At the start of the season few would have dreamt that North Ferriby United would make it to the FA Trophy final at the home of English football, Wembley. After beating Bath that dream became a reality and the Villagers headed to London looking for the perfect end to an amazing cup run.
Billy Heath would have stressed to the players that they should play the game and not the occasion but some players seemed to have forgotten that early on and this allowed Wrexham to take an early lead through Louis Moult after just 11 minutes. A low cross was sent into the box and Moult was first to meet it with a scuffed shot that squirmed past Adam Nicklin to give the Welsh Full timers a 1-0 lead.
Ferriby’s heads could easily have dropped after such an early setback but after a nervy first 20 minutes they began to grow into the game. Jason St Juste and Danny Clarke were the shining lights for Ferriby in the first half and Danny Clarke had a great chance when he was played in one on one with the Wrexham goalkeeper Coughlin. Coughlin came out quickly and made the angle narrow for Clarke and his shot was saved. St Juste and Clarke combined again just before half time and this time Clarke’s shot was blocked.
HT Ferriby 0-1 Wrexham
Wrexham started the second half strongly and looked like they could have killed Ferriby off in the 59th Minute when Jay Harris came back onto the pitch following an injury and caught the Ferriby players unawares when he was found in acres of space by a Wrexham teammate. He surged towards goal and beat a despairing Nicklin at his near post to make it 2-0.
Despite this huge setback Ferriby didn’t give up and they found their way back into the game in the 75th minute when Tom Denton controlled the ball brilliantly before finding Jarman who played a ball over the top of the defence to the tireless Clarke who was then felled by Coughlin. Michael Oliver had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and as he did against Bath Liam King stepped up and hit a perfect penalty into the top left hand corner to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
Ferriby controlled the game from then on and Wrexham heads appear to go down. 5 minutes after Ferriby’s goal Ryan Kendall was introduced from the bench and he had an almost immediate impact. Jason St Juste sprinted at full tilt to keep the ball in on the left before using his trickery to create space to send in a quick low cross that Kendall met with a right footed shot that beat Coughlin to make it 2-2 and send the 3000+ Ferriby fans into raptures.
The excellent Danny Clarke could have won it right at the death when he hit a dipping 25 yard shot that Coughlin somehow got a hand to and he tipped it over the bar.
FT Ferriby 2-2 Wrexham
Ferriby had their tails up and they continued to press and look for a winner as the first period of extra time began. 11 minutes into extra time Ferriby did what seemed impossible 30 minutes earlier and took the lead. St Juste recieived the ball wide on the left and his deflected cross was met with a glancing header by Kendall. The header lacked power but the ball bounced under Coughlin and into the net to give the Villagers a 3-2 lead.
Naturally the second period of extra time was very nervy for Ferriby and they were clinging on for dear life. Danny Hone cleared a shot off the line and Sam topliss made a fantastic last ditch tackle to prevent Moult going in one on one with Nicklin. It looked like their defence was going to hold out but just two minutes before the end Louis Moult hit a fine half volley that beat Nicklin and signalled the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
FT (ET) Ferriby 3-3 Wrexham
The first few penalties were all scored with Liam King, Nathan Jarman and Ryan Kendall making no mistake for Ferriby, although a few Ferriby hearts were in mouths as Kendall’s penalty came down off the bar and just crossed the line. Adam Nicklin saved Wrexham’s third and fourth penalties to give Ferriby an advantage but neither Jason St Juste nor Tom Denton could convert their spot kicks meaning the shoot-out went to sudden death after Moult scored Wrexham’s 5th penalty. Matt Wilson and Nathan Peat smashed home their sudden death penalties and this gave Ferriby a 5-4 lead when Welshman Steve Tomassen stepped up for Wrexham, He sent his penalty to Nicklin’s left and the Ferriby keeper dived the right way and smothered it to spark wild celebrations in the Ferriby end of Wembley and across East Yorkshire.
Ferriby win 5-4 on penalties.
Match Report By Sam Shepherd