Ferriby’s latest home match was against Runcorn Linnets in the third qualifying round of the FA cup. This was a big game for both sides, if Ferriby won it would equal their best ever FA cup run. Runcorn saw the match as a potential giant killing, this was their 5th FA cup match of a fantastic run for them which started with a 3-0 win over Maine Road in the Extra Preliminary Round. If they could beat Ferriby it would be a magnificent achievement for them, in light of this they brought a large away following to the Eon Visual Media stadium. This created a partisan atmosphere from both sets of supporters and the ground was rocking as kick off approached.
The early stages of the match were very cagey with both sides trying to get a foothold in the game. Runcorn set up well defensively and every time Anthony Wilson or Nathan Jarman received the ball they were immediately swamped by opposition defenders.
The first real incident came after 7 minutes when Runcorn had a penalty appeal waved away, the challenge by Nathan Peat looked fair and the ref wasn’t interested. The rest of the half involved Ferriby trying to pick their way through the Runcorn defence. Danny Clarke was causing Runcorn problems but couldn’t find the decisive pass to one of the strikers. Ferriby had a spell of pressure that involved three successive corners the last of which resulted in Gregg Anderson heading over.
Runcorn had the best chance of the half when an unmarked Runcorn player at the back post headed a cross back across the face of goal and it just crept wide.
Ferriby had the first chance of the second half when the Runcorn goalkeeper did well to save an Anthony Wilson shot, this was the first of a half long duel between Wilson and the goalkeeper. Then in the 49th minute Nathan Jarman was unlucky to see his shot on the turn trickle past the post.
Jarman didn’t have long to mull over that miss because just 9 minutes later he scored the opening goal. The tireless Jamie Yates sent in a cross and Jarman rose the highest at the back stick to nod the ball home. 1-0
Ferriby sensed they had the chance to kill the tie off and began to dominate. In the 61st minute, 2 minutes after the goal, Anthony Wilson should have put Ferriby two nil up. He was through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat but his tame shot hit the bar.
Five minutes later in the 66th minute Ferriby doubled their lead. Yates delivered a fantastic cross from a free kick which Gregg Anderson headed into the path of Jarman who volleyed the ball home at the far post. 2-0
Ferriby were now very much on top and could have scored several more in the last 20 minutes. In the 75th minute the Runcorn goalkeeper did very well to dive and collect the ball at the feet of Wilson who was through on goal. In the next ten minutes Liam King scooped a shot over the bar, Jamie yates had a shot deflected wide and Nathan Jarman was denied a hat trick when his clever back heel was cleared off the line.
In the last five minutes Anthony Wilson could have scored a hat trick. In the 89th minute he headed a cross over the bar, then a minute later he blasted a shot over the bar and in the final minute of stoppage time he was one on one with the goalkeeper but the Runcorn stopper once again got the better of the Ferriby striker and saved his powerful shot.
Ferriby will be pleased to have seen off a plucky Runcorn side who made life very difficult for Billy Heath’s men. Ferriby were far from their best and Runcorn’s game plan worked for 60 minutes because there was no pace in the game and Ferriby looked lethargic. Once the first goal went in that all changed and Ferriby could have scored 5 in the last 30 minutes. Ferriby have now equalled their best ever FA cup run by reaching the 4th qualifying round and a home tie against Conference premier side Alfreton Town now looms large on the horizon.
Man of the Match: Nathan Jarman
Match Report by Sam Shepherd.