Brackley Town 3 NFU 0 (NLN 17-18)

Tuesday 13 February 2018

 Vanarama National League North
Brackley Town    3         North Ferriby United    0
Aaron Williams 3
Alex  Gudger 22
James Armson 70

Total confusion reigned before this game.  A couple of texts to our Match Secretary on the coach indicated that the game was on despite the rain. Five minutes from the ground there was a post on social media to say the game had been called-off by the match referee due to a wet pitch. This was confirmed by an official message from the club as the team coach was a couple of hundred yards from the ground.

There was standing water in certain areas of the pitch but Ferriby manager Chris Bolder and his Brackley counterpart persuaded referee Rob Massey-Ellis  to reverse his decision, apparently following consultation with the FA, despite  Massey-Ellis feeling the pitch was unsafe.

Despite Massey-Ellis’s misgivings, the match kicked off at 8pm. It was a credit to all the layers that there was not one poor challenge in the whole game. Players stayed on their feet when making tackles and did not fall over looking for free-kicks at the slightest contact. Credit, too, to the refeee for letting the game flow and his overall control.

The pitch did cut-up in places and the players did splash-up water in certain areas. Brackley adapted better to the conditions in the first-half and Ferriby struggled to make any real progress going forward.

Brackley’s James Armson ran the midfield and was well supported by Glenn Walker on the outside. Armson always seemed to find space to receive the ball and rarely wasted a pass. For all their effort, Ferriby found it hard to ease the pressure.

The Villagers suffered an early blow when Aaron Williams scored from 18 yards with a low shot following a deflected cross. It was a disappointing way to concede.

Brackley dominated the half but most of their opportunities came in the first 30 minutes. Once again, Ferriby’s defence restricted their opponents to having to shoot mainly from the edge of the area or outside. There is a growing confidence in the back-line which now defends the first-ball better. Equally important, there is a confidence and willingness to play the ball out of defence rather than just hoofing it forward and have it come straight back.

It wa not a real surprise, however, when Brackley’s control saw them score a second goal after 22 minutes. Ross Durrant did well to parry a powerful drive from the edge of the area but the ball fell to the unmarked Connor Gudger who fired home from close range. So, two on-target shots and two goals for the home side.

Ferriby played a more positive game in the second-half as the midfield found space and pressed Brackley back. It was a much more even half in terms of both territory and possession. Theer was not really anything in the way of chances for either side.

Brackley’s third goal was the result of a goalmouth- scramble with Armson knocking the ball home after it had bounced round of various players’ legs.

The introduction of Luke Lofts and Sam Ansu, with Jorome Slew moving in to a central striker role for the injured Brett Agnew, gave Ferriby more pace ans space going forward.

Mention needs to be made of James Piercey who was making his first start for the club following his debut as a substitute at Telford on Saturday. Piercey played well at centre-back alongside Jack Mail.

However, the stand-out performance for Ferriby was from Jordan Harrison who was a constant threat down the right throughout the match. He has the willingness, strength and ability to take-on defenders and shows real promise for the future.

Manager Chris Bolder was happier than after Saturday’s defeat at Telford,
 “The result was disappointing but we were much more competitive tonight. Our second-half performance, in particular was good. We took the game to Brackley.

“We know progress is going to be uneven which is why it is important that rhe palyers give everything they have got.

“Although the goals we concede tonight were, perhaps, a little too soft, the defence is showing signs of improvement. They will continue to improve as they get more used to the level of football.

“We are carrying injuries and that makes selection difficult. We had to leave Jamie Forrester out  tonight when  he could not move properly  pre-match after originally naming on the team-sheet.”

NFU: Ross Durrant , Jordon Cooke, Kojo Kyei, Paul Robson, James Piercey, Jack Mail, Jordan Harrison, Bobby Johnson, Brett Agnew Sam Ansu 68), Jordan Deacey  (Luke Lofts 37), Charlie Dunkerley (Jorome Slew 58),  Substitute not used:, (Ben Clappison,

Brackley Town:  Danny Lewis, Ellis Myles, Alex Gudger, Shane Byrne, Luke Graham, Gareth Dean (Theo Streete 80), Glenn Walker, James Armson, Lee Ndlovu, Aaron Williams ( Steve Diggin 83),  ,  Adam Walker ( Matt Lowe 73). Subs not used:  Jamie Lucas, , Andy Brown


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