (Antoni Pecora 76), Dean Lisles (Louis Bruce 76), Josh Wilde (Matt Kingston 83), Jon D’Laryea (Liam King 62), Matty Wilson (Danny Hone 65), Gregg Anderson (Mark Gray 67), Danny Emerton (Jamie Yates 69), Russ Fry,Tom DentonCorner (Tom Corner 67), Nathan Jarman (Tim Taylor 76), Liam King (Dan Clayton 45)
Hull City: Allan McGregor, Liam rosenior, Conor Townsend, Jake Livermore, James Chester, Curtis Davies, Robert Snodgrass Matty Dixon 90), Stephen Quinn, Shane Long (Johan Ter Horst 84), Sone Aluko, Tom Ince. Subs not used: Mark oxley, Ben Clappison, Max Clark