Fans left Stalybridge with mixed emotions having seen these two excellent teams play out a very entertaining draw in front of a large home following. At the start of the season Ferriby would have jumped at the chance to take a draw at FCUM, however after 5 months at the top of the table expectations are high and a few fans (including me) saw this result as a missed opportunity after Hednesford could only manage a draw the day before.
Ferriby were much the better team in the early exchanges of the match and looked most likely to score. 13 minutes in Anthony Wilson latched onto a back pass that didn’t have enough legs. He got a touch to the ball before being clattered by the FCUM goalkeeper. Initially the referee gave a goal kick but on consultation with his linesman he decided to give a penalty, much to the dismay of the large home crowd and the FCUM players who surrounded the ref.
Ryan Kendall ignored all of this and calmly placed the ball on the spot, he sent the penalty into the bottom left hand corner of the net and it was brilliantly placed because the goalkeeper couldn’t save even though he dived the right way. This was Kendall’s 23rd league goal of the season. 0-1.
Ferriby continued to press and in the 21st minute they should have scored again. Liam King was sent through and his shot was brilliantly saved, the rebound fell to Anthony Wilson who should have smashed the ball into the net but his shot was far too slow and relaxed and an FCUM defender was able to clear, this was very poor and proved to be Ferriby’s best chance of the game which they were made to rue later.
The rest of the half was played mostly in the middle of the park with both sides struggling to create clear cut chances. Ferriby may have thought they would be going in to half time ahead but it wasn’t to be. A clever ball was played over the top and was controlled well by the impressive Mike Norton. Paul Foot tried to steal the ball from him but he ran into Nathan Peat and the ball bobbled to FCUM’s Greaves who tapped home to take the hosts in level at half time.
The second half started in an opposite fashion to the first because FCUM started much the brighter team. They had their first chance in the 51st minute when a cross was sent straight across the Ferriby goal and if anyone had got a touch it would have gone in but it wasn’t to be for FCUM.
In the 64th minute Mike Norton was very unlucky not to score when his shot beat Nicklin but also flew across the goal and past the post. FCUM were now well on top and restricted Ferriby to long and sometimes aimless balls forward trying to find Wilson.
The back four for Ferriby was very solid however and restricted FCUM to mainly long shots and Adam Nicklin did only have to make 1 save in the 2nd half. FCUM did have the final chance when Rhodri Giggs almost scored at the back post. This was the final chance of the match. FT 1-1
Although I was slated by other Ferriby fans I felt that the second half display was good defensively but going forward I felt Ferriby were poor and lacked ideas because they resorted to hoofing the ball up the pitch and completely bypassing Liam King and Russell Fry who had played well in the first half.
Man of the Match (Ferriby): Paul Robson
Match Report By Sam Shepherd