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

NFU 1 Stafford Rangers 1 (Evo Prem)

Evostik Northern Premier League Premier Division

North Ferriby United  1 Stafford Rangers 1

This was  a below-par performance by Ferriby who saw their lead at the top of the Evostik Premier Division cut to four points.

Both teams struggled to create clear chances in a stop-start game. There was not one bad challenge in the whole game but it was continually interrupted by a succession of'soft' free kicks that frustrated both sides. This made it difficult for either team to play much constructive football.

There were precious few chances in the first half. Ryan Kendall's early header under pressure went narrowly wide following a five-man move.

Sean Kinsella's deflected shot went straight to Adam Nicklin as Stafford pressed forward.

Ferriby almost opened the scoring when Anthony Wilson's low cross found Ryan Kendall at the near post. Kendall's shot was somehow scrambled off the line. Shortly after, an attempted clearance rebounded off Danny Clarke into keeper Adam Alcock's hands.

Stafford replied with two efforts from Karl Ashton but Nicklin was alert on both occasions.

Liam King gave Ferriby the lead after 34 minutes. Nathan Peat's throw-in was well- controlled by Wilson. His pass on the turn found King who  scored from 15 yards.

King almost doubled Ferriby's lead on the stroke of half-time but his 20-yard low shot was well-saved by Alcock

The second half was again short on clear goal-scoring opportunities. Ryan Williams almost doubled Ferriby's lead but Alcock dived to turn Ryan Williams' low shot round the post.

Wilson headed just wide under pressure from a defender then Alcock just beat Ryan Williams to a through-ball.

Adam Nicklin grabbed the ball as it bounced around the Ferriby area as Stafford looked for an equaliser.

The equaliser did come after 76 minutes. Sean Kinsella's corner was headed towards goal. Nicklin produced a fine save but unfortunately the ball found Christian Dacres who headed home from close range.

Ferriby almost regained the lead  after  80 minutes. Fry's corner was headed on by Gregg Anderson to Wilson whose header was clawed out from under the bar by Alcock.

Although the draw was a fair result, League leaders Ferriby will be disappointed to have dropped two points. Manager billy Heath was disappointed with the result, "We were not at iour best today. Our passing wasn't as sharp as it has been but the result was probably a fair outcome. The bright side is that we've now gone eight games unbeaten."

NFU: Adam Nicklin, Steve Gardner, Nathan Peat, Liam King (Russell Fry 68), Gregg Anderson, Paul Foot, Danny Clarke, Chris Bolder, Anthony Wilson, Ryan Kendall Ryan Williams, (Paul Robson 70)  Non-playing subs: Gary Bradshaw, , Oliver banks, Rob Moy

Stafford Rangers:Adam Alcock, Jimmy Turner, Oliver Davies, Liam Walshe, James Bolton, Christian Dacres, Peter Heler, Lee Downes (Jon Sheldon 60), Karl Ashton, Sean Kinsella, Levi Reid (Luke Bottomer 60), Non-playing subs: Ryan Brown, Alex Forde, Alex Curtis

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