Well what a season it has been! It has been an unbelievable season for me personally and for North Ferriby United Football Club. This was my third season following the mighty Villagers and I decided in pre season that this would be my biggest and best season yet. I even had a bet with my mate Jack Hickman (@jackhickmann) that I would miss less than 7 league games in the entire season, I am pleased to report that I won the bet because I only missed Rushall, Frickley and Whitby away and Stafford Rangers at home.
As much as I do enjoy the games when I am on my own it wouldn’t be the same without my mates (Ash, Jack, Greeny, Smithers and Jordan) and the Ferriby regulars (Ron, Dennis, Mike B, Chris, Ian and Alan). All of these people make Following Ferriby more entertaining especially on away coach trips but we will get to the various coach incidents later.
Before the season started I decided to start my blog followingferriby.wordpress.com with the initial idea that I would use it to give my general thoughts on how the team were doing however this quickly evolved thanks to Shaun Harris who had the idea that I could write a match report at each game I attended and this could be posted on the blog and more importantly added to the programme at Ferriby home games. This would be my match report with my opinions rather than the general reports that the club send to the general press. I would like to say at this point that it has been a great honour to write in the Programme this season and I hope to continue this is seasons to come. Thanks to Shaun and Richard for involving me in the programme.
Now onto the season itself. Pre Season began for Ferriby away at Barton on a sunny summers night in mid July. It was an impressive start for the villagers and Jack Muldoon especially caught the eye as he made a goal scoring debut. Ferriby went on to record impressive performances against Halifax and Hull city before being outclassed in the Peter Swales Shield by Chester.
Generally the team looked to be in good shape with a healthy squad. New signings Ryan Kendall and Liam King were yet to show their true potential and Jack Muldoon looked to be the pick of the new signings. I was certainly hopeful of a playoff position when the season began.
The season began with a home game against Buxton, this was a low key affair with both teams still trying to get up to full tempo after pre season. Ferriby took the lead in the first half and led for a very long time before Buxton equalised in the 95th minute with a 30 yard screamer into the top right hand corner of the net. FT 1-1
Ferriby then headed away to Worksop for their first midweek game of the season. This was the game that involved the first comical fan incident of the season. I had bought myself a tray of chips and we were standing behind the goal. I was stood talking to greeny and the next thing I knew my chips were flying everywhere and I had ketchup down my shirt, a Worksop player had misplaced a shot in the warm up and fired it straight at me, taught me the lesson not to stand behind the goal in the warm up!
Ferriby were once again average in this match and ended up losing 2-1 although Worksop’s winning goal was a MILE offside!
The third match of the season saw Ferriby travel to AFC Fylde. This was a very strange away trip to say the least. The ground was in the middle of nowhere and had to be accessed via a pub car park. Above the turnstile was the ambitious statement “2022 no one can stop us” referring to fyldes ambition to be in the football league by 2022, this drew a few chuckles from the travelling Ferriby support.
The clubhouse and dressing rooms looked like the huts in The Great Escape. One positive from Fylde was the food which was fantastic and the Pie they served has won the coveted North Ferriby Supporters Club Pie of the Year 2012/13 award. As far as the game was concerned it was a non event, both teams were very poor and Fylde scored a lucky winner in the first half to gain a 1-0 victory. After 1 point from a possible nine it was fair to say us Ferriby fans were quite worried, me and ash even contemplated a relegation battle on the coach home. Bobby Carroll was also subject to a half hour rant on the coach home from Chris who felt the team selection was wrong.
Ferriby picked up their first win of the season on the following Monday. Ferriby demolished Frickley 4-0 and I was relieved that Ferriby delivered a good performance for the first time in the season.
Ferriby started September very well with their first away win of the season at Rushall Olympic, recording a 3-0 victory. Ferriby then beat Worksop 2-0 at home before beating Eccleshill in the FA Cup 1st qualifying round.
The next match for Ferriby was the longest away trip of the season away at Kendal Town. The trip was made even longer by a huge crash on the motorway. We were stuck for at least an hour and a half and never moved. The kick off had to be delayed by around an hour because we didn’t arrive at the ground until after 3 o’clock.
Once at the ground I met up with fellow ground hopper Tom Jellis (@chapeltom)who had travelled all the away to Kendal after watching his beloved Sheffield Wednesday away at Brighton the night before, he really is crazy. Anyway Ferriby dominated the game and won comfortably 4-2. The sour point of the day was when I was cruelly misinformed by Ron that Rafael had scored an own goal for Manchester united, this information was of course as reliable as a promise from a politician but you come to expect that from Ron haha.
On the way home from Kendal I was stitched up like a kipper by my fellow supporters. I was accused of hitting Smithers with a newspaper which was of course total rubbish. However this was not the view of my fellow fans and I was given my only RED CARD of the season on the Ferriby coach, the punishment for this was having to wear a Manchester city shirt with my least favourite player TEVEZ on the back. I did this at a later home game after a lot of persuasion and it is safe to say I felt sick!
The Forfeit shirt punishment was bestowed to Me, Dennis, Chris, Ron, Ash and Smithers. The shirts were as follows:
Ron: Sheffield Wednesday
Dennis: Wearing one of Rons “bright” polo shirts
Ash: Leeds united (this was for abuse of people with glasses)
Smithers: Ipswich (although he hasn’t had to wear this yet, this was because he asked if princes anne was the queen of Scotland)
The next match in September was in my opinion one of the most entertaining and gripping of the season. Whitby were the visitors and gave Ferriby a real run for their money. Whitby were leading with just a few minutes to go and Ferriby were trying to find an equaliser. A high ball was lofted into the air and Paul Foot mistimed his challenge for the bouncing ball and was controversially sent off. This seemed to leave Ferriby with no hope with just 5 minutes left. Up stepped super sub Jack Muldoon from the bench, with two minutes to go he picked the ball up on the right hand side of the box and smashed the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net, it was a brilliant goal and won Ferriby a point that it turned out they desperately needed, (because we won the league on goal difference)
September ended with a defeat by Ossett Albion in the FA Cup and a 4-1 win away at Frickley in the FA trophy as always I enjoyed the Frickley and I don’t think it deserves the stick it gets from a lot of people.
The first match in October was on my birthday with a home game against Matlock. Ferriby won 2-1 and Massiah Mcdonald showed off his silky skills which were later seen on Soccer AM. I must also say thank you to the chairman at this point who organised an announcement over the tannoy for my birthday and allowed us to have a kick about on the pitch afterwards.
Ferriby then hit the road for a Tuesday night trip to Stocksbridge. This was a fantastic night because Ferriby played very well and won 4-0. The food was also very nice and well worth the money and the clubhouse had the best view in the league. Ferriby hit the top of the league with the victory and after a couple of fluctuations in October they were top at the end of the month and ended up staying there for the rest of the season. The coach driver also gets plaudits for that night because he was the only driver who seemed to know how to use a DVD player which kept us awake on the journey home.
Ferriby’s next game was at home to Witton Albion. Ferriby won 2-0 with both goals in the first half which was in my opinion the best half of football Ferriby played all season. Ferriby then recorded two hard fought away wins. The first came at Grantham were Ferriby found themselves 2-0 down at half time but in true champion style they dominated the second half and won 3-2. The second was a gritty away win at Stafford rangers. Ferriby won 2-0 in a hard fought match.
Towards the end of October Ferriby played host to FCUM, I must admit I was extremely up for this game and couldn’t wait for the Tuesday night visit of the Manchester side. Fcum took the lead before Russ Fry equalised. Mark grey missed a sitter late on so the match ended 1-1.
Ferriby ended October with two disappointing results. They lost at Buxton on the FA trophy and then could only draw at home to struggling Ilkeston.
November was the month that I started to believe that Ferriby would win the league. It was a fantastic month because Ferriby won all 4 tough league games and beat Hornsea in the east riding cup. The first win of the month came at Nantwich town were Anthony Wilson scored on an impressive debut for the villagers and Ferriby won 3-2. Ferriby then knocked Hornsea out of the east riding cup.
Ferriby then hosted Marine and won impressively 3-1. The next game came away at Chorley. It looked to be a tough match for Ferriby especially when Steve Ridley was sent off late in the first half. Chorley missed a lot of chances and Ferribys defence stood firm so in the dying stages it was still 0-0. I was stood with Dennis and I opened my Golden goal tickets to discover I had the ticket which said “No Goals” I said to him that I would rather see Ferriby nick a win than win the tenner for a 0-0 draw. That’s when the drama happened, with barely a minute to go Ferriby won a free kick and the ball was swung into the box. The ball fell to Liam King who smashed the ball into the top left hand corner, it was a brilliant goal, a champion goal some might say and Ferriby held on to win 1-0
Ferriby completed the month with a win away at Ashton and this completed a very satisfying November.
The first game in December was a huge one. Ferriby welcomed second placed Hednesford to the Rapid Solicitors stadium for what turned out to be and enthralling yet controversial match. Ferriby were winning 1-0 when Hednesford were awarded a penalty which many thought was controversial but I felt was the correct decision. Durrell scored to level the match. Ferriby then took the lead through Anthony Wilson. Then the controversy began, Hednesford were awarded a very dubious penalty which Durrell scored to make it 2-2. Aaron Rey then scored the winning goal for Hednesford in the 89th minute. The Referee Chris Akers had a shocker and completed his poor match by sending Anthony Wilson off for no real reason. The match ended sourly with hednesford players taunting the Ferriby fans.
Ferriby followed up this harsh result by drawing with Rushall and losing to Buxton before beating Frickley on boxing day despite having the goalkeeper sent off and battering Eastwood 5-0 to complete 2012. Ferriby sat at the top of the table as we headed into the new year.
Due to bad weather January only contained two matches for Ferriby. They were both at home and Ferriby won both 3-2. The first was against Blyth Spartans and the second against Kendal. Both were gritty performances from a Ferriby side who were looking a little jaded so the enforced January break proabably came at the right time.
Ferriby began February with routine home wins against Grantham in the league and Hessle Rangers in the East Riding Cup. This set them up nicely for one of the biggest games of the season, Witton Away. This was the day when Ash and Smithers received their red cards. Smithers’s red card was comical. We were sat in the clubhouse at Witton and watching the start of the Scotland v Italy match in the six nations. Princess Anne was being introduced to the players and smithers blurted “Is she the queen of Scotland” I couldn’t stop laughing for ages it was hilarious, he also believed that Prince Charles has recently retuned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan! Haha, anyway onto the match…
Ferriby were poor for large spells and the Witton fans felt their side should have won however Ferriby ground out a 4-2 win in one of the most difficult games of the season. Following Witton, Ferriby had three consecutive home games that had varying degrees of success. They drew 1-1 with Stafford and beat Sheffield FC to start the doodson cup campaign. The next home game against AFC Fylde was very disappointing and Ferriby lost 0-1, it was a poor performance and I may have said that our title challenge had ended that day, thankfully I was wrong.
The final game in February was a tueday night killer away trip to Blyth in the next round of the doodson cup. Ferriby won 2-1 which was great because it is a hike to get to blyth as I experienced later in the season.
Ferriby began march with another huge match. FCUM away at Stalybridge. It does make me laugh how FCUM can play there, you can only fit about ten people in the clubhouse. The match was played in front of a large ground and both teams played very well and drew 1-1. I was slightly disappointed we didn’t win but it was a good point.
The next three games were very easy for Ferriby who went goal mad. They won 4-2 on the road at Whitby, 5-1 at home to Stocksbridge and also 5-0 at home against Eastwood.
Then came the biggest game of the season. Hednesford away. It’s fair to say I was absolutely buzzing for this game. To be fair all the travelling Ferriby fans couldn’t wait and when we arrived I found Hednesford’s ground to be very impressive. When we walked round the ground before the match I was subjected to abuse by the Hednesford fans which was embarrassing on their part and they looked really stupid.
Ferriby dominated the match and Anthony Wilson was immense. Ferriby won 3-2 but the score line definitely flattered Hednesford. The celebrations at the end of the match were amazing and deep down everyone knew that result had won us the title. The journey home was brilliant, definitely a party atmosphere.
Ferriby then played Bridlington in the East Riding Cup Semi Final and won 3-1. Then came the easter weekend, the match at home on easter Saturday was easy and Ferriby won 6-1 against bottom placed Eastwood.
The Easter Monday match couldn’t have been more different. Ferriby made the long trip to Blyth for the second time in the season. Ferriby started well but couldn’t seem to put their chances away, Ryan Kendall was having a poor game in front of goal. It looked like we were going to draw 0-0 until a Blyth defender headed into his own net in stoppage time to spark wild Ferriby celebrations. Another vital but nail biting win.
Attention then turned to the semi final of the Doodson cup and Ferriby welcomed Cammell Laird to the Rapid Solicitors, Ferriby won 2-1 to make the final for the second consecutive season. Ferriby then travelled to Ilkeston for another league game, this was my personal favourite ground of the season, modern but with a traditional feel, I was also impressed with the club shop and the fact the programme was only £1.
This was a match were Ferriby didn’t play to their potential and were lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw. Ilkeston were a deceptive team, they finished mid table but showed signs that they could potentially be a high quality team.
Ferriby then drew 0-0 at home to Nantwich and started to look nervy, the nervousness was also spreading to the fans and it looked like Ferriby may be throwing the title away. The next game away at Matlock on a Tuesday night became vital, this was one of the worst grounds we visited in my opinion with one stand full of rubble.
Ferriby came out and did the job properly and won 2-0 this was a huge result in terms of the overall season. Ferriby then travelled to Marine for the final away game of the season. We visited a traditional little pub beforehand which was a nice variation to sitting in a clubhouse.
Ferriby went 1-0 down but rallied back and ended up winning 3-1 and the players were clearly over the moon at the end of the match as were us fans. Another one of my favourite grounds Marine especially the terrace behind the goal.
It was then the turn of the second string to take centre stage in the Doodson Cup final which Ferriby were looking to win for the second year in a row. The match was scrappy with the highlight being Gary Bradshaw’s overhead kick to equalise after Curzon Ashton had taken the lead. The match ended 1-1 after extra time so we had a penalty shootout. Antoni Pecora saved Curzon’s first three penalties but Ferriby didn’t score any of their first three either. It came down to 16 year old Ruhandulca Ombeni to take the deciding penalty. He never looked like missing and smashed the ball into the top left hand corner.
It was good for Ferriby to retain the Doodson Cup but the main job was yet to be finished, they had two home games left to secure the title. The first was at home to Cholrey and this match was extremely nervy but Ferriby ended up winning 1-0. Billy Heath said afterwards that it was the toughest game of the season so it was a relief to get the win.
All eyes turned to the final league game of the season against Ashton, all or nothing……
May 4th 2013 had the potential to be fantastic or catastrophic for the local area. The equation was simple, if Ferriby and Hull City won they would both be promoted. I arrived at the ground very early having hardly slept the night before. The clubhouse was buzzing with fans watching the lunch time kick off at Hull City. The nerves began to build but everyone was on a high as the Ferriby match started because Hull City had been promoted. The match began and in truth Ferriby never looked like losing. The atmosphere was great and Ferriby won 2-0 and were officially champions. Then came the pitch invasion, it was brilliant to be able to celebrate with the players and it was a truly great moment when Paul Foot lifted the league trophy.
The party afterwards was great and I was pleased to be able to celebrate with the people that have made this season so great for me as a fan, people like Ron, Dennis, Les, Mike B and Chris. I will never forget that night.
Ferriby finished off the season by beat Reckitt’s 2-1 at the KC stadium in the East Riding Cup Final, it was a bit of an anti climax but Ferriby completed an historic treble.
2012/13 NORTH FERRIBY UNITED, Northern Premier League, Doodson Sport Cup and East Riding Senior Cup, CHAMPIONS.
From a personal point of view the season ended at the clubs presentation night when I was extremely proud to be awarded the clubs supporter of the year award. I have had a wonderful season and would like to thank everyone at the club for being so welcoming and making it a very enjoyable season for me as a supporter. We may not have many fans but I wouldn’t swap them for any other club.
It was an historic season for Ferriby who now will play at the highest level in their history in the BSN next season and I for one cannot wait.