Emirates FA Cup
Third Round Qualifying
10 October 2015
North Ferriby United 2 Nuneaton Town 1
Russell Fry 20 Aaron Williams 27
Liam King 74
(Half-time: NFU 1 NT 1 )
Ferriby deserved to win a thoroughly entertaining game that was played in a great spirit. Both sides were keen to go looking for goals throughout the match but it was Ferriby who created more opportunities and defended the more strongly. The win extends The Villagers’ unbeaten run to 14 games.
It was the visitors who almost opened the scoring after three minutes. Rob Duffy’s shot was blocked and Ferriby’s defence managed to scramble the ball away.
Ferriby began to take a degree of control with Danny Clarke, Danny Emerton and Russ Fry all going close.
Nuneaton did press forward and Cieron Keane was causing some problems on Ferriby’s right with his surging runs from defence and midfield. However, The Villagers defended well with Ash Palmer and Mark Gray dominant in the centre. Sam topless and Josh Wilde made a number of timely tackles when Town got down the flanks.
Ferriby took the lead after 20 minutes when an Adam Bolder was cleared as far as Fry who hit an unstoppable shot from 25 yards.
This spurred Nuneaton and they equalised after 27 minutes. A ball in to the area somehow reached Aaron Williams who was allowed to turn and scored from close range.
Ferriby responded immediately with a Gray header that shaved the cross-bar.
Town were unlucky after 32 minutes when a David Morgan shot was cleared off the line by Adam Bolder.
The second-half was as end-to-end as the first. Nuneaton produced some good approach play but could not create scoring opportunities. Ferriby keeper Adam Nicklin only had to make one save.
With Fry and Bolder running the midfield they regularly freed-up Clarke, Bateson and Emerton. Their pace and control continually created problems for Town and a number of goal attempts were saved or blocked.
The closest on saw a Fry header saved on the line with Ferriby believing it had gone over. The assistant referee determined otherwise.
Ferriby regained the lead after 74 minutes. Curtis Bateson created space on the right and his pinpoint cross to Liam King allowed the latter to head home unchallenged at the far post.
King had the opportunity to settle the game after 81 minutes after Josh Maguire was dismissed for handling on the line. However Town keeper Jordan smith made a fine save from King’s penalty.
Fortunately, The Villagers were not left ruing this miss and played out the final minutes to gain a good win.
The match was a credit to both sides with a great deal of skill and no lack of effort on display.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath commented,
“This was a great result. It was a tremendous game between two very good sides. I told the players at half-time that they could raise their game another 10 per cent in the second-half and that is what they did.
“We defended well against some good approach play and we always looked dangerous going forward. As always, the most important thing today was to win and reach the next round but it’s always good to win with a good performance.”
NU: Adam Nicklin, Sam Topliss, Josh Wilde, Liam King, Ash Palmer, Mark Gray, Danny Clarke, Russell Fry (Louis Bruce 78), Danny Emerton, Adam Bolder, Curtis Bateson: Subs not used: Ben Middleton, Tom Nicholson, Tom Davie, Tim Taylor
Nuneaton Town: Jordan Smith, Cieron Keane, James Reid, Jordan Keane, Josh Maguire, Jack Lane, David Morgan, Elliott Whitehouse, Rob Duffy, Shane Byrne, Aaron Williams. Subs not used: Marlon Harewood, Ryan Smith, Jack Dyer, Callum Chettle, Billy Daniels, Rasmus Repsted, Zeus de la Paz