Tuesday 8 August 2017
Vanarama National League North
North Ferriby United 0 Harrogate Town 2
Simon Ainge 59p; Joe Leesley 64
The result was another disappointment for Ferriby but the performance was much better than at Curzon Ashton on Saturday.
The game was played in appalling conditions with a driving wind and heavy rain throughout. By the end, players were splashing up water as they went in to challenges.
Despite the weather, this was an entertaining game. It was also feisty and, at times, quite niggly.
Harrogate played with the wind at their backs in the first-half but really could not take advantage of it. The strong and swirling wind made life difficult for Ferriby’s defenders in particular.
The visitors shaded the first-half in terms of possession and territory but Ferriby pretty much gave as good as they got.
Ross Durrant clawed the ball away from the top corner after seven minutes from a curling George Thompson free-kick.
Five minutes later, Bobby Johnson, who had a good game for The Villagers, blocked a Jack Emmett shot. This was followed shortly after by a Jordan Thewlis shot that went straight to Durrant.
Town keeper James Belshaw had to hurry out of his area to clear ahead of Alberto Seidi and then the keeper held a Seidi shot.
Man-of-the-match Thewlis should have scored on 35 minutes in a one-on-one with Durrant but the keeper spread himself to save.
Steve Brogan had free-kick deflected for a corner and on the stroke of half-time Seidi saw Belshaw save in a a one-on-one.
Ferriby’s first-half performance should have given them some hope and encouragement but it was Harrogate who, by and large, controlled the second-half.
Thewis drew a save from Durrant after 53 minutes and was instrumental in the penalty after 59 minutes. Durrant slid to take the ball from Thewlis but caught him and the referee decided it was enough for a penalty. The decision was perhaps a little harsh given the condition of the surface. That did not stop Simon Ainge driving the penalty low to Durrant’s left and just beyond his full length dive.
The game was settled five minutes later when a Thewlis corner was only partially cleared and Joe Leesley hit home an angled shot through a crowded area.
Harrogate were pretty much in control from this point but only managed another couple of on-target shots.
Ferriby had little to offer in the way of goal threat in the second-half although Seidi, Joe Pugh and then Ambalu, plus Danny Emerton frequently caused panic in the Town defence.
In the end, Town deserved the victory but they were made to work hard for it.
Manager Steve Housham commented,
“I asked the boys for a response [after Saturday’s defeat] and I got one. Overall I was pleased with the way we played. Mark Gray and Jake Skelton were tremendous at the back in very difficult conditions.
“If Alberto had scored just before half-time it may have been a different result. They took control after the penalty but we still battled hard.
“The result is obviously disappointing but we can take encouragement from the game.”
Harrogate have turned full-time this season and are one of the favourites for promotion and, bearing this in mind, Ferriby can look forward with optimism.
NFU: Ross Durrant , Ross Barrows (Kyle Dixon 73), Steve Brogan, Bobby Johnson Mark Gray, Jake Skelton, Simon Russell, Curtis Bateson (Russ Fry 69), Alberto Seidi, Joe Pugh, (Joel Ambalu 63) Danny Emerton. Substitutes not used: Callum Rzonca Jordon Cooke
Harrogate Town: James Belshaw, Ryan Fallowfield, Ben Parker, Josh Falkingham, Ben Middleton, Warren Burrell, George Thompson (Jack Vann 75), Jack Emmett, Simon Ainge (Marcus Day90+3), Jordan Thewlis (Dominic Knowles 87) Substitutes not used: Terry Kennedy, Joe Cracknell