NFU 1 Salford City 1 (NLN)

Tuesday 20 March 2018
Vanarama National League North

North  Ferriby United   1                                Salford City 1
James Nicholls 86                                             Anthony Dudley 39

Ferriby stunned league leaders Salford with a late equaliser that earned The Villagers a more than deserved point.

The game was massive contrast to Saturday’s defeat at Darlington and the players deserve credit for putting in such a committed and professional performance tonight.

Salford got the game off to a fast start, probably expecting The Villagers to buckle under pressure. Even so, it was 10 minutes before Ross Durrant had a shot to save, parrying Nick Haughton shot from the corner of the penalty area.Two minutes later the pair repeated the action, though this time Durrant held the ball.

Salford had two goal attempts blocked but, to be honest, they had little direct goal threat despite their pressure.

The game turned after 31 minutes. Ibou Toure was sent off for serious foul play after a tackle by Paul Robson.

Salford had to re-organise after this and generally seemed content to spend the rest of the game letting Ferriby come at them and then counter-attack.

As Ferriby started to exert pressure, Jamie Forrester fired a free-kick just wide whilst Brett Agnew and Lewis Collins both had shots blocked.

It was against the run of play at this point when Salford took the lead after 39 minutes. A quick break saw a low ball played into the six-yard box and after a scramble the ball ended up in the net off Anthony Dudley.

That could have broken Ferriby but it did not and they came out after half-time to be the better side.

Agnew played well as the target man up-front and this allowed Jordan Harrison and Luke Lofts time and apace to run at the Salford defence. The problems they were causing was highlighted by Carl Piergianni’s performance at the centre of the Salford defence. Piergianni is one of the best defenders in the division and he needed all his skill and experience to keep Ferriby at bay.
Salford tended to sit back and managed just one real goal attempt in the second-half, a Jack redshaw shot that went wide.

Ferriby could have had an equaliser after 57 minutes but a scramble in the penalty area eventually finished with the ball being cleared.

Harrison hit a low shot at keepet Tim Eflandson then Collins had a shot blocked. Collins would have deserved a goal for his performance. He was dominant in midfield, constantly pushing The Villagers forward.

For all Ferriby’s pressure it seemed that the equaliser would not come. However after 86 minutes substitutes Alex Bannister and James Nicholls combined for the latter to hammer the ball past Eflandson from 18 yards. It was a just reward for the team as a whole and was Nicholls’ first for the club.

The threatened loss of two points saw Salford exert a bit more pressure in the closing minutes but it was to no avail.

Credit needs to be given to Ferriby’s defence for being alert to Salford’s quick breaks. So often this season they have been in serious trouble in these situations. However, under Bolder and Robson’s guidance, they have worked hard on this aspect of their game and it is one of the reasons for the team’s improved performances in recent weeks.

Chris Bolder had this to say after the game,
“I’m obviously delighted with the result. The players showed a lot of character to bounce back after Saturday. Salford started well and had us back foot for first 10 minutes or so. Then we started to get in to the game.

“The sending-off changed the game to some extent because they had to reorganise. Defensively it did not change much because they played with one up-front and eight behind him.

“We gradually got on top and their goal came against the run of play.

“I told the players at half-time that we had to play the ball around and make use of the space the extra man provided rather than just lump it forward.. We did that well. We were strong going forward and kept our shape defensively.

“James Nicholls’ equaliser was fully deserved. The result shows the progress we have made. Going into the game, not many people gave us a chance of gaining anything from it. The result is a mark of the progress we have made as a team.”

NFU: Ross Durrant , Jordon Cooke, Jack Walters, Paul Robson (AJ George 60)  James Piercey,  Jack Mail,  Jordan Harrison Jamie Forrester (Alex Bannister 80), Brett Agnew (James Nicholls 66), Lewis CollinsLuke Lofts,
Substitutes not used: Lewis Exall, (Charlie Dunkerley

Salford City: Tim Eflandsson Liam Hogan,  Ibou Touray, Lois Maynard, Carl Piergianni, Danny Livesey, Nick Haughton (Gus Mafuta 62), Mark Shelton, Anthony Dudley (Michael Nottingham 62) Jack Redshaw (Mike Phenix 73), Josh Askew
Subs not used: Scott Burton, Richie Allen,

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