Tamworth 4 NFU 1 (NLN 17-18)

Friday 30 March 2017

 Vanarama National League North

Tamworth  4                       North Ferriby United   1
Dior Angus 19                    James Nicholls 57
Aman Verma 29
Akwasi Asante 45
Jack Lane 65

Attendance:  665

This was a disappointing performance and result from Ferriby against relegation-threatened Tamworth. The Villagers never really got going in miserable conditions at The Lamb. It rained heavily throughout the game. Player and the ball were splashing up water from the pitch by the second-half. Had this been a grass pitch it is possible that the game would have been abandoned given the amount of rain that came down.

None of the above is an excuse for  Ferriby’s performance. It was just one of those days when a team never really gets its game going. The Villagers were beaten by the better team on the night but, to be fair, they did not play that badly and battled well.

Chris Bolder gave a debut to keeper Lewis Exall. This may have been a surprise to decision to some. However, Bolder has to now have an eye to building a squad for next season. With regular keeper and captain Ross Durrant drawing a lot of attention from other clubs, it is likely he will be at another club next year. Therefore, Bolder needs to see Exall in action rather than just on the training pitch.

Exall actually had a decent game and could not really be faulted for any of Tamworth’s goals. He was confiden and quick in his decision –making. In some ways it was a strange game for both keepers. They both conceded goals but neither was actually forced into a save during the game.

The first-half was a frenetic affairThe home side were very direct throughout the game. They hit a lot of long balls for Akwase Asante and Dior Angus to chase. It is a good tactic from them as the two strikers have power, pace and skill to make things happen.

 It appeared that The Villagers had weathered the early attacks from Tamworth but they then conceded a goal in the 19th minute. Angus won the race for a long-ball on the left and cut in before hitting a powerful rising shot into the roof of the net. From close-range, there was little that Exall could do about it.

The second-goal was disappointing. Stephan Morley’s in-swinging free-kick into the six-yard box was headed home by Aman Verma who had slipped his marker. If Ferriby were hoping that they could pull something out of the bag in the second-half, their hopes were undone on the stroke of half-time. Angus played a ball into the goal and amidst some confusion for palyers on both sides, Asante was able to score.

Ferriby did not manage any sort of goal attempt in the half. They did have their moments going forward but could not find a telling ball that would create an opportunity.

The second-half saw The Villagers start quite well. They pulled a goal back on 57 minutes. James Nicholls battled to win the ball some 35 yards from goal, played a one-two with Lewis Collins before calmly sliding the ball past the advancing Jack Stevens.

That gave Ferriby a glimmer of hope but they could not build on it and Tamworth largely took control of the game. The clinching goal came after 65 minutes. Morley’s corner to the far post found Jack Lane who had time and space to turn and fire home the ball. Again, it was a disappointing goal defensively.

Tamworth had a few off-target opportunities; Ferriby had none. So, no complaints, jus disappointment, for The Villagers after their performances against Blyth and Salford last week.

Chris Bolder was realistic in his assessment after the game,
“I think we have to say we were well beaten tonight. I’ve said before that our players really need to be at full-tilt and we weren’t. Probably only  Bobby Johnson when he came on was the  only one who could say he was better than his opponent. We just weren’t good enough or competitive enough tonight.

I’m disappointed to concede from three set-pieces. We’ve worked hard to deal with set-pieces and marking over recent months. The lads who were at fault have held their hands up to it in the dressing room. We’ve had a good chat as a team. The players know Paul and I  are disappointed and so are they. We  have no excuses, we just weren’t good enough on the night. It’s a bit like the Darlington performance which was a bit of a backward step.

We did score a good goal. James is a very competent finisher and is always likely to find the net in those situations. However, he is still finding his feet and fitness at this level so it was the right decision to play him from the start tonight.”

NFU: Lewis Exall,, Jordon Cooke, Jack Walters Paul Robson (Alex Bannister  62), James Piercey,  Jack Mail,  Jordan Harrison, Jamie Forrester (Bobby Johnson 50),James Nichols (Charlie Dunkerley 72), Lewis Collins, Luke Lofts. Substitutes not used: AJ George,  Ross Durrant

Tamworth:  Jack Stevens, Andy Burns, Stephan Morley, Jed Davies,  Joel Kettle, Jack Lane, Connor Taylor (Joel Steer 84),  Aman Verma, Akwase Asante, Dior Angus (Callum Powell 75), Michael Donohue  (Darryl Knights 72). Subs not used:  , Regan Upton, Thomas Shaw


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