North Ferriby FC fell to defeat against Bottesford Town at the Dransfield Stadium in a game that saw few chances and plenty of action on the pitch.
Bottesford shaded the first half with the scores locked at 0-0, but an early goal in the second half from Ryan Hollinsworth saw Bottesford just look to defend their lead. Bottesford were lucky to stay with eleven men on the field after a late tackle from Kadey Phillips that only saw yellow, but tempers flared at the end as Levi Tarbotton was sent off for an alleged stamp before the referee blew the whistle to condemn Ferriby to their first preseason defeat.
As the game got underway in the blistering heat, Bottesford winger Dayle Hutson almost opened the scoring in the first minute. He cut inside from the left wing but saw his curled effort smack back off the crossbar. After this, North Ferriby got hold of the ball and were able to settle things down in the opening five minutes. Hutson again was the dangerman for Bottesford after eight minutes, cutting the ball back across the area only for Ferriby to clear at the second time of asking.
Tom Corner had a chance to open the scoring on 13 minutes, but his effort was blocked after good play from Ben Leyland and Danny East. Lewis Kirk and Kieran McCaffrey were controlling the midfield well, but there were no real chances to speak of in the opening 15 minutes. Minutes later, Hutson again tried the shot from the edge of the area for Bottesford but goalkeeper Jordan Douglas was more than equal to it. Bottesford’s game plan was clearly to get Hutson in the game as much as possible and look to cut in from the left. Corner had a half chance for Ferriby but Dec Jordan in the Bottesford goal saved well.
Just before the water break on 23 minutes, Tom Corner looked to be fouled, but the referee played on. With the ball between Corner’s legs, the game was stopped and a couple of players got involved in a skirmish. Bottesford midfielder Dec Slater – who was in the ear of the referee on a number of occasions – clashed with Danny Emerton. After words from Steve Wade the referee, a water break was called to bring a halt to any more animosity before it spilled over into anything unsavory.
Ten minutes before half time, Jason Mycoe was harshly booked for complaining to the referee about his lack of action against numerous shoves from Bottesford forward Ryan Hollingsworth. The striker shoved Mycoe to the ground, and the defender was rightly frustrated to not get any decision his way. With Ferriby down to ten temporarily, they needed to be organized and compact to make it to half time without conceding a goal.
Bottesford and North Ferriby’s players line up before the match. Photo: North Ferriby FC
Kieran McCaffrey’s misplaced pass almost saw the visitors three on two, but he rectified his mistake immediately by winning the ball back. They nearly took the lead when Hollingsworth played the ball across to Joe Maloney, but he shot just wide. Mason Ellender’s poor cross should have seen the visitors have a chance, but Ferriby were in no immediate danger as despite the extra player, Bottesford were content to sit back and defend deep as the score remained goalless at the break.
The second half saw Ferriby make nine changes as they regained their eleventh player after Mycoe’s sin bin was up. Bottesford took the lead in the 46th minute with Ryan Hollinsworth heading home. It was a simple cross played into Hollinsworth, and Ferriby manager Chris Bolder will not have been happy to concede such a basic goal so soon into the second period.
The sides battled it out after this in the first 15 minutes. The game was stop-start with the referee choosing to blow for a lot of minor infringements, rather than let the game flow. Good play from Jamie Forrester saw Danny Buttle played in. Buttle crossed the ball to the back post and Tom Corner seemed to be impeded in his effort to try to strike the ball, but the referee saw nothing doing.
Just before the hour mark, Kadey Phillips was extremely lucky not to be sent off for a very bad challenge on Loz MacKay. The referee gave a yellow card and perhaps on another day Phillips would have seen red. As the water break was called, it was clear that both sides needed to settle down and focus on the football as many tackles seemed to be a bit fraught.
Leyland and Buttle combined well down the left on 65 minutes, with the latter crossing for Gary Bradshaw to head just wide. Jamie Forrester hit the bar soon after as Ferriby kept knocking at the door. As the game went on, Slater went into the book for a very cynical trip on Bradshaw who was about to put Buttle through in behind the defense. All Bottesford wanted to do was be compact and let Ferriby have the ball, with a bank of four and a bank of five just defending and not looking to get the ball forward.
As the second half started to come to a close, Levi Tarbotton was given his marching orders for an alleged stamp on a Bottesford player seconds after being booked. Tarbotton was foolish getting involved in clear provocation from the visitors, but the Villagers will be frustrated that the referee was quick to send their player off when Bottesford could – and perhaps should – have been reduced to ten men halfway through the second half.
As Jamie Forrester went in late seconds after the restart, the referee blew for full time in a game where the Villagers found it incredibly difficult to break down the very defensive Bottesford side. Manager Chris Bolder will no doubt look to work on creativity and creation of chances in training before next week’s game against Cleethorpes Town on August 15th at The Dransfield Stadium.
North Ferriby FC: Douglas, Leyland, McKay, Piercy, Mycoe, McCaffrey, Emerton, Kirk, Corner, East, Oliver.
Substitutes: Exall, Nelthorpe, Tilsley, Tarbotton, Shortland, Forrester, Bradshaw, Buttle.
Bottesford Town: Jordan, Atkin, Spencer, O’Sullivan, Cranidge, Jones, Slater, Ellender, Hudson, Hollingsworth, Hutson.
Substitutes: Greathead, Phillips, Maloney, Leaning, Johnson.
By: Luke Flanagan
Featured Image: @GabFoligno