A controversial late goal gave North Ferriby United a 1-0 win and sent Harrogate Town home pointless from Humberside on Bank Holiday Monday, writes John Harrison.
Within two minutes Jon Margetts spurned a chance to put Town in front when he latched on to Matt Heath’s lob, but Adam Nicklin produced an excellent save.
Town had to reorganise when Lewis Turner sustained a leg injury on five minutes after an heavy tackle by Nathan Peat, with Dom Rowe taking his place. The league leaders showed their class with Danny Emerton forcing Phil Barnes into a diving save and Nathan Jarman shooting wide.
Rowe then sliced well wide and Margetts shot across goal, before minutes later, firing over the bar after making a fine run.
Barnes, who was having his best game yet in a Town jersey, produced two good saves to prevent Ferriby taking the lead.
As expected, Ferriby, with the wind in their favour, started the second half in the ascendancy. Emerton was creating problems down the right and he set up Denton whose drive was well saved by Barnes at the foot of the post.
Heath then had a shooting chance when Kerry’s corner was only half cleared to him on the edge of the area, but the massed Ferriby defence blocked his low drive.
The decisive moment came after 73 minutes when Margetts was heavily tackled near the touchline.
Town expected Referee Ricky Wootton to halt the game while Margetts received treatment but he waved play on and Peat’s cross found Jarman who unselfishly laid the ball off to Denton for an easy tap in.
Town threw on Jack Emmett and Leigh Franks in a bid to salvage something and they forced Ferriby to hang on.
Unfortunately,Town’s bulldozer approach lacked finesse and the rugged Ferriby defence managed to contain them.