22.8.2015

Vanarama National League North

North Ferriby United 

Denton (84)

Hednesford Town

Digie (59)

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Dave Parton

W L L D D

FC United of Manchester (A) 29.8.15

The Pitmen throw away another winning position for the second time in a week this afternoon, as Tom Denton's late goal rescues a point for North Ferriby and leaves the Pitmen still looking for their first away win of the new season

Still smarting from midweek's capitulation against Corby that saw a safe three points reduced to a battling point, Hednesford arrived in East Riding with a boost from skipper Ben Bailey, who passed himself fit after a nasty-looking head injury that forced him off on Tuesday night. Tom James was dropped to the bench, with Andy Todd deputising for him at left-back in a move that allowed young Kennedy Digie to return to the side

F.A. Trophy winners Ferriby had seen several changes to their personnel over the summer months, following several significant moves behind the scenes for the Villagers. They could, however, still boast the significant striking talents of Ryan Kendall and the giant Tom Denton, who had both agreed to stay at the club where others had decided to move on to pastures new. A late, late goal from midfielder Adam Bolder had earned the Pitmen's long-time league foes a draw at Stockport County in midweek to leave them just above Hednesford in the league table

A beautiful summer's day by the Humber greeted the two sides at kick-off, with a poor crowd of 274  watching on as the Pitmen started the game in typically swashbuckling style going forwards

Adam Nicklin in the Ferriby goal was the first of the two stoppers into action in the fourth minute, fisting a deep Sean Williams cross away from goal under pressure from Kyle Perry. Nathan Modest picked up the loose ball and fired goalwards, but was denied by a block from Liam King

The Pitmen felt they had a clear shout for a legitimate penalty kick three minutes later, as the ball appeared to strike the arm of Ash Palmer as he blocked a Tyrone Williams header in the penalty area. The referee ignored the pleas of the Hednesford players and allowed the game to continue

A great challenge from right-back Ben Middleton denied Ahmed Obeng his first goal for the Pitmen in the twelfth minute; Dave Parton's free-kick was played deep into the Ferriby half, with Obeng bringing the ball down and firing in a shot that Middleton did well to turn behind for a corner kick

The pacy Obeng was giving Middleton a hard time out on the Hednesford left, with another sparkling run from the fleet-footed forward on twenty minutes seeing him step inside Middleton and scuff a shot straight into the arms of Nicklin

 Ferriby's first real sight on goal came midway through the first half, as a free-kick from twenty yards out from Liam King had Parton scrambling across his goal to claim the ball

The first sign of Denton's ominous ability in the air came three minutes later, as King's free-kick was headed narrowly wide at the far post by the big striker

A clash in midfield involving Digie and Danny Clarke saw the on-loan Kidderminster man come off worst, with Digie required to change his shirt after suffering a cut on his head

Another aerial assault from Denton on the half-hour mark saw him rise above Bailey and head over the crossbar after he got underneath Curtis Bateson's ball in

Kyle Perry was unlucky not to open his Hednesford account five minutes later, as Obeng's cross from the left was diverted goalwards by the burly striker, but was denied by Palmer's last-ditch black

A long throw into the Hednesford penalty area caused momentary panic for the well-drilled defence, with King prodding the ball towards goal in all the confusion. He was denied by Parton, who was alert to the danger and mopped up well

Parton made a tremendous stop to deny Kendall the opening goal of the afternoon with five minutes of the half remaining, as Denton headed the ball into the path of his strike partner and watched on as Parton brilliantly turned Kendall's shot away for a corner kick

The final chance of an entertaining half came through Modest, who fired into the allotments behind the goal after Perry had headed Bailey's long throw into the path of his strike partner

Joint top scorer Curtis Tilt has been one of Hednesford's surprise success stories so far this campaign, taking the step up from the Evo-Stik Premier League in his stride with ease. He went close to adding to his two goals already this term just moments into the second half but lifted Todd's cross over the crossbar when it seemed easier to force Nicklin into a save

A great run from Obeng on fifty-two minutes saw him turn Middleton inside out once more, requiring Palmer to come across and deny the Hednesford number ten a clear shot on goal

Perry had worked hard against the like of Palmer, who had given the big man a tough time as he looked to make a nuisance of himself and create space for Modest and Obeng. He was taken off in favour of the similarly powerful Marvin Robinson on fifty-five minutes

More last-ditch defending from Ferriby on fifty-eight minutes saw Tyrone Williams have his shot blocked, closely followed seconds later by an effort from Modest that Josh Wilde turned behind for a Hednesford corner kick

From the resultant corner kick, Sean Williams whipped in a deep ball that Digie did brilliantly to rise above the pack and head into the roof of the net for his first-ever goal in senior football

Intelligent play from Obeng on sixty-seven minutes saw him slip away from his marker once more before slipping the ball into the path of Thorley, who weakly scuffed a shot straight at Nicklin

Ferriby had a great chance to level matters with the next attack, as Denton headed the ball into the path of substitute Danny Emerton, who lifted the bouncing ball over the head of Parton but also over the crossbar

King was denied what he felt was a penalty after the referee adjudged Tyrone Williams to have timed his tackle to perfection on seventy-one minutes before Emerton fired over the crossbar a minute later as Ferriby pushed the Pitmen back

A great leap from the slight figure of Obeng almost put the game to bed for the Pitmen with twelve minutes left, as he met Bailey's long throw with a powerful header that missed Nicklin's right-hand post by a matter of inches

After a frustrating pre-season punctuated by injury, Jon Adams finally made his long-awaited Hednesford debut in the seventy-ninth minute as he came on in place of the impressive Obeng

The Pitmen's more defensive set-up played into Ferriby's hands as the game entered the final ten minutes, with Denton eventually finding a way through with six minutes left;  Russell Fry's free-kick out on the right found Denton lurking at the far post, with the striker looping a header beyond the reach of Parton and into the far corner of the net to level the game once more

Paul Ennis came on in place of Modest with five minutes left to add invention to the Hednesford side, but could not influence the remainder of the game as neither side could muster up a winning goal in the time left

A decent enough draw then for the Pitmen, but it was again an afternoon of frustration and a feeling of 'what could have been for Smith's troops. For all the concession of points, though, there are definite signs of progress from this side as they continue to learn about each other on a game to game basis. A fully-fit Paul McCone, alongside other absentees John Disney and Adam Thomas, will add steel and experience to this developing side, which may have to put up with more days like this before they see the benefits of their labour. Next up - old foes FC United of Manchester at Keys Park in seven days

North Ferriby United: Nicklin, Middleton, Wilde, King ©, Palmer, Gray, Clarke (Emerton 61), Fry, Denton, Kendall, Bateson (Davie 76)     Subs Unused: Armstrong, Topliss, Nicholson

Hednesford Town: Parton, Todd, Tilt, Bailey ©, T. Williams, Thorley, S. Williams, Modest (Ennis 85), Perry (Robinson 55), Obeng (Adams 79), Digie.      Subs Unused: James, Spencer

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