SECOND STRIKE AND OUT

North Ferriby 1 Seaham Red Star 0 – Buildbase FA Vase Third Round

All in all it was all a bit strange.  Three months since my last game off pre-lockdown footie.  All the more strange that it was North Ferriby v Seaham Red Star in the third round of the Vase.

The second attempt to decide the tie followed an FA decision to order a replay after Ferriby played an ineligible player in December.  Three months ago Ferriby squeaked through in a penalty shoot-out and yesterday there was only a solitary goal in it, scored late on, in the 87th minute.

And all the more strange for the match being played without fans in attendance.

Given that this was their first competitive game since the end of December, the fitness levels looked surprisingly good.  What was unsurprising was the clear lack of match sharpness by both sides – passes going astray, mis-timed tackles and a lack of cohesive play and moves throughout the match.

Having said that, it was still great to have competitive football back.

The first half was fairly even stevens, with each keeper providing the highlights.  In the 8th minute, Seaham’s Andrew Johnson almost caught Ferriby keeper Jordan Douglas off his line with a header following a Paul Weldon free kick, but Douglas managed to back pedal just in time to get a hand to it.

But it was Red Star’s Andrew Jennison who made the save of the game, stopping a blistering shot by Ferriby’s Jamie Forrester at close quarters in the 19th minute.

Red Star relied for much of the half on long balls up to Johnson, with most of their other attacks coming down the left.  Ferriby’s clearest chances in the first half fell to No. 9 Tom Corner but twice he fired the ball over the bar.

Half time: 0-0, and that was a fair reflection on the 45 minutes.  The second half was different, with a disappointing showing by the visitors who were pegged back for much of the rest of the game, offering little going forward.

In the opening 15 minutes of the half, Ferriby No. 10 Joel Shortland scuffed a shot and Corner put another effort over the bar.  It took Seaham 27 minutes into the half to come up with their best attack – an excellent break down the right by Joe Hailes and substitute Harry Wood, but Ferriby able to clear Wood’s cross.

The decisive moment in the tie came with only minutes to go, with another penalty shootout imminent.  Ferriby substitute Danny East broke down the left and got the ball to Shortland who managed to squeeze the ball under Jennison who had raced off his line, with the ball trundling over the line to seal the match.

Next up for Ferriby on Saturday is West Auckland.

(There was a minute’s silence at the start of the match in honour of Prince Philip.)

Mike Snowdon