North Ferriby United 2 Ashton United 0
It has been a long hard season but Ferriby are CHAMPIONS.
Ferriby deservedly took the Premier Division title and automatic promotion to Conference North with a comfortable win over Ashton.
The title was no more than Ferriby deserved having led the league since October 9th.
Ferriby took the game to Ashton from the start and Gregg Anderson fired wide after just 7 minutes from Mark Gray's header.
A good move between Liam King, Ryan Williams and danny Clarke ended with Anthony Wilson shooting at visiting keeper Paul Phillips.
Phillips was fortunate after 11 minutes when his clearance hit the on-rushing Wilson and bounced to safety.
Phillips then saved well from Kendall and Wilson was just beaten to the loose ball by a defender.
Kendall gave Ferriby the lead they deserved after 18 minutes when he capitalised on a defensive error to take the ball round Phillips and score from close-range.
Ferriby continued to press as the half continued and Danny Clarke, Wilson and Kendall all went close. Just before half-time Mark Gray was unlucky to see his header from Russ Fry's corner come back off the bar.
Ashton had threatened only briefly during the first-half. Chris Amadi saw Adam Nicklin fingertip a shot away before Ferriby scored. That and a shot from Matty Kosylo which went wide were Ashton's only serious threats of the half.
Ferriby's defence and midfield were superb in denying Ashton any serious possession.
The second-half was a rather low-key affair with Ferriby playing within themselves. Wilson fired a low drive just wide and had header saved by Phillips. In between, Ryan Williams saw and acrobatic volley go over the bar.
Ashton briefly threatened mid-way through the half but their crosses attacks were, once again, well-defended by Ferriby and they offered little serious threat. In fact, they only managed on e shot on target during the whole half.
Ferriby then re-asserted themselves and scored the title-clinching goal in the 71st minute. Fry's determination won the ball in midfield and he set-up Wilson to score from 10 yards.
This virtually finished the game as a contest and Ferriby calmly played-out the final 20 minutes to clinch the title, promotion and start the celebrations.
If it had not been for Phillips, Ferriby would probably have won by a greater margin. He made a number of saves and thwarted Ferriby with his alertness when through-balls were played.
Ferriby Manager Billy Heath commented, "It's been a great day. It's particularly special because I've also played for the club. The players have been tremendous all season. They are a credit to the club and to myself. Mark and I demand a lot from them and they are prepared to give it. This club has always had a good players and a reputation for playing attractive football. But these players also have a winning mind-set to go with their footballing ability and deserve their success this season."
Ashton manager Danny Johnson in his last game in charge after six years at Ashton. He is moving to Nantwich Town but had this to say, "Congratulations to Ferriby. They've been top for most of the season and deserve the title."
The title is a just reward for a club that has developed steadily over the years both on and off the pitch. Progress has been steady but always within the club's means. That is something that Conference football is unlikely to change.
North Ferriby United: Adam Nicklin, Paul Robson, Nathan Peat, Liam King, Gregg Anderson, Mark Gray, Danny Clarke, Russell Fry (c), Anthony Wilson (Gary Bradshaw 83), Ryan Kendall, Ryan Williams (Steve Ridley (83), Subs not used: Chris Bolder, Jason stokes; Antoni Pecora
Ashton United: Paul Phillips, Alex Frost, Matty Burke, Craig Robinson (c), Billy McCartney, Matty Kosylo, Chris Baguley Dennis Sherriffe (Ben Smith 63) Kyle Riley (Danny Caldecott 63), , Chris Amadi. Subs not used: Ben Smith, , Aaron Burns, Terry Smith, Matty Barlow