FA Vase: St Helens (p)1-1 North Ferriby
FC St. Helens are through to the next round of this season’s FA Vase when they beat highly fancied North Ferriby 7-6 on penalties after the game finished 1-1. The North West Counties Division One side will class this as an upset pulling off a win against a team from the higher division.
With the teams tied 4-4 after the first round of penalties, it went to sudden death with Ferriby’s Josh Dennett missing his. Up stepped Saints substitute Steve Ashton to fire the ball past Ferriby keeper Rob Zand to fire his side into the next round and a home tie with Rossington Main in the Second Qualifying Round.
The Villagers went into this game with some twelve players missing but they should still have had enough to win this game. Adam Bolder returned after a foot injury with Rob Zand in goal with Henry Hampshaw, Lewis Hill, Jordan Douglas and Lewis Exall all missing along with Tom Corner, Niall Tilsley, Danny Clarke and Jason Mycoe.
It was a defeat which has seen Ferriby exit two cup competitions in as many weeks and something which manager Chris Bolder reflected on in his post-match analysis when he said: “Another difficult afternoon for us and we have to take accountability for exiting the cup.
“Regardless of how you analyse performances over the 90 minutes, we have to ensure we are clinical in front of goal. We most certainly wasn’t at our best but we did have enough chances to put the game beyond our opponents. We did get a response regarding energy levels in the second half and the only shot our opponents had resulted in the equalising goal.
“A special mention to Rob Zand who playing his first game in some time was very assured making good contributions throughout the game. Josh Smaller looked very comfortable in possession and passed the ball very well, as well as defending competently, so we can take positives from that. We have to re-group and ensure that during these challenging times we reflect and ensure that we work together to rectify current issues.”
Ferriby dominated this game and should have opened the scoring when Bolder sent in Dennett but excellent defending saved the day for the Saints. The home side then pushed forward and had a big chance of their own but Zand was equal to the task.
Danny Earl was through on goal yet before he could take a shot he was brought down by the last man who only received a booking but the goal was on it’s way. On 23 minutes Danny East flew down the left-hand side and put in a superb cross which was met by the head of Lewis Stephens to score his first goal for the club and the opening goal of the contest.
Ferriby led 1-0 at the break but it could have been two as Danny Earl put in a great cross but nobody was able to get on the end of it to put the ball home. St Helens had their own chances but Ferriby remained solid with a good debut from centre-back Josh Smaller, signed on dual registration from Cleethorpes Town this week.
St Helens came out for the second half taking the game to Ferriby and did have a worthy shout for a penalty for handball on the goal line but it was turned away. But, on 52 minutes the home side got back on level terms with a Joe Barker header which beat Zand.
Ferriby had further chances to win the game and go through as Dennett put a ball the ball into the area but there was no final finish. Bolder then put a great ball in as Oli Donald headed over the bar and Dennett sent in another cross this time for a Danny Earl header which also went wide as it finished all square, with penalties to come.
The statutory five penalties each saw it end 4-4with goals for Ferriby from Danny Buttle, Danny East, Danny Emerton and Adam Bolder with Donald missing his. Saints scored through Liam Houghton, Jack Ball, Barker and Brad Green as Neil Weaver’s effort was saved by Zand.
Louis Kirk and Robbie Start put away their penalty efforts as did Jack Gibney and Jack Graham for the home side before Dennett stepped up but missed his attempt. This left Ashton to put the ball on the spot and send the home fans home happy as the ball rippled the net for the victory.
North Ferriby: Rob Zand, Josh Dennett, Robbie Start, Liam Dickens, Josh Smaller, Oli Donald, Danny Earl, Adam Bolder, Lewis Stephens, Danny East, Danny Emerton.
Subs: Danny Buttle (Stephens), Rinalds Jurkstis, Louis Kirk (Dickens), Liam Nelthorpe.