North Ferriby Utd 2 Nuneaton Town 1
Saturday 10th October;
Match report courtesy of Nuneaton News;
Cup kings North Ferriby United showed why they're knock-out specialists as they successfully negotiated Nuneaton Town's challenge.
A tight contest swung in the Humbersiders' favour thanks to goals from Russ Fry and Liam King, either side of Aaron Williams' sixth goal in seven matches.
Defender Joe Maguire was sent-off late on as Kevin Wilson's side suffered back-to-back defeats for the second time this season.
Boro were a match for the home side throughout, but lacked the quality in both boxes to take the spoils.
Last year's FA Trophy winners have now lost only once in their last 15 cup ties and showed why, as they produced a solid display to edge past Kevin Wilson's men.
Boro made three changes to the side that surrendered to a meek 3-1 defeat at the hands of Boston United last time out, with Cieron Keane, David Morgan and Rob Duffy coming in for James Clifton, Callum Chettle and Marlon Harewood.
The sides started at a frantic pace and both had chances to draw first blood. First Williams was unfortunate not to get more on a dangerous Cieron Keane cross before Danny Clarke flashed an effort narrowly wide for The Villagers.
It proved to be the home side that struck first. Morgan, who was sorely missed when serving a suspension last week, surrendered possession on the edge of his own box and Fry punished him by firing an unstoppable 20-yard effort into the net.
Fortunately for Morgan, Boro were back level soon afterwards. A low cross from the right wasn't dealt with by the hosts' back line and Williams prodded a scrappy effort over the line.
The chances were coming thick and fast, with Mark Gray next to see an effort just miss the target. The centre-half rose highest to direct a header over the bar with goalkeeper Jordan Smith struggling to get there.
Morgan was close to atoning for his error on the half hour. The Northern Irishman had two driven efforts at goal, but saw them both blocked by brave lunges from former Derby County man Adam Bolder.
Cieron Keane and Williams both had half chances before the half was up as Boro threatened to get on top, but the sides went in level at the break.
The second half started energetically, but with few clear chances. Goalkeeper Smith was lucky to get away with a rush of blood as he charged out to reach a cross he was never likely to make – but just as disaster was about to strike, the assistant's flag rescued Boro.
Cieron Keane was a constant thorn in North Ferriby's side and seemed to be carrying the fight on his own at times as a combination of direct running and a dangerous left foot posed several questions down the wing.
The game burst into life in the final 20 minutes.
Boro's susceptibility to high balls reared its ugly head again as they failed to get close to King, who headed past Smith to give The Villagers the lead.
Kevin Wilson threw on Harewood, Jack Dyer and Chettle as he tried to rescue the tie, but their task was made harder when another cross caused consternation at the back.
As the ball bounced around in the six-yard box, Maguire was judged to have handled the ball on the line. Not only did the defender's indiscretion concede a penalty, but he was also sent off.
While Maguire's handy work was punished, Smith's was the saviour. The 'keeper dived to his right to deny King his second of the game from the penalty spot.
But it wasn't enough to spark a comeback and North Ferriby held on to end Boro's FA Cup dreams.
North Ferriby United: Nicklin, Topliss, Wilde, King, Palmer, Gray, Clarke, Fry (Bruce 86), Emerton, Bolder, Bateson.
Subs (not used): Middleton, Nicholson, Davie, Taylor.
BORO: J.Smith, C.Keane, Reid, J.Keane, Maguire, Lane, Morgan (Chettle 79), Whitehouse, Duffy (Harewood 75), Byrne (Dyer 79), Williams.
Subs (not used): R.Smith, Daniels, Repsted, De la Paz.