County 1 North Ferriby United 2 : Conference North
Normally after a game I drift off home, fix a quick bite and then launch myself into the match report, but today I just had to vary the modus.....I just had to have a drink! I am guessing that I would not be alone in that response either, and that a multitude of County fans would be doing likewise, after what they had just witnessed- namely another abject surrender by their team.
( pic ,via Facebook, courtesy Darren Berry)
OK , North Ferriby were fourth in the division and fresh from a morale boosting Cup win, but we really had the right to expect rather more than we got from our boys, who were just never at the races against a side that just went about doing what they do , and did it rather well. Second to almost every loose ball and 50/50, County fell at the first hurdler when Anthony Wilson rose unencumbered to head home from a corner. Wilson was the best player on the park by a country mile, but how much of this was down to County`s deficiencies I leave to your judgement. Certainly he was a considerable handful for County, and Fagbola constantly looked about to foul him in extremis, and when Wilson scored again just beyond the hour that was more or less it as far as a contest was concerned. The admirable Phil Jevons ( my County M.O.M ) pulled one back late on, and it was something of a belter, but it never looked likely that County would upset the East Yorkshire applecart at any time, and that`s how it turned out!
Teams come out!
There was early cause for alarm for County fans, with the news that Rhys Turner was out with a hip injury. His place was taken by Mark Lees, the Clubs new recruit from Stalybridge Celtic- the other changes in the starting line up being Steve O`Halloran in for Scott Duxbury, Moses for Gosset, and Howard for Charnock.
Not much occurred early on, and the first move of note came 4 minutes in when a delightful flick on from Jevons sent Dennis dashing clear. I saw this as a decent chance, but Dennis`s shot went wide by a yard or so!
Another minute... and another move materialised from County as O`Halloran set Dickinson up nicely with a powerful run down the left. Initially Dicko did well, manoeuvring himself into something resembling a decent shooting position, but the shot that followed was a considerable disappointment, missing the target by some distance.
That was an encouraging start from County, but it didn`t last, instead the Yorkshiremen eased their way forward with some neat approach play and O`Halloran did well ( twice) to keep a free kick out and then deny Liam King as he went after a long ball. Yes....after that relatively bright opening County were having to defend as Jamie Yates and Anthony Wilson took turns to tweak the County tail.
Only 13 minutes had gone, but I was already unsettled, but relieved to see Ormson out quickly to deny Liam King who had beaten the County offside trap.
We needed a response from the blues ,but when it came almost inevitably they would spoil it with a foul – O`Halloran did actually manage one shot ....a screamer actually but this flashed across goal and went out without troubling visiting keeper Adam Nicklin. Not deterred County kept at it- Moses sending Dickinson clear, but the liner flagged him offside , and O` Halloran fared no better shortly after straining in vain to reach a free kick from Platt.
OK.....so far so..........er.........good, but a minute on from this and disaster came calling in the shape of a corner won rather innocuously by Danny Clarke. I was thinking that this was the first real test of the metal of this freshly minted County back line, but if it was it was a definite fail, because the ball came over to Anthony Wilson who, being unencumbered by markers, promptly headed home! We were a goal down and back under pressure in no time when Platt fouled Nat Jarman when he really didn`t have to. Fagbola and Jevons did enough to see the danger off, but we needed County to show greater discipline than this- much greater!
Instead the pressure kept building from North Ferriby relieved only by good work from Jevons who set Dicko up for an abortive break, and a shot by Dennis that earned applause but drifted wide of goal. In truth it was not an unfamiliar sight that of County struggling to gain possession, but that was what we were looking at ......AGAIN!
Ormson was as busy as anyone around now doing well to keep Anthony Wilson`s cross from causing havoc, and then stopping the other Wilson( Matthew) from applying a finish to another corner! That was good defending, what followed wasn`t as Anthony Wilson escaped the clutches of Fagbola and headed for goal. County were fortunate that the resulting shot took a deflection off Jacobs, but having said that they had another corner to defend and I am guessing that they would rather not! Unsurprisingly perhaps County struggled when the kick came over- only just blocking the initial header from Russell Fry ,and they were thankful that Fagbola was in position to keep the follow up from Anthony Wilson out.
This was not great to see, notwithstanding that the east Yorkshire side were playing reasonably good football- we needed some of the same from County, but would we get it?
Well......not immediately anyway as County were pushed back again ......and again as O`Halloran gave a free kick away needlessly. The free kick magnified the County angst and it was significant to see Dicko back supplementing the defensive efforts of his colleagues at this point. His extra input looked to be needed as North Ferriby were still first to just about everything!
Some decent stuff was coming from the visitors now, and I feared the worst as they broke clear again through Jarman. He looked nicely placed but elected to pass to Clarke rather than shoot. I thought he had chosen correctly, but it mattered not, as Clarke sent the poorest of crosses into no man`s land enabling the blues to clear the danger.
We were within sight of the break now, but still there was no respite as Fagbola was caught in possession setting up yet another raid from the Villagers, and the blues were distinctly lucky to get the nod from the referee, when Clarke and Lees came together in the box.
That was about it for a very disappointing first half.....or so I thought, but after 43 minutes of almost total tedium watching County stretched on the rack......the blue corpse gave an almighty twitch!
Nothing at all seemed on one moment, then the next the ball ambled over from the left to Dickinson who in a flash had the keeper diving acrobatically to tip the ball over the bar at the last gasp! That was unexpectedly good, but the corner that followed was defended well by North Ferriby, and that was that for the first half apart from a late effort from Dennis that was more of a danger to passing traffic from Ringway, than Adam Nicklin.
If we needed something better from County in the second half, it looked for a time as though that was what we would get as Howard won a corner as the blues surged forward attacking the Cheadle End. Now.....what followed was probably a game changer for O`Halloran went to head the ball at the back post ,when the kick came over, only for the deftest of pushes from behind by Clarke to stop him from doing so. The referee, I think, saw the action, but allowed play to go on which was an error- had O`Halloran opted for a theatrical fall maybe things would have been different, but he remained on his feet – anyway the chance was gone and probably the game with it!
Notwithstanding the disappointment of that last action, I was encouraged, more so when Dicko sent Dennis clear with a deft flick. Jevons joined the fray and County had a corner which keeper Nicklin contrived to spill. It was a rare moment of mayhem in the visitors last third, but Matthew Wilson`s diving header ended his sides discomfiture and the moment passed.
The next few minutes were not good to watch for County supporters as possession remained with the Villagers, and County conceded a welter of free kicks and corners under pressure. Jevons did get one header in to break the monotony, but this went a yard wide and did not change County`s situation at all. Indeed it constantly looked about to get worse and I was relieved to see Fagbola get his head to a cross from Clarke that had danger written all over it.
County were trying to start the odd raid going but it was clear that, with 2 men watching him, Dickinson was on a tight rein. AL had tried to shuffle the pack and instil a bit of order into County`s play- swapping Moke for Howard and later Lofthouse for Platt, but the Yorkshire side continued to be first to just about everything and it was no real surprise when they doubled their advantage with around 25 minutes left. Almost inevitably it started with Anthony Wilson who turned Fagbola inside out on the edge of the box. I expected a foul at any second from young Jordan, but it didn`t happen like that, instead Wilson was away and another neat turn saw him past Lees and all that was left was for him to swivel and fire a lovely shot into the far corner of Ormson`s net- not a bad goal if I`m honest, but not impossible to stop maybe!
Things then looked about to go from bad to ridiculously bad as Wilson was back assessing the white`s of Ormson`s eyes, and within a minute of the second goal. He was in behind the blue back line and odds on to score, but Ormson did his job well and kept the shot out!
A free kick.....a corner to County, made little difference to the general pattern of play, which reverted quickly to default position as Wilson got the jump on Fagbola again. This was another real chance, but this time Wilson did not take it, his shot missing the target by a yard. It went on with Clarke doing outstandingly well in a tight situation down the right to get a cross over. He picked Wilson out with it as well, but Ormson did enough to keep the resultant header out.
Fair do`s to the blues.....they kept trying...Jevons went close with a free kick, and Dickinson on a run, but it looked a lost cause even when County got another free kick and Jevons prepared another attempt. This kick was better as Jevons kept it low taking a deflection off a defender which necessitated a late diving save from Nicklin to keep it at 0-2. From the corner that ensued, it will surprise you not that County collapsed in disarray as Wilson and Clarke surged clear. The County back line were AWOL and it maybe should have been 0-3, but Clarke`s shot left loads to be desired and County survived. A shot from Yates a minute or so later fared no better, but with just under 10 minutes left, the visitors looked home and dry.
That`s how it appeared anyway, but the 82nd minute brought some hope for County as with North Ferriby struggling to clear their lines, Jevons reduced the arrears with a nicely weighted lob that gave the keeper no chance . It was 1-2 ....did County now have a chance?
Well.........possibly, but they needed to keep the back door locked though and it wasn`t and Wilson was oh so close to adding a third from yet another indifferently defended corner!
The last few minutes of normal time, saw County straining to equalise, and with 3 minutes left they just might have had Dennis done better when Moke sent him clear with some excellent work. Instead Dennis snatched at what was a decent chance and passed the ball straight into the keeper`s arms! Moke was getting into a groove now , but his next pass to Dennis saw the ex Curzon Ashton man lay it off to O`Halloran who was reasonably placed, and he contrived to balloon the ball into the Cheadle End, which was a massive disappointment.
Into added time County kept at it, but with the same lack of reward- Nicklin was as busy as Ormson ever had been in the dying embers of the game but the ball stayed out of his net, and his team had all the points as a result.
return journey to Isle of Man
Another poor result and not a good performance once again.
The enforced break now perhaps will allow Rhys Turner to get fully fit, but will it see an improvement from his team mates, who with one or two honourable exceptions are not doing the biz to any significant degree?
County line up:
Ormson, Jacobs, Fagbola, Lees, O`Halloran, Platt ( Lofthouse 63), Moses ( Gosset 77), Howard ( Moke 54), Jevons, Dennis.Dickinson.
Subs not used : Jones, Duxbury.
North Ferriby United line up;
Nicklin, Robson, Peat, King, Wilson M, Anderson, Clarke, Fry, Wilson A, Jarman , Yates.