North Ferriby United 2 Stockport County 0 ( Vanarama National League -North) 26 March 2016

County’s unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt today, at the irritatingly named Eon Visual Media Stadium, where a no-nonsense set of bruisers from North Ferriby won the game 2-0, with second half goals from Wayne Brooksby and Tom Denton.
To say it was not pretty, is to grossly misuse that hackneyed cliché ….at times it was distinctly X Certificate stuff as the home side laid into anyone in County blue with reckless abandon at times. 
Andrew Machin catches JG in animated mood !

Only Ashley Palmer and Dan Hone found their way into Mr Brown’s book, but that was down more to the referee’s inclination to let `loads go’ than to any saintliness on the Humbersiders’ part. And…..the home team’s approach paid off handsomely when County’s best player, Danny Morton was forced off, after 55 minutes. Morton had been kicked from hill to burn throughout and so had Odejayi ,thus…… when he joined Morton , matters went pear shaped rather quickly for County, as an error by the County defence gifted the hosts their first goal.   
Odejayi in action.....

This was swiftly followed by another just 5 minutes later, putting the game pretty much beyond County’s reach.
They did try to get back into it in the last 20 minutes, but a lack of craft in midfield rather undermined the effort. Keeper Adam Nicklin did have to pull off one belting save from a Marsden rocket, but there was no way through for JG’s boys. And….there was more disappointment for those hoping for the arrival of the promised tsunami, that had allegedly forced Fylde game to be abandoned,  and was heading our way-it failed to show .

The Teams by Andrew Machin.
Back at 3 o’clock and a few seconds, North Ferriby were first on the offensive, but County, with Morton, Ellison and Field offering protection in front of another re-shuffled back four, dealt with everything that came their way without any difficulty.

Early action.
Having weathered this  early storm, County ventured forth , and on 5 minutes things looked distinctly good for them as a surging run by Morton ended with him pinging a peach of a cross to where Brodie lurked in the box. This was good stuff ….but a glance to my left told me the liners flag was upraised- offside he would have us believe…..well…I was not convinced!

Wilde down.......
Injury to Josh Wilde held matters up for a while following the last action , and new man Marcus Poscha was called on to head clear from a free kick from Russ Fry.
Ferriby applied themselves again after this particularly Curtis Bateman and Tom Denton who I made the top man for the home side. At this point he only earned himself a rebuke from Mr B following an indiscretion as he made his way deep into blue territory. Bateman was prevented from putting Brooksby in, by Ian Ormson’s alert reactions,  and the first 10 minutes passed with the score still 0-0.
Just two minutes on from that last action and I was up in arms as Morton’s latest surging run saw him clattered rather comprehensively in the box by the keeper. At the other end it would have signalled a penalty…..but it wasn’t one despite complaints by the County players and the specs in the vicinity! In case you are wondering at all…..I would have given it!

Morton felled in box.....
County were down to 10 for a fair bit after this during which time Wilde took advantage of the open space created by Morton’s absence to nip in and ping a cheeky one over. It was worth a try, but Ormson was able to watch it fly wide with the minimum of fuss.
Brooksby……Bateson….both tried their best to stretch the County defence, but the Hatters were still not looking at all stressed ….indeed from one such Ferriby push…..Brodie scooted clear to plant a neat finish beyond Nicklin into the net. Hmmm……goal?.....err….no…..the liners flag was waving irritatingly once more and the effort did not count.
Meanwhile…….Ferriby kept on the look out for scraps, but Liam King’s bicycle kick on 21 minutes missed the target by a distance.
After this….County applied themselves again to the task of getting that elusive opener- a foul on Morton ushering in possibilities in the shape of a Field free kick. Palmer headed this out under pressure, but County were not done, and I winced to see Marsden upended in the box by Hone.

Marsden this time........
 Nailed on penalty? Well….I would have given it, however my namesake, possibly relying on the liners help( which like hurricane Katie…failed to show)…did not, and it stayed 0-0.
That said…..County were warming to their task now, and it was disappointing to see Odejayi break clear and curl a shot into the keeper’s hands, and more angst followed as Marsden’s charge to the by-line, ended with Brodie lifting his shot into the allotments behind the goal from Marsden’s pull back.

Break by Odejayi
On it went with a sweet move involving Odejayi, Field and Ellison   ending with Marsden’s shot being saved by Nicklin, and another move shortly after curtailed by the crudest of assaults by Hone on Brodie, that earned him a booking. With Brodie off the pitch for what seemed eons….the chance went begging when Odejayi’s header went wide.

Booking for Hone.
Back came County once more…..maybe this time we would square this circle……but no… Marsden jinked through the middle so he was hauled down by the none too particular Liam King. King did not get booked, but County did have a free kick and it was smack in front ….thus scoreable! However….Field’s kick was deflected for a corner which was something of a lulu and that was that.    

County press.....
Marsden continued to appear to offer County their best chance of making headway, at this point, but his run was blocked legally by Palmer on 41 minutes, whilst he could not keep his header down 3 minutes later after Brodie had comprehensively filleted the left side of the Ferriby defence.

Ooo...Errrr.... a close call....

The last couple of minutes were a procession of free kicks to County as first Wilde then Palmer launched themselves at passing blue shirts. This was not good to watch, and I was not that unhappy to hear the half time whistle go.

Another view of part County following by Andrew Machin.
The re-start saw Sam Topliss on for Josh Wilde for Ferriby, and it also saw our hosts again take the game to County from the off. If Ferriby were first out of the blocks though , County looked to be altogether sharper at this stage  and Morton’s run saw Fry almost head the ball into his own net. Instead….it was a corner, and sadly not a great one, and the Villagers survived.
Brodie saw a run cut short on the edge of the box by Topliss, but  it was slightly worrying to see Ferriby getting forward so- Bateson behind much of their work. Denton was in the mix as well, and Ormson did particularly well to deny him as he was allowed to dart clear. Corners followed as Hone saw an effort deflected. Midst all the defensive activity, County struggled to work the ball clear, and when they eventually did….Brodie was flagged offside to compound the angst.
 Then…on 55 minutes Lady Luck took aim in our direction with her fashion excessory. I did not see who was the said Lady’s accomplice in the shadow of the Humber Bridge, but sure enough I looked up to see Morton writhing on the ground , and absolutely nobody in white and green holding their hands up. 

Morton in fairly typical action !

 It was not long before he was forced to retire from the action, being replaced by Brandon Wilson.
A whole load of pressure came County’s way next, and again Ormson did well…really well in fact…..tipping Denton’s shot over the bar at the last gasp at one point- watching as Bateson’s header flew wide the next.
County did have their moments around this juncture too but still the luck was out as Marsden’s latest effort whizzed inches wide of goal with Brodie straining every sinew to reach it near the back post. !
That was unlucky….and more ill fortune followed quickly on as Odejayi , had to be subbed. He was replaced by Sam Grimshaw , which offered us options down the left, but was hardly like for like.

Grimshaw on ( by Andrew Machin )
Then our luck took another decisive turn for the worst, when County failed to clear from the edge of the box, allowing the Villagers a sniff of goal. The break was on…..and Brooksby took full advantage scoring with ease past the cruelly exposed Ormson.
Shortly after this, Field was replaced by Obi Anoruo, but matters did not get any better for County, indeed…quite the opposite!

Late sub- Obi Anoruo.
Wilson did well to clear up as Brooksby’s cross pinged in from the left, but again County could not convert an intended clearance into attacking possession and the result was that Denton was played clear down the right. I found myself enquiring about offside, but ho…hum….the liner who had flagged relentlessly throughout the first 45 minutes had his flag to his side…so on strode Denton to slam the second home!
There were still 20 minutes left of the game, but it was a big ask for us to expect County to come back from this!
They did try…….Roberts and Grimshaw pushing forward down the right. A plethora of fouls, by United, punctuated the County progress, disrupting it inevitably.

Anoruo + company....

Ferriby were under the cosh somewhat for the last quarter of an hour, and more than once they were indebted to Denton whose defensive work saw him head clear with the pressure very much on.

Late charge by County ( Andrew Machin )
There was work to do also at the other end …..Brooksby ……almost capitalising on more County slackness, and O’Hanlon having to work hard to block a run by King.
Mostly though, it was a case of County on the front foot  and ,almost on 90 minutes they almost snatched one back….almost…..but although Marsden’s shot was a corker….so was Nicklin’s response and a brilliant diving save by him kept us 2 down as the home specs cheered!
Oh…and the carnage was still happening…pretty much unchecked- I pick just one of many fouls out……Middleton on Grimshaw as 3 minutes added time was announced. 

Grimshaw on the ball.....
It had the desired effect….it stopped County’s raid in its tracks. So….the tactic worked, but would I watch it week in week out…….no…… absolutely not!
Wilson got forward late on….missing narrowly with a shot and getting on the end of a prompt by Ellison to ping a dangerous ball in from the by-line, but it was to no avail……the Villagers were not to be moved and held out for a 2-0 win that will have pleased them no end.
After making my point in my last report about pitch invasions and flares, it is good to report that County’s large following behaved impeccably throughout- brilliant stuff…well done everyone!
See you all at Edgeley Park on Monday  then for County v AFC Fylde!

North Ferriby United line up:

Nicklin,Middleton, Wilde( Topliss 45), King, Palmer, Hone, Hotte, Fry, Denton, Brooksby, Bateson( Emerton 71).

Subs not used:

Bolder, Gray, Kendall.

Stockport County line up:

Ormson, Poscha, O’Hanlon, Connolly, Roberts, Morton( Wilson 55),Ellison, Field( Anoruo 68) , Marsden, Odejayi( Grimshaw 63), Brodie.

Subs not used:

Henderson, Joyce.

Attendance: 926

Ian Brown


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