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Team Sheet

North Ferriby United
1
Ross Durrant (c)
2
Jordon Cooke
Yellow card for Jordon Cooke
3
Jack Walters
4
Paul Robson

George '60

5
James Piercey
6
Jack Mail
Yellow card for Jack Mail
7
Jordan Harrison
8
Jamie Forrester

Bannister '80

9
Brett Agnew

Nicholls '66

10
Lewis Collins
Yellow card for Lewis Collins
11
Luke Lofts
Salford City FC
1
Tim Erlandsson
2
Liam Hogan (c)
3
Ibou Touray
Red card for Ibou Touray
4
Lois Maynard
5
Carl Piergianni
6
Danny Livesey
7
Nick Haughton

Mafuta '62

8
Mark Shelton
9
Anthony Dudley
1 goals for Anthony Dudley

Nottingham '62

10
Jack Redshaw

Phenix '72

11
Josh Askew
Substitutes
12
James Nicholls
1 goals for James Nicholls
13
Lewis Exall
14
AJ George
15
Alex Bannister
16
Charlie Dunkerley
Substitutes
12
Scott Burton
14
Gus Mafuta
15
Richie Allen
16
Mike Phenix
17
Michael Nottingham
Managers
Manager - Chris Bolder
Managers
Joint Manager - Bernard Morley
Joint Manager - Anthony Johnson
Match Officals
Referee - John Matthews
Assistant Referee - Andrew Kitchen
Assistant Referee - Derric Wade

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Match
Report

A late equaliser denied ten-man Salford City victory at The Eon Visual Media Stadium but in fairness the Ammies hardly did enough to earn all three points. The first half sending-off of Ibou Touray didn’t help of course but in all honesty there wasn’t too much satisfaction to be taken from a very patchy performance.

With Max Crocombe away on international duty with New Zealand loan signing Tim Erlandsson made his Salford City debut between the sticks. Liam Hogan was fit for duty but the central defensive partnership of Carl Piergianni & Danny Livesey was retained, with the skipper slotting in at right-back. Tom Walker would have been absent on England ‘C’ duty anyway but illness meant that the in-form winger missed out at both club and international level this evening and Josh Askew took his place.

Defeat this evening would definitely consign The Villagers to relegation and in the end a point – welcome as it was – would not prove sufficient to avoid the trapdoor. There was football to be played in the meantime, but in the event, not too much…

On a cold night in East Yorkshire Salford started well, putting their opponents under almost immediate pressure. The first half-dozen minutes produced a couple of free-kicks and a corner for the Ammies but Anthony Dudley’s blocked shot on the turn was the only real chance to present itself.

The Villagers struggled to get out of their own half during the opening stages but a half-chance came their way in the 8th minute. Luke Lofts dispossessed Lois Maynard wide on Ferriby’s left and after cutting inside elected to have a go. It was a pretty ambitious effort and the soaring lob descended into the arms of visiting keeper Erlandsson.

The Ammies had seen plenty of possession so far without particularly threatening Ross Durrant’s goal but they went close in the 10th minute. Dudley’s pass to the left found Askew who found the space to deliver a cross into the middle. Dudley’ headed the ball on and Hogan’s low shot from right-of-centre nicked off a defender on its way narrowly wide of the far post. The corner was cleared as far as Jack Redshaw whose pass to the left picked out Nick Haughton. From the angle of the box the midfielder hit a rising effort that Durrant pushed around his right-hand upright for a corner.

A few more corners were won and from one of them Redshaw cleverly controlled a dropping ball before having an effort on goal blocked.

Some cause for optimism for the vocal band of travelling supporters but despite the ball spending virtually all of the first quarter of an hour inside the Ferriby half, goalkeeper Durrant hadn’t exactly been over extended.

The home side had defended well and having soaked up pressure competently enough they gradually began to carry possession further upfield. Nevertheless Salford still looked the more likely of the two sides to open the scoring and in the seventeenth minute Askew latched onto Ibou Touray’s pass before crossing from the left. Dudley only just failed to get onto the end of that one with Ferriby again having plenty of bodies around to clear their lines.

In the 21st minute Haughton’s corner dropped to the near post where Piergianni got in a header that was just about cleared off the line. That was by some way the best chance so far and within a couple of minutes Haughton had been tripped outside the area. Mark Shelton lined up the ball but from left-of-centre his powerfully struck shot crashed into the defensive wall. There was no convincing clearance and Shelton popped up seconds later on the right-hand side of the area to drill in a low effort that Durrant gathered at the base of the near post.

The Ammies weren’t hammering at the door exactly – It was more like knocking insistently but at the other end Ferriby were beginning to look dangerous on the break. Jordan Harrison beat Touray to the ball wide on the right and despite a hint of offside the flag stayed down and striker Brett Agnew headed goalwards through the inside right channel. For the first time Salford looked vulnerable but Danny Livesey had anticipated the peril and got across to make a vital interception.

A reminder that The Villagers could not be discounted but Salford were soon back on the offensive. Another foul on Haughton led to a free-kick and Touray lofted his delivery beyond Durrant’s right-hand post. Piergianni was there to head back inside but the ball ran through a forest of legs to be collected by the keeper.

North Ferriby won their first corner just before the half-hour and Jamie Forrester knocked the set-piece just beyond the far post. Big defender James Piercey’s run had taken him into a decent position but Livesey had tracked him and was able to flick a header that cleared the immediate danger.

Lewis Collins was booked for a trip on Shelton as Salford countered but there would a rather more significant card within another couple of minutes. Touray and Ferriby’s Paul Robson closed in to contend a loose ball inside Salford’s half and the home midfielder went to ground. Touray’s momentum took him into the challenge and his foot caught the top of Robson’s head. There didn’t seem to be any malicious intent at all and the contact looked accidental but the referee immediately brandished a red card in the direction of Salford’s left-back.

Down to 10 men the Ammies readjusted by dropping Askew to left-back and they had some defending to do as Ferriby looked to take immediate advantage of their numerical superiority. Forrester whipped a right-flank corner that was cleared by a cracking Askew header and before the ball was finally cleared a couple of Ferriby efforts had been blocked. Lofts exploited some space on Ferriby’s left and managed to cut into the area. There were options available but the home number 11 elected to have a go, only to lob an effort well wide of the far post.

An uncomfortable 5 minutes or so for Salford but they responded by taking the lead 6 minutes before half-time. Maynard’s pass to the right found Redshaw who advanced before crossing low towards the near post. DUDLEY was in there, as was the keeper and the ball seemed to ricochet around until the Salford striker managed to poke it over the line.

A very timely goal as Ferriby had been getting on top and indeed the home side continued to press afterwards. Collins showed some decent control outside the box on the right but after a sight of goal opened up he could only drag a low left-footer well wide of Erlandsson’s left-hand upright.

The half finished as it had started, with Salford having plenty of possession in the home half. A neat move saw Askew, Redshaw and Dudley combine before the latter hit an effort from the tightest of angles on the left. Durrant was equal to that one and in the penultimate minute of the half looked on as Haughton’s fizzing 25-yarder flew just wide of his right-hand post.

NORTH FERRIBY UNITED 0 SALFORD CITY 1

There were no personnel changes during the interval and the Ammies emerged for the second half looking to extend their lead. In the 47th minute Piergianni’s free-kick from deep and wide on the left was headed into the box by Hogan where Redshaw got in an angled effort from outside the keeper’s right-hand post. That one flashed across the six-yard box with Dudley unable to apply a finishing touch at the far upright.

A presentable opportunity to establish a two-goal cushion and based on the pattern of the game so far that would probably have been enough to take the points back to Moor Lane. Another free-kick followed a couple of minutes later, this one delivered to the edge of the box from wide on the left by Shelton. Piergianni got up to head into the penalty area where Hogan stretched to glance on an effort that dropped wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.

Jack Mail was yellow carded after clattering into Haughton but the free-kick came to nothing and Ferriby launched an attack of their own. A cross came in from their right with Erlandsson stretching to push the ball away from his goal. Not far enough though and a couple of efforts were blocked as a frantic scramble ensued in the Salford penalty area. The Ammies survived that scare and then managed to dictate the pace of the game for a while, denying their hosts the opportunity to apply a consistent spell of pressure. A couple of minutes past the hour Gus Mafuta and Michael Nottingham came on for Haughton & Dudley, ushering in a 3-5-1 formation with wing-backs.

It was a bold change but seemed to be doing the trick as Ferriby were held at comfortable arm’s length. Lofts used his pace to burst through the centre in the 64th minute but with defenders converging could only lash a shot high over the crossbar.

The plan to contain seemed to be working and Salford carved out a decent opening with 19 minutes left. Maynard lofted a good pass to the right where Redshaw set off on a run towards goal. In the event Piercey did well to recover and his considerable presence meant that an off-balance Redshaw could only blast an 18-yarder wide of Durrant’s left-hand upright.

Salford’s top-scorer was ploughing a lonely furrow up front and with 17 minutes left was replaced by Mike Phenix. The game was a little scrappy and largely free of goalmouth action by now but that suited a Salford side whose only ambition now was to secure the three points on offer.

In the 79th minute an energetic burst forward from Shelton encouraged Mafuta to make a run but with the former Gateshead man in acres of space the pass was cut out.

Into the last 10 minutes and things were still going quite well for the Ammies. North Ferriby had by no means given up the hunt but seemed low on attacking ideas. Substitute Alex Bannister shimmied inside from the left but his shot from distance drifted wide of the far post. In the 85th minute home right-back Jordon Cooke got into the area before hitting the turf – the penalty claims were muted and the referee was distinctly unimpressed.

This had not, in fact been an impressive game in any sense but at least Salford were within touching distance of their overriding objective – the win. There was to be a nasty sting in the tail however and in the 86th minute Ferriby put together a flowing bit of football, finished off when another home substitute, JAMES NICHOLLS planted a fine finish past Erlandsson from 15 yards out.

Possibly the first bit of real quality that Ferriby had managed to summon all night but it had pegged Salford back right at the death. The Ammies pushed forward in the aftermath of that equaliser but the tactical changes meant that most of the attacking talent now sat on the bench. As the game moved into injury time Phenix collected a throw-in from the left before heading to the line on the right-hand side of the box and drilling a low ball across the face of goal. Nottingham and Askew were closing in but neither could get there and a precious late chance was gone. Mafuta had a late hooked effort blocked and the same played slid a pass to Shelton on the right seconds later. A cross was swung into the box but Piergianni’s header went wide of the far post and two vital points had been lost.

NORTH FERRIBY UNITED 1 SALFORD CITY 1

North Ferriby United were relegated despite getting a good result this evening. With no disrespect intended that relegation has been coming virtually all season and the Villagers are certainly the weakest side we’ve seen during two step 2 seasons. The fact that home keeper / captain Ross Durrant didn’t really have a difficult save to make is worrying, and even allowing for our disadvantage in numbers we will have to do much, much better than this to claim automatic promotion.

At certain times during this match it would have been less than straightforward for an uninformed neutral to decide which of these teams was top of the league. Quality was notable by its virtual absence and that is not a great springboard for a run of much more challenging fixtures over the Easter period.

Overall though we’ve done very well this season – I suspect most fans, given a choice during last summer, would have taken the offer of a two point lead going into the Easter programme. We are, of course, still top of the league although the pendulum has inched a little in the direction of Harrogate Town – and Brackley Town – today.

The task now is starkly simple – stand up, be counted and win the league or settle for second best and trust in that most fickle of competitions, the end-of-season play-offs. The performance at Kidderminster on Saturday will go some way towards revealing which of those paths lies ahead of us.

Johnno and Bernard’s sides have a track record of pulling out performances and results when they are most needed – now would be a good time to start getting them.

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