North Ferriby United were left to rue missed chances after a 1-0 defeat at Braintree Town in the National League.
On the one occasion they did find the back of the net, Reece Thompson’s effort was disallowed for off-side after 55 minutes.
Ferriby had the better of the opening exchanges with Ross Armstrong and Curtis Bateson both going close.
The first 15 minutes mainly belonged to Ferriby but they found it hard to create any more chances.
It was an edgy performance from both sides, not helped by a soft and heavy pitch that cut up and made ball-control difficult. Braintree tried to overcome this by playing more of a long-ball game but despite winning a number of the aerial challenges they failed to win second-ball against a solid Ferriby defence and midfield.
Bateson and Danny Emerton saw shots blocked and go wide respectively but it was Braintree who came closest to opening the scoring after 23 minutes. Kris Twardek’s shot was blocked by Taron Hare and the rebound fell to Monty Patterson whose shot was turned on to the post by the diving Rory Watson.
Bateson and Emerton continued to push Ferriby forward and Thompson was proving a handful for the home defence.
With half-time approaching Ferriby should probably have gone ahead. Robbie Tinkler’s 40-yard cross-field pass freed Thompson who saw his shot blocked. A minute later, Armstrong found Bateson who had his shot saved well by Sam Beasant. The loose ball fell to Emerton whose effort was cleared off the line.
Braintree almost took the lead in added time when Watson did well to push away Kyron Farrell’s free-kick that somehow managed to get through a crowded area.
Ferriby largely dominated the second-half and had far more goal attempts than Braintree.
Thompson saw a shot blocked by Beasant’s feet then Mark Gray shot wide after Emerton’s corner was cleared to him.
Bateson hit a 20-yard shot narrowly over, the ball bobbling-up as he hit it. Sam Topliss hit the bar from a Thompson cross then The Villagers saw Thompson’s goal disallowed.
Ferriby paid dearly for those misses when Braintree scored the only goal with their one anly on-target effort of the second-half. Patterson broke down the right and his cross was turned in by substitute Reece Hall-Johnson after 77 minutes. It was rough justice on Ferriby.
To their credit, The Villagers kept pushing forward. Ryan Kendall, Gray and Emerton, twice, went close in the final 10 minutes.
However, it was Michael Cheek who almost scored for Braintree when he poked the ball wide in a one-on-one with Watson.
Ferriby manager Steve Housham was left feeling frustrated at the end,
“Simply, the best team lost! We created plenty of chances as we have in recent games. It was one of those days when we just could not put one away. Rory only had one save to make. We defended well and were solid in midfield.
“Days like this are frustrating, It’s always hard when you’ve played well and got nothing from the game. Once again, the boys put in a great performance.”