Ferriby defeat hands title chance to rivals
TABLE-TOPPING North Ferriby slipped to a 1-0 loss to Evostik NPL Premier Division promotion rivals AFC Fylde.
The defeat was Ferriby's first in 10 games and opens up the battle for the automatic promotion spot.
Both Hednesford and FC United will now fancy their chances to take the title.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath said: "It was a poor quality game and both sides cancelled each other out.
Thinking of renting your property? Look no further Lime Property...View details
Lime Property are the regions fastest growing letting agent. If you have a property that you require a tenant for look no further Lime Property are here to help. Call us today on 01482 216060.
Contact: 01482 216060
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"It was always likely that one goal would decide it and, unfortunately for us, poor defensive work cost us.
"The promotion race is wide open and, unfortunately, we no longer control it."
The highly anticipated clash turned out to be a disappointing affair.
Neither side played like promotion contenders in a game of very few clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities.
The game cried out for somebody to put his foot on the ball and make some telling passes in order to put defences under some significant pressure. However, poor passing from both sides made life difficult for the forwards, who struggled against two solid defences.
The first half was a tense affair with the tone set inside the first five minutes when both sides wasted free-kicks in good attacking positions.
Ferriby almost broke through after six minutes but Steve Haslam reached Anthony Wilson's through-ball just ahead of Chris Bolder.
Fylde's response was a free-kick from Sean Cooke that lacked pace and went straight to home keeper Adam Nicklin.
It was 15 minutes before either side threatened with Michael Barnes' shot blocked by Ferriby's defence.
Liam King saw a shot charged down and Fylde's Adam Farrell saw a header saved by Nicklin.
Oliver Banks' angled shot went just over, while Gregg Anderson saw a header shave the post.
With half-time approaching, Banks' header hit Ryan Kendall and was deflected over.
Kendall had a one-on-one with Hinchliffe whose fine save prevented a goal.
The second half followed a similar pattern.
Ferriby applied the early pressure but created no clear chances. Fylde began to exert themselves and Nicklin did well to turn Barnes' shot round the post.
Kendall was just beaten to a Wilson pass by Matty Hughes.
The only goal came after 79 minutes. Barnes was given time and space to cross from the left and substitute James Dean rose unchallenged to head home from six yards.
Fylde finished the stronger with Nicklin saving from both Jack Dorney and Barnes.
A draw would have been a fair result but in a game of almost no chances, Fylde took one of the few on offer.
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Steve Gardner, Nathan Peat, Liam King, Gregg Anderson, Paul Foot, Russell Fry (Ryan Williams 81), Chris Bolder, Anthony Wilson, Ryan Kendall (Gary Bradshaw 67), Oliver Banks; Non-playing subs: Steve Ridley, Paul Robson, Antoni Pecora.