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

Southport 2 NFU 2 (NLN 17-18)

Saturday 4 November 2017

 Vanarama National League North

Southport   2                                       North Ferriby United   2
Steven Schumacher 39                  Mark Gray 30
Jordan Hallam 51                              Kuda Muskwe 60
               

This was a hard-earned but deserved point for The Villagers. The whole team worked hard throughout the game.

 Southport always carried more threat and missed some good chances that could, and should, have won them the game. That does not detract from Ferriby’s performance. There have been many occasions this season when one or two mistakes  have cost them goals and games. Today they finally had some luck at the back.

Ferriby also had their own chances, especially in a pulsating final 15 minutes when both teams went looking for the winning goal.

The opening 10 minutes saw both sides testing-out each other but without launching any threat on goal.

The first chance of the game fell to The villagers with Darnelle Bailey-King having a shot blocked after 11 minutes.

Southport responded with a shot from Steven Schumacher that Ross Durrant somehow managed to finger-tip away for a corner

Kuda Muskwe had a shot on the turn that was blocked before Ross Barrows had a header tipped-over by Mark Halstead.

Southport should have gone ahead after 21 minutes but Josh Hine missed an open goal from just six yards.

Instead it was Mark Gray who put Ferriby ahead after 30 minutes. Steve Brogan’s free-kick was headed on by Jordan Cooke to Gray who rose unmarked to shoot home girst time at the far post. It was hard to deny Ferriby the lead at this point. They had played a high line which made it difficult for Southport to get forward. Mason Warren, Simon Russell and Barrows worked tirelessly in midfield, as they did throughout the game.

Barrows probably had his best game so far with good tackles, sensible distribution and a number of telling crosses in to the home penalty area.

Gray, Jake Picton and Brogan were generally solid in a back three. Cooke did well in front of them, and oftena t their side as The Villagers defended sensibly. Curtis Bateson created problems going forward and Muskwe and Bailey-King presented a threat to the Southport defence when Ferriby did get forward.

The equaliser came after 39 minutes. Unfortunately for Gray, he sliced a clearance and the ball fell to Schumacher who scored with a low shot. It was hard on Gray as it was probably his one mistake of the game.

Southport came close to grabbing the lead on the stroke of half-time but Bradley Jackson put the ball wide following a full-length of the pitch break from Jordan Hallam.

The half-time score-line was just about fair. The question for Ferriby’s fans was about how the side would react in the second-half. The answer was with just as much resolution and skill as in the first.

Southport started the second-half brightly. Schumacher fired a shot at Ross Durrant, who had another good game in goal.

the home side took the lead after 51 minutes. Jackson’s  low cross from the left evaded all Ferriby’s defenders and Hallam was left to score easily from close-range.

Ferriby’s heads did not go down though. Nine minutes later they were level. Bailey-King played Barrows down the left. His shot was blocked but the ball fell to Muskwe who stroked home from close-range. In fact, this was Ferriby’s only on-target effort in the half.

Southport gradually began to push Ferriby back but still got little change from the midfield and defence. 

Gray and Durrant combined to deny Jackson. Substitute Dan Cockerline reinvigorated Sutport who raised the tempo. Cockerline ought to have scored but with Durrant going down to try to get the ball off his feet the player lifted the ball over Durrant and the bar.

Steve Housham wa s a much happeier man after this game compared to recent matches,
“I’ve told the players that the point was a result of hard work.

“We were on our knees towards the end but the boys kept at it. They Had enough let to go looking for a winner.

“Southport had some good chances but we gave them the two goals, to be honest.

“One of the pleasing aspects was that our heads didn’t go down after we conceded the two goals. We looked more confident today. We were solid at the back and created opportunities.

“We now have to make sure that this performance is taken in to our next game [against Bradord at The Eon Visual media Stadium next Saturday]

Hopefully, this could be a turning point for The Villagers. They made things happen today and could have got a late winner as they pressed forward when they could in the final minutes. The performance, the point and the goals should provide them with some confidence in coming weeks. If that happens then there is still plenty to play for this season.

NFU: Ross Durrant , Ross Barrows, Steve Brogan,  Mason Warren,  Mark Gray, Jake Picton, Simon Russell , Curtis Bateson (Callum Rzonca 71), Kuda Muskwe ,  Jordan Cooke,  Darnelle Bailey-King.
Substitutes not used:  Russell Fry Mitch Langton

Southport: Mark Halstead,  Dom Smith, Andy White, David Morgan (Curtis Jones 71), Adam Dugdale, Ross Sykes, Nathan Lowe (Kaiman Anderson 61)   . Steven Schmacher, Jordan Hallam, Josh Hine (Dan Cockerline 61),  Brad Jackson,

Substitutes not used: Chris Merrie, Iain Turner,

  

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