Match deleted from records in March 2019 after North Ferriby's playing record expunged


Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

North Ferriby United

Waudby (74) (penalty)


Hednesford Town

Cockerline (45), Cooper (90)

(0) 1


(1) 2



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Dan Cockerline




Farsley Celtic (H) 1.1.19

The Pitmen handed their supporters a late Christmas present this afternoon, as caretaker/manager Francino Francis earned himself a first win in five games courtesy of a late, dramatic victory over basement club North Ferriby United at Grange Lane


The Pitmen arrived in East Yorkshire off the back of four successive defeats which had seen them slide down the league table since the departure of Rob Smith and Larry Chambers. Francis made only one change to the side that had lost at home to Witton Albion on Saturday, with Jack Hallahan returning to the starting XI in place of Jed Davies, who was carrying a knock. There was no sign of contracted pair Josh Craddock or Lewis Archer once more, with Francis naming Isaac Cooper amongst the substitutes after making a late swoop to sign the former Rushall, Halesowen and Redditch winger from Darlaston Town


Ferriby's descent back down the pyramid has been a rapid one, with the Villagers rock bottom of the Evo-Stik Premier League table following two seasons of struggle at both step one and step two, thus staring a third successive relegation in the face. Former player Paul Foot had been appointed as manager with a modest budget to work with in October, bringing back club legend Gary Bradshaw in an attempt to reverse the losing mentality that had set in at the club over the past two seasons. A recent win over Grantham Town was a brief high point for the Villagers, but a run of three successive defeats heading into the Christmas period has seen Ferriby rooted to the foot of the table, eight points from safety


It was an unseasonably mild Boxing Day beside the Humber Bridge, although the cloudy conditions saw the floodlights in action before kick-off as the light dimmed. An early corner kick from Hallahan had Ferriby scrambling inside their own six-yard box, struggling to clear their lines after Ben Bailey's goalbound header had been blocked


Ferriby responded on seven minutes with a run from winger Tom Waudby down the left, taking on youngster Kieron Dawes before lifting his shot over Josef Bursik's crossbar


Reece King - recently restored to his role in central midfield and playing with more freedom since the departure of Joe Fitzpatrick - got his head on a deep Hallahan free-kick on eleven minutes, glancing the ball well wide of goal as he rose highest to meet the deep ball into the Ferriby box


The visitors were forced into an early change on eighteen minutes, as the sprightly Abadaki was forced off due to injury following a promising start to the game - recent signing Ryan Shaw replaced the midfielder in the centre of the park


The Pitmen were enjoying a period of pressure as the game headed towards the midway point of the first half, with Bailey's long throws a constant menace to the Ferriby defence, who at times struggled to effectively deal with the aerial threat posed by the Hednesford skipper's throw-ins. After Bailey had received his throw-in back to him on twenty minutes, the ball eventually found itself at the feet of Logan, whose low drive as well held by Lewis Exall in the Ferriby goal


The Pitmen - for all their pressure and good work - were almost undone by a quick break from Ferriby on twenty-six minutes; Logan lost the ball to Joe Lamplough, who played in Jack Smith. His ball across found Jordan Harrison, who got in behind Bailey and clipped the ball past Bursik but was just off target as Charlie Gatter allowed the ball to drift just wide of the far post


Matt Dodd and Logan switched wings after finding chances in short supply in the first quarter of the game, with Dodd creating an opening for the Pitmen on the half-hour mark with a probing run down the left and pulling the ball back into the six-yard box, only to be denied by a smothering save from Exall, ahead of the lurking Dan Cockerline


An attritional first-half drifted towards the break with little in the way of clear-cut chances, until an inspired moment from the visitors saw them snatch the lead just before the half-time whistle. A long throw from Bailey once again caused issues for the Ferriby defence, with King reaching the throw before picking up the rebound and sending over a cross to the far post. Cockerline was alert to the ball and nipped in ahead of the Ferriby defenders to nod the ball over the line via a deflection off the underside of the crossbar


 The Pitmen started the second half with purpose, with Cockerline going close to adding to his goal tally on fifty-one minutes as a deep cross from Nathan Fox was headed onto the post by the striker turned the cross towards goal. The ball rebounded across the face of goal and into the path of the onrushing Dodd, who somehow failed to tap the ball home at the far post as he allowed James Williamson to clear. A terrible miss from the winger

On the hour mark, Francis made his first tactical substitution, as Logan was replaced by new-boy Cooper down the left wing as the Pitmen looked for a different approach to the game

Bradshaw - on as a substitute for the hosts a few minutes earlier - gave away a free-kick deep in Ferriby territory on sixty-three minutes, earning him a yellow card that was to cost him dearly later on in the game. Cockerline's resultant free-kick cleared the crossbar and was fielded by the loyal Hednesford supporters behind the goal


Ferriby started to grow in confidence as the game entered it's final quarter, earning corners and free-kicks of their own as they exerted pressure on the fragile Hednesford defence. A cross from Ben Leyland on seventy minutes found the head of skipper James Piercy, who powerfully headed over the crossbar to strike a warning at the away side


Bursik was called upon to deny Ferriby a leveller two minutes later, making a smothering save to deny Leyland a goal after a long, raking ball in behind the Hednesford defence from Smith


Ferriby's pressure on the Hednesford goal finally told with fifteen minutes remaining, as the hosts earned themselves a penalty kick; a strike towards goal from substitute Mark Hutchinson came back off the arm of Hallahan, who can feel slightly aggrieved at the decision to award a penalty against him considering how close he was to the Ferriby man when he hit the shot. Waudby stepped up and sent Bursik the wrong way from the penalty spot to level matters and hand Ferriby the momentum with only fifteen minutes remaining


With ten minutes remaining, the Pitmen made a final roll of the dice as Dodd was replaced by on-loan Michael Howard down the right-wing as the Pitmen looked for a response to the Ferriby equaliser


The final ten minutes saw both sides go close to winning the game; Williamson drove a shot wide of goal after good work down the left wing on eighty minutes, followed by a high, wide and not-too-handsome effort from Hallahan two minutes later from long-range


Some panicky defending from the Pitmen on eighty-five minutes saw them fail to deal effectively with a high ball into their penalty area, culminating in an overhead kick from Williamson that cleared the crossbar


Williamson was again involved two minutes later, driving an angled shot just over Bursik's crossbar after he had been afforded too much room twenty-five yards from the Hednesford goal


 As the game entered the final minute, the Pitmen were handed a glorious chance to take all three points home as the referee awarded them a penalty kick of their own. Fox's cross found Shaw at the far post, with the substitute brought down by Jordan Windass as the pair challenged. It looked a little soft on first inspection, but the referee was convinced of the illegal nature of the challenge and awarded the Pitmen a spot-kick. Bradshaw was incensed at the award and was shown a second yellow card for his protests. Cockerline - who had led the line brilliantly all game - stepped up to take the penalty kick, but his effort lacked power and was easily saved by Exall down to his left-hand side


However, the excitement was not quite done just yet, with the Pitmen leaving it even later to snatch the win they had deserved on the balance of play. With five minutes of added time on the clock, a run from Shaw down the right wing saw the former Boldmere man pull the ball back into the path of Cooper, who took a touch before firing home for a debut goal to remember and earn his new side all three points


A fantastic, frenetic final few moments of the game for the Pitmen, and at long last a bit of luck finally goes the way of Francis and his battered troops. There is a rare week's break over the festive period for the Evo-Stik Premier League teams, who now don't play until New Year's Day when the Pitmen play host to form side Farsley Celtic at Keys Park


North Ferriby United: Exall, Nichols, Windass, Lamplough  (Hutchinson 57), Piercy © , Williamson, Waudby, Smith, J. Harrison ▆ (Nichols 71), C. Harrison (Bradshaw 57▆ ), Leyland    Sub Unused: Martindale


Hednesford Town: Bursik, Dawes, Fox, Bailey ©, Gatter, King , Dodd (Howard 80), Hallahan, Cockerline , Abadaki (Shaw 18), Logan (Cooper 60)    Subs Unused: Veiga, Davies

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