FA TROPHY HOLDERS 2015 & NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH PLAY-OFF CHAMPIONS 2016

NFU 1 Leamington 1(NLN 17-18)

Saturday 3 February 2018

 Vanarama National League North
 North Ferriby United   1    Leamington  1

A draw was probably a fair result in what was, for the most part an entertaining game. Was this a point gained or two points lost. Given Ferriby’s current plight fans should take the positive view that it is a point gained.

Leamington played the whole of the second-half with 10 men after when Leamington’s Jack Edwards was dismissed for pushing Ferriby’s Jordan Cooke in the face in the home penalty area. The incident was missed by the referee but was seen by the assistant referee who had no compunction in drawing it to the referee’s attention.

Villagers’ fans sensed that there could be a home victory in the offing but credit to Leamington for denying Ferriby.

Ferriby took the lead in the second minute when Brett Agnew found space  from Jordan Harrison’s pass to drill the ball past Tony Breeden. It got probably the biggest cheer of the season so far.

Harrison produced a great save from Breeden and Adam Bolder’s follow-up header went narrowly wide. Two minutes later a and Breeden denied Ferriby again, this time turning an Agnew shot round the post.  From Bolder’s corner, Agnew’s shot was blocked.

The first 14 minutes had definitely belonged to Ferriby so Leamington’s equaliser was somewhat unexpected and against the run of play. Good work on the left between Connor Gudger, Ahmed Obeng ended with Daniel Udoh firng-in Obeng’s low cross despite Ross Durrant’s valiant effort to save.

It was a blow for The Villagers but it did not really affect their confidence. The game was more even after this  with Leamington looking lively in attack but not always finding that final telling pass. Kaine Felix and Udoh were causing some problems for the Ferriby defence but on the whole, The Villager’s back-four coped well with the threat. Jordan Cooke and Jack Mail look like a possible answer to Ferriby’s problems at the centre of the defence, Ben Clappison and Jack Walters performed well on the outside of a back-four that actually appeared to be working as a unit rather than as individuals. Ross Durrant gave  a confident performance behind them.

Leamington were grateful to Breeden for two good saves from Agnew and Harrison. This was Harrison’s first start for the club following his scoring debut at Chorley last week. Despite his inexperience, he was a handful for Leamington, especially in the first-half.

The game was changed in the 43rd minute with the dismissal of  Edwards. Leamington manager Paul Holleran was then sent to the dressing for comments made to the assistant referee.

Leamington set the tempo for the second-half. They played a high line and this frustrated Ferriby. There were few chances at either end and it took a good 20 minutes before the game sprang in to life again.

Udoh saw a shot blocked by Jack Walters and Gudger latched on to  the ball to fire on to the post.

For Ferriby, Harrison and substitute Sam Ansu both went close. Kojo Keyi, also on as a substutute, fired against Breeden’s legs. This was probably an example of experience overcoming inexperience.

 However, it was Leamington substitute Joe Magunda who almost score the winner with a header just over the bar in the 90th minute.

Bolder and Bobby Johnson worked hard in midfield, playing the ball around and were well supported by Jordan Deacey and Jorome Slew. Agnew worked tirelessly throughout the game and seems happier and more effective playing as the main striker rather than dropping-in behind one.

Probably for the first time this season, The Villagers really looked like a team today. They were organised and gone was the feeling that every set-piece near Ferriby’s goal would bring a goal for the opposition.

They played passing football in every area of the pitch and generally looked confident on the ball. There is a growing confidence in this team now.  Manager Chris Bolder is expecting a certain style of play and a positive attitude. It is clearly working.

Manager Chris Bolder acknowledges that there is still work to be done with a squad that is still largely inexperienced at this level. The players have still to get used to the speed of the game and the levels of fitness required. It is visible to everybody that both these aspects are improving .

“We are building a momentum now so it  is right that we feel disappointed for not winning this game. Having 11 v 10 does not give you the right to win. We found it tough to break them down. We stopped utilising  the ball in midfield in the second-half and this prevented us putting quality ball down the sides.

“We will continue to develop our philosophies and principles. It will be good to have squad e can work with until end of season. It will give us some stability.  These lads want to do well. Inexperience at this level may have been contributory factor today but these games are good for the players. It is the experience that they need.

“Confidence is huge factor and you can see that in Brett Agnew. He got his first goal for the club last weeks and tucked away an early one today. Confidence is difficult to build, individually and a s a team  when you are  losing. We defended set pieces well today and not concede a goal that way today and that should be another confidence boost.”

So, another point gained, a team that appears to be gaining in confidence and, more importantly a team that wants to learn and improve. It is now up to the fans to get back to supporting the team and recognise what the club is now trying to achieve.

NFU: Ross Durrant , Ben Clappison, Jack Walters, Bobby Johnson, Jordon Cooke, Jack Mail, Jordan Harrison, Adam Bolder (Kojo Kyei  72)  , Brett Agnew, Jordan Deacey (Jamie Forrester 72 ), Jorome Slew (Sam Ansu 61)
Substitutes not used: Lewis Exall, Charlie Dunkerley

 

Leamington: Tony Breeden, James Mace, Connor Gudger, Kieran Dunbar, Jamie Hood, Junior English, Kaine Felix (Joe Mugunda 45)       Callum Gittings, Daniel Udoh, Jack Edwards, Ahmed Obeng.
 Substitutes not used: Kurtis Revan  Liam Canavan Stefan Moore, Shay Nicholson

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