Whilst it’s been a wonderful ride this season it has also been a frustrating one at times. Ferriby have played some excellent football this season and have created chances but on many occasions Steve Housham has been left deflated by a lack of goals. Yesterday Ferriby travelled to fellow strugglers Southport for a classic “6 pointer”. Ferriby needed something from the game to stay in touch with the teams around them and finally everything fell into place.
Ferriby stormed out of the blocks full of energy and desire as usual. They could have taken the lead as early as the 4th minute when Ryan Fallowfield saw his shot from the edge of the area hit the inside of the post and away. The rebound fell to Reece Thompson who tried to square the ball across the goal to Curtis Bateson but he couldn’t meet the cross in time. The Villagers didn’t have to wait long to take the lead though. In the 6th minute a cross into the Southport box wasn’t dealt with by the goalkeeper and the ball fell to Curtis Bateson and with the keeper in no man’s land he had the easy task of slotting the ball into the empty net. Ferriby had started brightly and they will have been delighted to make that pressure pay.
Despite going behind the home side slowly built their way into the game and created a few chances. Andrai Jones headed wide from a corner before he almost created a goal for Jake Wright when he squared the ball to him in the box but he could only fire a shot straight at Rory Watson. A few minutes later Ferriby were dealt a blow when skipper Ryan Fallowfield went down unchallenged as he caught his ankle in the ground. He had to be helped around the edge of the pitch as he was replaced by Ross Armstrong. Hopefully the injury isn’t as bad as it looked because Fallowfield will be a big miss.
Southport continued to create half chances but couldn’t find a clear cut shot to worry Watson and Ferriby gratefully took their slender advantage into half time.
HT Southport 0-1 North Ferriby United
The start of the second half was the polar opposite to the first. Southport were now the dominant force with Ferriby sitting back trying to defend their lead. It didn’t take long for Southport to find an equaliser. A cross to the back post was met by Rory McKeown who wont score many simpler goals in his career as he tapped it home. This was now a big period in the game. The home side looked to be on top and many would have expected them to go on and find a winner.
The two teams began to trade blows and they tried to take the lead. Southport missed a big chance when Wright hit a shot on the turn wide from 8 yards out. Then Ferriby went straight up the other end and Curtis Bateson fired over the bar when well placed to score. In the 68th minute Rory Watson made his usual trademark excellent save that we have come to expect in every game. A shot took a massive deflection and he somehow managed to react and push off his opposite foot to dive and save it.
Watson was rewarded for keeping Ferriby in it soon after when Connor Oliver showed his true class in scoring Ferriby’s second goal. Reece Thompson played an incisive pass to find Oliver in space. He continued his run into the box and it looked like Oliver was going to play the through ball. Instead he gave the goalkeeper the eyes and from 20 yards out on the right he picked out the bottom left hand corner leaving the goalkeeper helpless. A quality goal from a classy player.
This was a massive boost for Steve Housham’s side and they started to play with some freedom. Reece Thompson showed great strength to shrug off a defender before shooting wide. He then had the ball in the net after Sam Cosgrove’s shot was parried out to him but the linesman’s flag was up to deny him.
Southport hadn’t given up despite the Ferriby chances and they almost equalised in the 82nd minute. Rory Watson could only parry a shot straight out in front of him and Wright looked certain to pounce on it but Taron Hare came from nowhere to get his foot to the ball first and clear it. This was one of many excellent defensive plays by Hare who had a truly fantastic game at the back.
Ferriby then killed the game off in the last 10 minutes as their clinical edge in front of goal continued. Firstly substitute Ryan Kendall scored the 3rd when Ferriby hit Southport on the counter attack. Reece Thompson, who was excellent again, got to the by line and crossed for Kendall who had a tap in. The Villagers were then gifted a 4th goal to seal the win when a defensive mix up left Reece Thompson to nick the ball from a scrambling goalkeeper before walking the ball across the line. Ferriby now had four goals for the first time this season and they truly deserved them.
Southport pinched a consolation goal in stoppage time but this was Ferriby’s day. For the first time this season they had taken their chances in key moments of the game and they came away with a richly deserved 3 points to the delight of the players, fans and an ecstatic Steve Housham.
FT Southport 2-4 North Ferriby United
Following Ferriby Man of the Match: Taron Hare