FC United of Manchester 2-0 North Ferriby United
An injury-hit North Ferriby can count themselves desperately unlucky not to take at least a point away from their trip to FC United of Manchester, as two second half goals saw their fellow promotion contenders snatch victory at Gigg Lane to move themselves into the play-off places, in spite of a strong Ferriby performance in trying circumstances.
The story could have been very different had Wayne Brooksby's early effort dipped just a yard or two lower. The winger cut inside to latch onto Gary Bradshaw's through ball, and his sweetly struck effort had FC United keeper Sam Ashton beaten only to cannon off the crossbar and out of play. At the other end, Steve Wilson held onto a half volley from the edge of the area by Lee Neville and Mike Norton presented Nicky Platt with a perfect knockdown in the box from Jerome Wright's free kick, only for the midfielder to blaze over. Ferriby had Ashton beaten again just before half-time, but Russell Fry's 30-yarder eventually flew just over the bar.
The second half was again a very evenly contested affair, but fortune proved to be on the side of the hosts. After Wilson had pushed a powerful drive from Wright round the post in the early exchanges, the keeper was on his toes again to punch clear a free kick from the same player. From Carlos Roca's resulting corner, Norton headed FC ahead with 25 minutes left to play. Bradshaw almost equalised in style; after his initial shot had been blocked the striker tried to catch Ashton off his line, but the lob dipped just too late. To the delight of the majority of the near-3,000 strong crowd, FC gave themselves breathing space with nine minutes remaining. Jake Cottrell sent the lively Wright through on goal, and after Wilson rushed out to block, Wright was able to turn the rebound into the path of strike partner Norton, who converted for his and United's second. Ferriby came close to some deserved consolation when Bradshaw turned on Paul Harsley's through ball and fired just wide.
Man of the Match: Kevin Larvin (North Ferriby)
Ferriby: Steve Wilson (c), James Williams, Kevin Larvin, Sam Denton (Ryan Levesley, 82), Ben Turner, Paul Harsley, Peter Davidson, Chris Bolder, Russell Fry, Gary Bradshaw, Wayne Brooksby Subs not used: John Leonard, Luke Thompson, Adam Nicklin
FC United: Sam Ashton, Kyle Jacobs, Lee Neville, Nicky Platt (Ben Deegan, 57), David Chadwick, Scott McManus, Carlos Roca (Steve Torpey, 68), Simon Carden (Richard Battersby, 82), Mike Norton (c), Jerome Wright, Jake Cottrell Subs not used: Oliver Devenney, Karl Munroe