Blimey, time for Ferriby again? That came around quickly. I'd barely had time to miss football. Andy Murray hasn't stopped sipping champagne and we're only one test into The Ashes! Still, this is one of my favourite fixtures of the season. You've got love a visit to a ground where you can hit the wall when it isn't even a free-kick. The only sour note was the stupid decision to stage games against Ferriby and Winterton on the same night. I didn't like having to choose and I feel sorry that Winterton have missed out on my £15 or so and many others. It meant a split in the squad. One lot were sent over the bridge to West Street and ran out 6-0 winners with goals from Meyler, Fryatt (3), Evans and a mysterious trialist. Most of the rest lined up at Church Road thus:
The split in the squad did mean the majority of the Tigers played a full 90 minutes which is highly unusual at this stage of pre-season. A few were blowing by the end but they'd put in a decent effort, played the game at a decent intensity and restarted quickly when the ball went out. Despite the heat, there was no stopping for drinks breaks, it was a solid workout. Ferriby, as you'd expect given their promotion to Conference North looked the best I've seen them. They were well drilled, moved the ball well, were aggressive and very threatening from set pieces. They look to have better strikers than before with good movement. They've recruited well.
The game wasn't the best. It rarely is in pre-season. The excitement carries you through the first quarter hour and then you remember it's just a friendly and they're generally rubbish. Certainly for long periods in the second half there wasn't a whole lot of goal mouth action. In fact the work in the last third let City down throughout. Otherwise they passed quite nicely, created space on the wings and got into reasonable positions. In the first half, the threat all came from Brady. In the second, it was all Rosenior. Brad made the first chance after 30 seconds, clipping the ball into Quinn' path, the 'keeper advanced and Quinn lobbed the ball wide of the empty net. A few drunkards in the corner behind McGregor's goal chanted "Who needs Mourinho? We've got Steve Brucio". Not sure about that one.
City led two-nil at the break. Brady linked up with Quinn on the left and crossed for Liam Rosenior to tap-in. Rosie didn't even raise an arm in celebration. Probably too surprised! [0-1] Nick Proschwitz doubled the lead with a tap in after the 'keeper had pushed out his own header from Brady's deep cross. [0-2]. Proschwitz had earlier survived a two footed tackle that would have seen a red card produced in a "real" game and had a smart shot stopped when he latched onto another rebound. Otherwise, he looked the same. Not quite quick enough, not quite strong enough and didn't win headers. His strike partner Boyd was also a bit below par, like the player who finished his loan spell last season. He makes the game look really simple when he's at his best. He was struggling with it here.
The second half was a quieter affair as mentioned. Ferriby made plenty of chances and looked a bit brighter for them. City huffed and puffed and got Rosenior in behind half a dozen times but didn't get enough reward for it. Rosie was great working up and down the flank and showed terrific pace but still struggles to find a cross at the end of it. The summer break hasn't provided some magic formula for anyone. Alex Bruce still passes to them sometimes. Tom Cairney still floats around, produces the odd lovely pass but watches games pass him by. Robert Koren can't remember what hitting the net feels like!
Ferriby pulled a goal back deservedy when Nathan Jarman, a terrific signing at that level, met a lovely cross [1-2]. They might even have equalised when the #7 capitilised on a mistake by McShane and chipped a lovely Cantona-esque shot underneath the bar but saw Allan McGregor tip it over. It was a terrific save from the impressive debutant 'keeper. He came out and collected crosses, made saves comfortably and kicked the ball well. The other new signing on display, Curtis Davies, had a pretty reasonable game. he looked great in the air at both ends, was confident on the ball and made one super tackle in the second half. The only black mark against his name were a couple of pathetic attempts to stop their #11 weaving through our defence in the first half.
City wrapped up a far from comfortable victory in the last minute. Quinn sprayed a pass wide to Rosenior, his cross was missed by everyone and fell back to Stephen Quinn who lashed the ball into the far corner [1-3]. The Billy Bly Trophy is ours once more. I'll tweet the highlights of the open top bus parade.
The Tigers now head out to Portugal for a couple of games and then face trips to Peterborough and Birmingham. It's disappointing that there aren't more convenient games locally but that is what it is. Nothing really matters until August 18th. That's when the real stuff starts with an over-priced trip to Chelsea. We're a couple short in the final third. I think everyone knew that already. It didn't need this game to tell us anything. It did though. It told us that our best two forwards were in Winterton!