North Ferriby United 1
Marg Gray 12
Tranmere Rovers 4
Jay Harris 22, 45+1, 90+4; Jeff Hughes 60
The scoreline was harsh on The Villagers who put in a much better performance than last Saturday.
Tranmere were made to work hard for their win
Not for the first time this season, the main talking point was refereeing decisions. Ferriby were on the wrong end of the game’s controversial decisions and they all had a bearing on the game.
Tranmere almost took an early lead bt Rory Watson did well to turn away an unintended deflection by Connor Jennings from James Norwood’s shot .
Ferriby responded with Mark Gray heading heading home Connor Oliver’s corner after 12 minutes to put The villagers ahead. It was no more than they deserved at that point.
The half was generally scrappy with play in the centre of the pitch rather hurried.
Both sides did better when they moved the ball down the wings through Reece Thompson and Danny Emerton for Ferriby and Norwwod and Jennings for the visitors/
Andy Cook and Mark Gray had a tough duel when Tranmere pushed forward wth honours ending even.
The equaliser came after 22 minutes. Cook flicked on to Jay Harris who had lost his marker and was able to make space to fire a low shot past Watson.
Tranmere always looked more threatening than Ferriby but the home defence was generally strong and relatively untroubled. That said, Harris drew another good save from Watson after 28 minutes.
Ferriby should have had a penalty in the 41st minute when Thompson was taken down in the area but the referee did not see it as a foul.
Ferriby felt even more hard done-to in added time. Thompson was fouled and disposed in midfield and the ball was played up to Ferriby area. Robbie Tinkler, perhaps unnecessarily, tripped Norwood. Jeff Hughes penalty was saved by Watson diving to his left but the ball fell to Harris who scored from close-range. It was harsh on Ferriby.
It always seemed that Tranmere had something in reserve in the second-half but they were never completely comfortable. Oliver and Tinkler combined well in midfield to take Ferriby forward. However, The Villagers, once again, struggled to create chances.
They had another good penalty claim disallowed for yet another foul on Thompson. The young striker must wonder what he has to do to have free-kicks awarded to him. He comes in for heavy punishment in most games but most of it goes unpenalised.
The killer goal came after 60 minutes and this was also controversial. Norwood handled the ball in the build-up on the right but was allowed to continue. His cross was met well by Hughes who headed home unmarked.
There was little of note in the rest of the game until the dying minutes. Ferriby finally managed a shot on goal through Tinkler and keeper Scott Davies reacted well to push the ball away from Sam Cosgrove on the edge of the area.
A neat move deep in added time saw Harris complete his hat-trick and complete a scoreline that flattered Tranmere.
Manager Steve Housham commented,
“We are left talking about key decisions yet again. They score two legal goals and we had clear penalty claims turned down. It’s frustrating for everybody.
“I’m proud of the players this evening, Tranmere were a Championship side just a few years ago and here we are more or less matching them. We had a game plan and kept to it and did just about everything right. We are a part-time up against a full-time team but we did well. All the lads put in a shift.
“Tonight’s results haven’t been good to us but we will keep fighting to the end. This isn’t a squad that will give up.
NFU: Rory Watson; Sam Topliss, Mark Gray, Ben Middleton, Jake Skelton, Robbie Tinkler, Matty Dixon, Ryan Fallowfield (Matty Templeton 75), , Danny Emerton (Ryan Kendall 67), Reece Thompson, (Sam Cosgrove 83), Connor Oliver
Subs not used: Jordan Cooke, Jordan Douglas
Tranmere Rovers: Scott Davies, James Norwood (Andy Mangan 71), Steve McNulty, Ritchie Sutton, Jay Harris Lee Vaughan, Liam Ridehalgh, Michael Ihiekew, Andy Cook (Cole Stockton 71), Jeff Hughes, Connor Jennings(Adam Mekkie 89).
Subs not used: Iain Turner Jack Dunn