Heath's men sign off 2012 in style
NORTH Ferriby boss Billy Heath is delighted his side will start 2013 at the top of the Evostik NPL Premier Division after a comfortable 5-0 victory at bottom club Eastwood Town.
Ferriby now have a four-point lead over second-placed Hednesford Town, whose game was postponed.
The chasing pack has games in hand on The Villagers but they will all be dismayed by Ferriby's win.
Heath said: "This was a good all-round performance and, to be honest, we could have scored a few more goals.
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"It's certainly a great feeling to go in to the New Year at the top of the league."
This victory was a thoroughly professional performance by Ferriby who controlled the game throughout and could probably have won by a wider margin.
On a heavy pitch it was Eastwood who almost opened the scoring after six minutes but Adam Nicklin made a fine flying save to turn Matt Harris's shot for a corner.
Ferriby's response was clinical.
Liam King found Anthony Wilson and he finished his 30 yard run with an unselfish pass to Ryan Williams who shot home from 10 yards.
Nine minutes later it was 2-0.
Ryan Kendall headed on to Chris Bolder who shot home from 12 yards for his 50th goal for the club.
Ferriby continued to dominate the game with Bolder, twice, and Wilson both going close before half-time.
The pitch held up well despite the recent heavy rain but underfoot conditions did not always make it easy to judge passes and this limited the number of clear-cut chances.
Eastwood attacks were largely limited to long balls for their strikers to chase and their only significant threat came from corners.
Ferriby opened the second half in pretty much the same way.
King's pass found Kendall who slid the ball just wide.
Ferriby almost added a third when Romaine Graham headed against his own cross-bar.
Wilson and Kendall then combined but the ball failed to fall kindly for a clear shot.
The third goal finally came after 63 minutes. Kendall was played in following a neat passing move.
He beat a defender before rounding keeper Richard Stainsby and sliding the ball home from a narrow angle.
To their credit, Eastwood kept going forward at every opportunity and almost pulled a goal back but Nicklin turned Greg Simmons' looping free-kick over the bar.
Ferriby killed off the game eight minutes from time.
Danny Clarke, Gary Bradshaw and Kendall combined to give Williams the chance to score with an angled shot.
Kendall scored Ferriby's final goal in the 90th minute after Bradshaw unselfishly provided him with the opportunity.
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Dean Lisles, Nathan Peat, Liam King, Paul Foot (Mark Gray 80), Steve Ridley, Danny Clarke, Chris Bolder (Russell Fry 74) Anthony Wilson (Gary Bradshaw 77), Ryan Kendall, Ryan Williams Non-playing subs: Steve Gardner, Antoni Pecora