Play-offs: North Ferriby 2-0 Rossington
North Ferriby are through to the Northern Counties East League play-off final when they will play Harrogate Railway Athletic next Saturday at the Dransfield Stadium for a place in the Premier Division. The Villagers beat nine-man Rossington Main in a game in which they were always comfortable to earn their place in front of a crowd of 901.
Ferriby controlled the game from minute one when Josh Dennett put in a couple of long throws which firstly saw a foul by Adam Bolder and then a Dennett shot which was well saved. Then with thirteen minutes gone there was an appeal for a penalty when man of the match Josh Whiteley looked to have been brought down but the claims were waved away.
A minute later Ferriby could have opened the scoring when a Dennett long throw saw a bullet header by Danny East but an acrobatic save from Main keeper Kian Johnson tipped the ball over the bar. Main then replied when a long ball, their trait for the game, to Brad Grayson saw the striker into the box but it was cleared by Niall Tilsley.
In their next attack Main were reduced to ten men when they put in another long ball which bounced between the striker and Ferriby keeper Lewis Exall. Grayson put his boot high and scraped it down Exall’s face and after treatment to both players the striker was sent off much to the distain of his team mates.
On 33 minutes Ferriby, who had been knocking on the door, finally took the lead when Whiteley raced down the left and put in a powerful cross. It bounced off the legs of Main centre-back Gary Mundy and into the net but had he missed East would have been there to tap in.
Four minutes later the home side made it 2-0 and it was that man Whiteley as he took a great ball to control and smash the ball past a helpless Johnson. Main replied and a ball through from full back Jordan Buckham to Tyla Bell saw the striker hit a shot on target but Exall was equal to it as Ferriby went in at the break leading 2-0.
Ferriby lost Danny Emerton to an ankle injury he picked up early in the game and which he tried to run off but he was replaced at the break by Danny Clarke. The striker has been out of action since he was seriously injured in the pre-season friendly at Barton Town back in July of last year.
The opening minutes of the second half saw Main push forward looking to get a goal back as William Montero raced down the wing as he put in Zeph Thomas. His goal-bound shot was superbly defended by Tilsley for a corner which Greg Young which headed over the bar.
Ferriby continued to try and add further goals but despite, like they have all season, creating chance there was no end product to add to their tally. Clarke had a chance but his shot wasn’t strong enough before Corner latched onto a Dennett long throw but his shot went high and wide.
With 76 minutes gone there was a moment of madness from Mian when, for no apparent reason, as Whiteley went down the left pushing the ball away Mundy came across and pushed him into the hoardings at the side of the pitch. This saw both sets of players clash but Mundy was given a red card and was still remonstrating as he left the field.
Whitely was fit to continue but was substituted a few minutes later with Jamie Forrester who immediately had a shot wide of the target. Louis Kirk then had two shots blocked before Oli Donald put a header over the bar but by then it was job done and 90 minutes from promotion.
Manager Chris Bolder was pleased to be in the play off final when he said: “I’m delighted and I think you have a vision of how a game is going to go.
“It certainly wasn’t how it was today but what we did was a different side to our game and we had great structure especially as they had a lot of the ball in their home third. They didn’t really cause us any problems by putting pressure on us so we held our shape well as sometimes you have to win football games in different ways.
“I think they were both red cards and I don’t think they can argue with any of them but even when they went down to ten men it didn’t change their balance of play as it was a striker who went off. I think they have had one shot all game so although they moved the ball really well they found us hard to break down.”
North Ferriby: Lewis Exall, Josh Dennett, Robbie Start, Adam Bolder, Niall Tilsley ©, Oli Donald, Danny Emerton (Danny Clarke H/T), Louis Kirk, Tom Corner (Danny Buttle 66), Danny East, Josh Whiteley (Jamie Forrester 78).
Subs not used: Rob Zand, Rich Medcalf.
Referee: Aaron Hallam
Man of the match: Josh Whiteley
Report kindly provided by North Ferriby