Vanarama National League North
12 March 2016
North Ferriby United 1 Stalybridge Celtic 0
NFU: Tom Denton 21
This was a scrappy game that had little in the way of entertainment. Maybe the fact that both sides were in need of a win may have played its part. As it is, Ferriby got the points and climbed to third whilst Celtic were drawn in to the relegation battle.
Ferriby totally dominated the first 25 minutes but managed only one attempt on goal. Fortunately for them, it proved to be the only goal of the game. Curtis Bateson played the ball to Wayne Brooksby on the right and his clever lob found Tome Denton who headed home form close-range.
During this time, Celtic had been limited to chasing long balls from defence and they never threatened the Ferriby goal.
Stalybridge came more in to the game but managed only a couple of weak shots to home keeper Adam Nicklin.
Celtic keeper Tony McMillan did well to take the ball off Bateson’s toes before easily taking a Danny Hone header.
Stalybridge had a sequence of four corners just before half-time but they all came to nothing as The Villagers defended strongly.
The second-half had little more to offer. Celtic were more positive than in the first-half but managed only one on-target attempt from Jack Higgins after 82 minute, a header that went straight to Nicklin.
The game was niggly at times and cried out for somebody to take it by the scruff of the neck. That never really happened.
What excitement there was came mainly in the final 15 minutes of play. But even then there was little goal threat from either side.
Ferriby were also shot shy but Liam King should have sealed the win after 84 minutes but McMillan did well to block his shot in a one-on-one. Brooksby saw a goal-bound shot locked a minute later.
McMillan was rather fortunate in the 90th minute. He almost lost the ball to Brooksby just ten yards in his own half. Had Brooksby won the challenge he would have been clean through on goal with the Celtic players many yards behind him.
Celtic almost nicked a goal in added time when Aidan Chippendale’s corner went wide off Higgins at the far post.
Ferriby deserved the win but were relieved to hear the final whistle. Some days you just have to tough it out and this was one of those days.
Ferriby manager Billy Heat commented,
“This was a great three points. We had the chances to win by more and at one-nil you always worry that the other side might find a goal and pinch a point. We defended well and they never really looked like scoring.
“With Harrogate and Nuneaton losing this has been a good day for us. There are still nine big games to come, starting with Boston next Saturday. Today has shown that you cannot always play the attractive football fans like to see but at this stage of the season it is results that count.”
NU: Adam Nicklin, Ben Middleton Josh Wilde, Liam King, Ash Palmer, Danny Hone, Nathan Hotte, Wayne Brooksby, Tom Denton, Adam Bolder (Russell Fry 58), Curtis Bateson (Danny Clarke 74),: Subs not used: Sam Topliss, Mark Gray, Ryan Kendall
Stalybridge Celtic: Anthony McMillan, Peter Wylie, Danny Wisdom, John Shaw, Jack Higgins, Aaron Chalmers, Charlie Joyce (Dannny Burns 71), Dale Wright (Oliver Crowley 45) , Chris Simm (Ben McKenna 45), Adam Farrell, Aidan Chippendale Subs not used: Alex Johnson, Matthew Hughes