North Ferriby United
Half time: 0-0
Tranmere Rovers 1 (Andy Cook 90+3)
North Ferriby United 0
Half time: 0-0
The result shows what a cruel season this is proving for Ferriby. A resolute and professional performance seemed to have earned The Villagers a draw but an Andy Cook header deep in added time stole the points for Tranmere. It was heartbreak time again for The Villagers who had frustrated Tranmere throughout the game with an almost error-free performance.
If people thought Ferriby would be daunted by the ground and the opposition then they received a shock. The whole team rose to the occasion and the atmosphere to give their best performance of the season.Jake Skleton put a header just over the bar after nine minutes as Ferriby took the game to Tranmere in the first 15 minutes.
The rest of the first-half was largely uneventful with neither goalkeeper really tested. The closest to a goal came after 34 minutes when Steve Brogan cleared off the Ferriby line.
Rovers may have had slightly more territory and possession but Ferriby held a high line to frustrate them.
The second half was far more exciting and started explosively. Rovers keeper Scott Davies had to turn two shots from Danny Clarke and Sam Topliss for corners. From the second, Jake Skelton headed narrowly over.
This spurred Rovers and they enjoyed far more possession for the rest of the match. Jeff Hughes was instrumental in many of their attacking moves and the introduction of James Norwood and Ben Tollitt injected more pace and urgency in to their game.
Rovers went close on a number of occasions Despite their territorial advantage and greater possession they were able to draw only one significant save from Rory Watson. The keeper responded well to turn a shot from Darren Stephenson for a corner. Prior to that Ritchie Sutton hit the bar with a header from a Hughes corner. Other than those efforts, most shots went high or wide or were blocked by Ferriby’s determined defence in which Ben Middleton was particularly outstanding.
Clarke dragged a shot wide and Reece Thompson hit a shot straight at Davies. Whilst goal attempts from Ferriby may have been limited in the second-half they regularly forced Tranmere in to some hurried defending.
Ferriby defended the goal in front of the Tranmere fans in the second-half but failed to let the noise affect their concentration. Tranmere’s fans started to get on their team’s back but any lack of goal threat from Tranmere was due to Ferriby’s defensive play. People say the game is about goals but they forget how a good defensive performance can provide enjoyable football
The game seemed to be heading for a draw when a cross from the left in the 93rd minute was met by Cook who headed home. This was heart-breaker for The Villagers who deserved so much more
Norwood was sent-off in the dying seconds for a challenge on Watson.
With more performances like this Ferriby should still be able to turn their season round. They gave as good as they got tonight.
Manager Steve Houshgam was full of praise for his side’s performance,
“It was probably our best display of the season. We have gone to the third-placed club and put in a professional performance. Yet once agai, we have come away with nothing. It is so frustrating for everybody.
“We are playing well against the top sides and suffering a series of narrow defeats. If we take those performances in to games against the lower placed clubs we should start picking-up points.”
NFU: Rory Watson; Sam Topliss Taron Hare, Ben Middleton, Jake Skelton, Steve Brogan, Connor Oliver (Ryan Fallowfield 72), Simon Russell , Danny Clarke, Ryan Kendall (Reece Thompson 59), Kyle Wootton
Subs not used: Danny Emerton, Mark Gray, Vinny Mukendi
Tranmere Rovers: Scott Davies, Lee Vaughan, Liam Ridehalgh, Steve McNulty, Jay Harris (Darren Stephenson 77) Andrew Cook,Ritchie Sutton, Louis Almond (Ben Tollitt 55) Jake Kirby (James Norwood 55),, Lois Maynard, Jeff Hughes
Subs not used: Michael Ihiekew, Iain Turner,