It was to be a night of destiny for Carl Shaw and his men against potential champions Garden Village at the Old Road in Welsh league Division 2 on Tuesday evening.
teams required a win but for different reasons, with a Ferry win gaining
the club promotion and a Village win making them league champions. The
crowd at the Old Road showed just what was on the game with excess of
300 people coming through the turnstyles to add to the drama of the
Shaw welcomed back defender Matthew Lewis at
centre back in place of the missing Josh Cockings and also replaced
youngster Warren Hudson with experienced midfielder Michael Chaves.
With the sun beaming down referee Teifion Cook started the game with a nervy looking Ferry conceding possesion from the off and Vilage striker Sam Brown dragging an early shot wide of Luke Proberts post.
The visitors continued to apply pressure early doors and got a deserved goal after only seven minutes after a headed clearance fell to the feet of elusive Village winger Kostya Georgievsky, his shot was superbly saved by keeper Probert only to fall to midfielder Joshua Doyle to smash
the rebound home for an early lead for the visitors.
The hosts finally started to shake the nerves and settle on the ball with winger and captain Gavin Jones instumental in most of the attacks, and it was his shot from outside the box on 20 minutes that rattled the crossbar to nearly find the equaliser. Some more great play from Jones five minutes later created space for him to cross but neither Jordan Edwards or Stephen Davey could quite get on the end of it. With the hosts well and truly on the ascendancy a clearance from Rory Healy on the half hour mark put striker Gareth Jones through one on one but he was thwarted by a great save from keper Ben Hopkins. The Ferry defence were now dealing well with the visitors counter attacks with the collossal Darius Waters in superb form at the heart of defence.
The breakthrough finally came for the Ferry five minutes before the break and it was from a Waters shot from inside the area that referee Cook adjudged handball by the Village defender for a chance from the spot to equalise, up stepped top scorer Stephen Davey to make no mistake for 1-1. The last chance of frantic first half fell to the vistors but as their striker was set to test keeper Probert it was that man Waters again who made a superb last ditch tackle to ensure the game was level at the break.
Both teams returned unchanged at half time and the pattern of play remained the same with Garden Village looking dangerous on the counter and also from the dangerous set pieces of Sam Brown, however it was the men in red who were looking the most likely to score with a superb desire to win the ball and showing great urgency to push for the winner.
The first clear chance of the half to get the goal came after a lovely one-two between Gavin Jones and Michael Chaves resulted in a left foot drive from Chaves just clearing the bar. A big penalty shout for hand ball was turned down for the hosts minutes later with referee Cook deeming it unintentional.
With time ticking away Shaw introduced speedster Ryan Griffiths in place of Jordan Edwards and midfielder Warren Hudson for Chaves and Griffiths was to have the oppurtunity with only five minutes left to be the hero for the Ferry but after a lovely cutback from Stephen Davey his shot from six yards went agonisingly wide of the post.
Another chance fell to the Ferry on ninety minutes with another cut back finding defender Waters but his shot was skyed high over the bar. With people starting to leave the ground and the Ferry staring another season in division two in the face they were awarded a throw with the last attack of the game, in it came and with striker Gareth Jones about to flick the ball on at the near post he was pushed in the back by defender Tom Grey and Cook pointed to the spot with no hesitaton while also showing Grey his second yellow card in the process.
So here it was the last kick of the game and the season to decide promotion to division one, the story couldnt have been written any better....and cometh the hour cometh the man with Stephen Davey stepping up again to put the ball to the keepers left for goal number 23 of the season to send the ground into elation, and with the final whistle blown by referee Cook a pitch invasion started off the celebration of division one football that lasted well into the early hours.