Blyth Spartans 0 NFU 1 (NLN17-18)

Saturday 19 August 2017

Blyth Spartans  0  North Ferriby United  1                             
                                                Akeel  Francis   62


Ferriby broke their scoring and points ducks with a superb win at Blyth Spartans. An Akeel Francis goal after 62 minutes sealed the win for The Villagers.

The win came on the back of an excellent team performance in a game that was played in testing windy conditions throughout. The wind was strong, blew across the ground and swirled about. This made passing difficult for both sides. Jake Picton and Jake Skelton were tremendous in the centre of Ferriby’s  defence and won virtually everything in the air despite the testing conditions.

In a game where players were bound to make mistakes because of the wind, Ferriby made far fewer than Blyth.

Bobby Johnson and Joe Pugh continually hassled and harried Blyth’s midfield and regularly forced them to play the ball back to the defence. This allowed Joel Ambalu and Akeel Francis to continually press the defence.  Russ Fry and Simon Russell worked hard in midfield and eventually controlled in the second-half.

Ross Durrant was solid in goal and Steve Brogan and Jordan Cooke not only dfended well but found time to attack the wings.

Things did not really change in the second with Alberto Seidi, Callum Rzonca and Kyle Dixon, on as substitutes, also making their presence known.

The first-half was fairly even and it was Ferriby who came close to opening the scoring after just five minutes. Steve Brogan’s well-struck 22-yard free-kick was turned round the post by the diving Peter jameson.

Durrant did well to block a shot from Daniel Maguire as the striker burst through. Durrant also did well to tip Jordan Watson header over before producing a diving save to deny Blyth a goal.

For their part, Ferriby pushed hard but clear chance did not come but they did cause a lot of anxious moments for Blyth.

The second-half largely belonged to The Villagers. They mastered the conditions better than Blyth and, for the first time this season they found their shooting boots.

Picton saw a header deflected for  corner.

 Francis put one just over the bar under pressure from Jameson and a defender. However, the striker did not have to wait long to open his account. Substitute Callum Rzonca burst down the right. His cross found Francis t the far post and he hammered home the ball.

Pugh, twice, Rzonca,  Skelton, Russell and Dixon all went close as The Villagers took control of the game.

The second and clinching goal would not come and there was always the worry that Blyth would snatch an equaliser that they did not really deserve.

The final whistle was relief to the players, managers and Ferriby’s band of travelling fans. It is now up to the players  to build on this over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Manager Steve Housham was a delighted man after the game,
“The shooting practice paid off!  It probably could,, and should,  have been more  t ha one goal. We had chances to kill game off.

“it’s great to get that first win under our belts Blyth is always a difficult place to get a result and the players were tremendous today. It was a  great team performance. It will provide confidence.

“Hopefully. our fans will respond with a guard turn-out against Darlington on Saturday.

NFU:  Ross Durrant , Jordon Cooke, Steve Brogan, Bobby Johnson,  Jake Skelton, Jake Picton, Simon Russell, Russ Fry,  Akeel Francis (Alberto Seidi 71) Joel Ambalu (Callum Rzonca 59) Joe Pugh (Kyle Dixon 87)

Blyth Spartans: Peter Jameson, Ryan Hutchinson, Michael Liddle (Macauley Langstaff 82),    David McTiernan, Nathan Buddle, Jordan Watson, Jarrett Rivers (Adam Wrightson  72)    Lewis Horner (Sean Reid 63)  Daniel Maguire, Dale  Hopson, Robert Dale. Subs not used: Damen Mullen, (Shaun McDonald




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