Ferriby travelled to Essex on a bitterly cold day to be met by snow and a pitch that could have graced grounds at a much lower level. They had reasons to be confident though. They had not played last weekend while Braintree played and then had to endure an FA Trophy replay on the Tuesday leading up to the game. Ferriby had also brought in a couple of new recruits to bolster Steve Housham’s depleted squad.
Ferriby started the game well and had more of the ball in their opponent’s half. Curtis Bateson had the first half chance when he flashed a shot across goal but it wouldn’t have counted as Reece Thompson was offside. They then put together a great piece of attacking play that should have resulted in a goal. Reece Thompson was played in over the top. He held the ball up well before squaring it to Bateson who saw his shot blocked. The rebound fell to Danny Emerton who drilled it narrowly wide of the post.
Rory Watson must have been freezing at the other end watching all the action so he may well have been pleased to be forced into action midway through the first half. A fierce shot was heading for the bottom corner but Watson dived to his right and tipped it onto the post and away to safety. Ferriby then missed 2 excellent chances to take the lead. Ross Amrstrong found a pass to Curtis Bateson in space. Bateson saw his shot excellently saved before the rebound found Sam Topliss. Topliss crossed it back into the danger area and Danny Emerton looked to have prodded it home but it was blocked on the line! This was a huge chance missed.
It was turning into an end to end first half with Rory Watson called into action again just before the break. A snap shot came in and Watson’s reactions had to be quick and they were as he palmed the shot away to the right.
HT Braintree Town 0-0 North Ferriby United
Ferriby began the second half excellently and dominated the opening exchanges. Reece Thompson saw a shot saved before Bateson fired narrowly over from the edge of the area. It was soon after this that Ferriby missed another 2 guilt edged chances to take the lead. Robbie Tinkler found Sam Topliss in acres of space at the back post. He had time to take a touch but he rushed his shot and could only hit the bar. Reece Thompson put the rebound in the net but he was offside. Just a couple of minutes later Ferriby had another great chance and again it fell to Topliss. This time he burst into the right hand side of the box before hitting a shot across the keeper and agonisingly wide of the left hand post. These missed chances would ultimately cost Ferriby.
Late in the game Braintree delivered the killer blow that they probably didn’t deserve. A cross into the Ferriby box wasn’t dealt with properly and the ball was eventually scrambled home to the delight and probable relief of the home crowd. This was a bitter pill to swallow on a bitterly cold day on Essex. They tried to find an equaliser but it was one of those days were it seemed Ferriby could have played until midnight and they wouldn’t have scored.
Braintree saw the game out take a vital 3 points for them and to leave The Villagers empty handed after a performance that deserved at least a point and probably all three. On a positive note Ben Middleton was back and had a solid game and Robbie Tinkler was excellent on his debut. He looks to have some real quality about him and he bossed the midfield. Manager Steve Housham seemed hopeful we may have a couple more troops back for our next two difficult looking home fixtures against Dover and Lincoln.
FT Braintree Town 1-0 North Ferriby United
Following Ferriby Man of the Match: Robbie Tinkler
Photo Credit: Mark Leighton