Having followed Ferriby for 7 seasons now it’s become clear to me that The Villagers aren’t scared of the big occasion. They have travelled to several massive ex Football League grounds like Edgeley Park as huge underdogs and often come out on top and yesterday was another of those occasions. On Boxing Day in the reverse fixture York took all 3 points with a scrappy 1-0 win at the Eon Visual Media Stadium. This had dropped Ferriby back to the foot of the National League table which added even more importance to the reverse fixture at Bootham Crescent. The importance of the match was clearly understood by the Green and White army as 214 Villagers travelled North to York. This is the biggest away following I can remember other than for the FA Trophy final and they were all hoping to see Steve Housham and his side get revenge for the Boxing Day defeat.
Ferriby started the game brightly and it was quickly clear to see that they were going to put in a better performance than they had on Boxing Day. They were getting the ball down early and getting it forward quickly to Danny Emerton who caused havoc early on. Levi Sutton and Ryan Fallowfield, the midfield generals, were bossing the game and winning the ball back early to get Ferriby on the attack. Danny Emerton had the first real chance for Ferriby when he curled a shot just around the right-hand post from just inside the box.
Despite Ferriby having the better of the early exchanges it was the home side who almost took the lead when a free kick from Simon Lappin had Rory Watson beaten but luckily the ball clipped the outside of the post.
Ferriby took the lead in the 28th minute. Connor Oliver played a good early ball which split the York centre halves apart. Reece Thompson latched onto it, beat one defender and then showed great composure to take the ball around Kyle Letheren and then finished the chance from a narrow angle. It was fitting that he scored in front of the main York stand with their most vocal supporters giving him abuse throughout both fixtures. The Ferriby followers went mad and Rory Watson showed his delight by jumping high in the air in front of the Ferriby supporters to celebrate. This was a real team effort from supporters and players alike as it has been all season.
The rest of the first half was end to end but neither keeper was forced into a meaningful save with most of the shots from both sides going high or wide. Steve Housham will have been delighted to take a 1-0 lead into the break.
HT York City 0-1 North Ferriby United.
In the second half Ferriby were excellent. They could have gone into their shells and parked the bus but they did the opposite. They attacked York and looked to kill the game off with another goal. Mark Gray had the first chance when he met a corner from Connor Oliver with a firm header but Letheren was across to it and made an excellent diving save.
Levi Sutton had been excellent throughout the game, he got his foot in and made some excellent tackles and he barely gave the ball away all game so it would have been fitting for him to score and he almost did. Ferriby broke quickly after a York attack and the ball found Sutton on the right-hand side of the box. He cut inside his defender but leant back too much and scooped his shot over the bar as he aimed for the top left hand corner. The Ferriby faithful in that corner were ready to go bananas but unfortunately it wasn’t to be for Levi.
Perhaps understandably the last 15 minutes or so were nervy for Ferriby having failed to find a second goal. York were constantly attacking and came very close on a couple of occasions especially when a shot from Jon Parkin was deflected centimetres wide of the post. Despite the constant pressure Ferriby defended admirably with Ben Middleton and Mark Gray both outstanding once again. The Villagers held out for a win that they richly deserved and celebrated with the delighted Green and White army after the final whistle.
FT York City 0-1 North Ferriby United.
Following Ferriby Man of the Match: Levi Sutton