Vanarama National League North
16 April 2016
North Ferriby United 2 AFC Telford United 0 HT: 0-0
NFU: Danny Clarke 55; Curtis Bateson 90+1
Ferriby ran out deserved winners in the end but were made to battle by a determined Telford side. The result saw The Villagers return to second place and also clinch a play-off spot. This is a terrific achievement for the club. Their three seasons in the Football Conference have seen them finish second in their first season, win the FA Trophy last season and then clinch a play-off spot this season.
Today’s game was a credit to both sides as it was played in constantly changing weather conditions that made life difficult for the players. There was rain, sleet, hail and sunshine which meant the players had to make constant adjustments to their game.
Telford started brightly with three attempts on goal in the first ten minutes. However, home keeper Adam Nicklin only had to save Josh Wilson’s free-kick which was hit straight at him.
Ferriby gradually played themselves in to the game and Adam Bolder saw a powerful drive blocked on the edge of the area.
Liam King then saw a shot blocked with Curtis Bateson hitting the rebound at Telford keeper James Montgomery.
Ferriby continued to press and Montgomery produced a good diving save to parry Bolder’s deflected free-kick.
The game was end-to-end with Telford looking threatening when they attacked and were unlucky to see Ash Palmer clear a Connor McCarthy header off the line.
Ferriby were more dominant in the second-half. The Villagers upped the tempo and regularly pushed Telford back.
Montgomery punched aRuss Fry cross with Tom Denton ready to head home. Bateson saw a 25-yardgoal-bound drive blocked as Ferriby looked for a goal.
They finally took the lead after 55 minutes. Danny Clarke latched on to Ben Middleton’s pass in centre midfield. The striker ran on and he put the ball in to an empty goal after Montgomery blocked his first effort.
The Villagers continued to look the more dangerous but Telford still managed to attack but they did not really come close to a goal. Nicklin had to make just once save from Jack Rea’s shot.
Despite having more of the game, Ferriby did not cause Telford too many concerns as full-time approached.
The clinching goal came in added time. Clarke was the provider with a superb pass to Bateson who beat his marker, cut in and rounded Montgomery before firing in to an empty goal.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath was delighted after the game,
“This was another solid team performance. All the players put a shift in. Mark Gray deserves a mention. In the last two games he has come on at half-time and done a tremendous job at the centre of the defence.
“To be fair, I think they edged the first-half but we were much the better team in the second. We upped our game and deserved the goals. We brought Danny and Curtios more in to the game and the reward for them and the team was the goals. They were both well-finished.
“Once again, we got a result. It’s a great feeling to know that we are in the play-offs for the second time in three years. The last four years have been tremendous when you look at the success this team has had.”
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Ben Middleton, Josh Wilde, Liam King Russ Fry (27), Ash Palmer, Danny Hone(Mark Gray 45), Danny Clarke, Adam Bolder (Sam Topliss 83), Tom Denton, Nathan Hotte, Curtis Bateson Subs not used: Ryan Kendall Wayne Brooksby
AFC Telford United: James Montgomery, Dwayne Samuels, Darren Campion ( Sean Clancy 45) Lucas Dawson, Mike Grogan, Curtis Tilt, Graham Hutchison, Josh Wilson, John Cofie (Izak Reid 62) Connor McCarthy, Jack Rea. Subs not used: Dave Hibbert, Kyle Brownhill, Reece Simpson