North Ferriby United 3-1 Matlock Town
A thoroughly professional performance saw North Ferriby rack up a deserved victory over fellow play-off contenders Matlock as third place met fourth at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The early exchanges were fairly evenly contested between two skilful attacking sides. A long ball from Gary Bradshaw picked out Alex Davidson, and the Ferriby forward jinked past several Matlock defenders before his sliding effort was gathered by Matlock keeper Adam Sollitt. Minutes later, Matlock were nearly ahead when Liam King aimed a low drive just wide of Steve Wilson's far post. Wilson's dive thwarted a goal-bound effort from Ryan Mallon, before Ferriby took the lead on 22 minutes when Foot rose highest to head home Russell Fry's corner. Another Fry set-piece nearly had the home side two up on the stroke of half time; the midfielder's free kick was headed goal-wards by Bradshaw and took an awkward bounce away from Sollitt, but the goalkeeper recovered to catch the ball just before it crossed the line.
Moments into the second half, John McAliskey nearly fired Matlock back into the game in style when his 15-yard curler rattled the far post; while at the other end a cracking 25-yarder by Alex Davidson was turned onto the bar and out for a corner by Sollitt. Matlock had their equaliser on 58 minutes; McAliskey's knockdown allowed Mallon to half-volley past Wilson into the bottom corner. Just three minutes later however, a truly spectacular strike had Ferriby back in front. Alex Davidson cut inside from the left and made himself space, before unleashing a pile driver from 20 yards that left Sollitt rooted to the spot. Davidson helped make the points safe on 69 minutes when he played in Bolder, who slotted past the onrushing Sollitt to net his tenth league goal of the season. Ferriby had one final period of Matlock pressure to weather; Wilson did well to turn Lee Morris' header round the post from McAliskey's cross, and from the resulting corner Ben Morley cleared off the line from Dene Cropper.
Man of the Match: Alex Davidson (North Ferriby)
Ferriby: Steve Wilson, Ben Morley, Ben Turner, Sam Denton, Paul Foot (c) (Kevin Larvin, 83), Peter Davidson (Paul Harsley, 62), Russell Fry, Chris Bolder, Alex Davidson (Chris White, 77), Gary Bradshaw, Wayne Brooksby Subs not used: James Williams, Adam Nicklin
Matlock: Adam Sollitt, Ben Turner (Dene Cropper, 77), Lee Featherstone, Liam King, Adam Yates, James Lukic (c), James Knowles (Lee Morris, 69), Steve Warne, John McAliskey, Gareth Davies, Ryan Mallon Subs not used: Kris Witcombe, Nick Buxton