Vanarama National League North
9 January 201
Solihull Moors 1 North Ferriby United 3
Darryl Knights 35 Tom Denton 9, 16; Curtis Bateson 50
There is only one word to sum-up this performance by The Villagers: superb.
From start to finish they looked the team most likely to win and they totally played the league leaders out of the game in the second-half.
The result keeps Ferriby in second-place, just a point behind Solihull who have a game in hand on The Villagers.
The first-half was fairly even in terms of possession but for much of the time Solihull were forced to play from well inside their own half. Ferriby constantly harassed them in midfield and defence and regularly forced Moors to play the ball back towards their own goal.
Danny Clarke and Tom Denton continually put defenders under pressure and forced them in to misplaced passes.
The Villagers shook Solihull by taking the lead after just nine minutes. Danny Emerton played a neat pass in the centre towards Denton. It looked as though a defender was favourite to clear it but Denton’s persistence paid off. He won the ball and strode on to slide the ball past the advancing Moors keeper Benjamin Siegrist.
Five minutes later Denton saw a header blocked just short of the line but he was not to be denied a second goal for very long. Russ Fry’s free-kick was mis-punched by Siegrist to Emerton who, once again, played it to Denton. The tall striker is perhaps more noted for his ability in the air but he showed he is no slouch with his feet by turning and scoring with a low shot.
Solihull played some good passing football but their attacks really lacked any threat as they struggled to get past The Villagers’ midfield and defence. Ferriby’s back-four of Ben Middleton, Ash Palmer, Nathan Hotte and Josh Wilde were excellent. Their timing in challenges and their ability to stay on their feet rather than dive-in with challenges constantly frustrated Solihull.
Therefore it was a bit of a surprise when Solihull pulled a goal back after 35 minutes. Hesitancy and misunderstanding near the half-way line allowed Stefan Moore to charge down the left before crossing for Darryl Knights to score with an angled shot.
Given the number of goals the two sides have scored this season it is perhaps surprising that there were few efforts on goal. The half finished with Siegrist holding a Liam King shot just under the bar.
The second-half belonged almost completely to Ferriby. What proved to be the clinching goal came after 50 minutes. Bateson chased what appeared to be a lost cause but he was rewarded by dispossessing a defender near the left corner flag before cutting-in and hammering home a shot just under the bar from a very narrow angle.
Solihull tried to lift their tempo for a while and Knights drew a save from Nicklin. Shortly after, Akwasi Asante fired over under pressure from Hotte and that was virtually it for Moors. King, Fry, Bateson and Emerton ran midfield as Ferriby made good use of the wings.
The last 15 minutes saw Bateson curl a shot narrowly wide, Wilde have one blocked and Emerton shoot over the bar.
This was a magnificent performance against a side that had lost just once in the league and the result opens up the title race a little bit. To score three times against a defence that had conceded only 18 goals in the league so far gives an indication of how well Ferriby played. The whole team displayed great composure and a great deal of skill.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath commented,
“ The players were absolutely outstanding. We controlled the game. We pressured them all over the field. Their defenders and midfielders were not given any time to control the ball.
“We looked the team most likely to score throughout the game and all three goals were the result of good finishing.
“The players showed tremendous spirit and they were so composed throughout the game. I’m obviously delighted with the result but we will not be getting carried. There are still plenty of points to play for in what is now looking like any five from six for the title and the play-offs.”
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Ben Middleton, Josh Wilde, Liam King, Ash Palmer, Nathan Hotte, Danny Clarke, Russell Fry, Tom Denton, Danny Emerton (Sam Topliss 86), Curtis Bateson Subs not used: Adam Bolder, Tom Nicholson, Ryan Kendall, Mark Gray
Solihull Moors: Benjamin Siegrist, Michael Nottingham, Steven Leslie, Liam Daly (Andy Brown 66), Theo Streete, Gareth Dean, Stefan Moore, Jack Byrne (James Armson 57), Akwasi Asanti, Ryan Beswick, Darryl Knights. Subs not used: Junior English, Jordan Gough, Adam Walker