North Ferriby United 0-1 Retford United
By Graham Riley
North Ferriby were surprised by bottom of the table Retford United, who came away from the Rapid Solicitors Stadium with a one goal victory. Despite dominating possession and having the lions' share of goal-scoring opportunities, the Villagers' inability to convert was punished three minutes from time by Niall O'Brien's header.
The visitors had the opening chance of the encounter, with Ben Hallam, making his league debut in the absence of Steve Wilson, catching Dan White's effort from the edge of the area. His opposite number Richard Jeffries was then called into action to save low from Alex Davidson when the Ferriby striker ran onto Wayne Brooksby's ball into the box, and Chris White shot just wide after cutting inside from the left. Brooksby's ball across the goalmouth went unconverted later in the half, and Jeffries pulled off a smart double save from Russell Fry's corner and White's rebound.
Ferriby were sharper in attack in the second period, but still found Retford's five-man defence hard to break down. Sam Denton looked certain to have broken the deadlock when he thundered Brooksby's laid-off free kick against the underside of the bar, but the ball bounced down just shy of the line. Will Kendall looked to have handed Lee Whittington the opener on a plate for Retford but the striker skewed his effort wide. The visitors were also thwarted by the woodwork when Jake Vernon's free kick cannoned back off the top of the far post. Ferriby spurned several further chances, Paul Harsley blasting over after running onto White's ball into the box, Jeffries caught Gary Bradshaw's shot from Davidson's flick and Brooksby struck the side netting from another ball across goal from White. Against the run of play, Retford stole the points on 87 minutes, Niall O'Brien rose highest in the box to head home Simon Harrison's free kick from close range. Ferriby piled forward in an effort to salvage a point, but the away side held firm and brought Ferriby's six game unbeaten run to an end.
Man of the Match: Sam Denton (North Ferriby)
Ferriby: Ben Hallam, Tom Matthews, Kevin Larvin, Sam Denton, Paul Ellender (Ben Turner, 41), Paul Harsley, Wayne Brooksby, Chris Bolder (c), Russell Fry (Gary Bradshaw, 70), Alex Davidson, Chris White Subs not used: Peter Davidson, Ben Morley
Retford: Richard Jeffries, Simon Harrison, Craig Lill, Dan White, Nicky Ellis (c), Matthew Blake, Will Kendall (Steve McDonnell, 90), Niall O'Brien, Matt Booth (Jake Vernon, 55), Lee Whittington, Steve Owens Subs not used Jack Stephenson