Vanarama National League North
12 April 2016
Stalybridge Celtic 2 North Ferriby United 0
Stalybridge: Aaron Chalmers 45+2 (pen); Chris Simm 83
Ferriby remain in third place after this defeat. The Villagers could not create the form that they showed at AFC Fylde on Saturday.
Ferriby did enough to have taken at least a point from the game but in the end they could have little complaint at the result.
They gave the ball away on too many occasions and the final passes in and around the Stalybridge penalty area were too often inaccurate.
For all that, The Villagers had more on-target efforts and Stalybridge were thankful to the performance of keeper Tony McMillan who made a number of good saves.
The first-half was fairly even in terms of possession and both sides attacked quickly on the break.
Ferriby went close in the first minute but McMillan moved quickly to come out and block Liam King’s shot. Two minutes later, Adam Nicklin made a carbon copy save to deny Adam Farrell.
Farrell, Chris Simm and Steve Tames caused some problems with their pace but Ferriby’s back-four generally defended well.
Neither side was willing to give an inch and this may not have helped the referee whose decision-making frustrated both teams.
As the half progressed, McMillan was out quickly to deny Wayne Brooksby. Tom Denton did get the ball in the net after 33 minutes was adjudged off-side. Had he not touched the ball from Liam King’s goal-bound shot the goal would have stood. It was a game-changing moment.
Ash Palmer’s header saw McMillan produce another good save.
Josh Wilde cleared a goal-bound shot just in front of the line in what was Celtic’s only real attempt on goal after Nicklin’s early save.
In added time, a controversial penalty saw Stalybridge take the lead. Danny Hone was guiding the ball out of play when there was contact between him and Tames who went to ground. The referee finally pointed to the spot, allowing Aaron Chalmers to send Nicklin the wrong way to open the scoring. It was rough justice on The Villagers
The second-half saw Ferriby have more of the possession with Celtic largely depending on quick breaks for their goal threat which was limited to the second goal and two attempts that were saved by Nicklin without too much trouble.
The Villagers continued to be profligate with the ball but still managed to go close on a number of occasions.
Ash Palmer saw a header cleared off the line by Danny Wisdom. A deep cross bounced off Wayne Brooksby to McMillan who flapped at a Fry corner shortly after. Fortunately for the keeper the ball was hacked clear.
Celtic clinched the game after 83 minutes when tames broke down the right. His low cross into the six-yard box somehow reached Chris Simm who had a simple task to score.
Ferriby responded immediately and McMillan saved well in succession from Fry and Palmer.
In some ways, this was “one of those days”. The result still leaves The Villagers in a strong position and they are still likely to be in the play-offs.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath commented,
“We looked tired tonight. Our energy levels were low after the effort we put in at Fylde on Saturday. The two goals we conceded should have been dealt with better. We played well for the first 15 or 20 minutes and could have taken the lead.
“It was disappointing but we will have a light training session on Thursday and plan for Saturday’s game against Telford. “
NU: Adam Nicklin, Ben Middleton Josh Wilde (Sam Topliss 75), Liam King, Ash Palmer, Danny Hone (Mark Gray 45),Danny Clarke (Danny Emerton 51), Nathan Hotte, Russell Fry, Tom Denton, Nathan Hotte, Wayne Brooksby: Subs not used: Adam Bolder, Ryan Kendall
Stalybridge Celtic: Anthony McMillan, Peter Wylie, Danny Wisdom, Matthew Hughes, Jack Higgins, Aaron Chalmers, Charlie Joyce, Alex Mudimu, Adam Farrell, Chris Simm, Steve Tames (Ben McKenna 88) Subs not used: Oliver Crowley, Dannny Burns, Amour Lingouba, John Shaw
The result means that Solihull Moors are confirmed as Vanarama National League North champions.