DESPITE a lacklustre first-half performance, Ferring Football Club fought back from 2-0 down to force a 2-2 draw against second-placed Roffey on Saturday.
Ferring began slowly and soon found themselves a goal down when Roffey midfielder Scott Swaine progressed unchallenged into the Ferring penalty area before finishing crisply. Swaine soon added his second in similar fashion on 26 minutes to put the visitors 2-0 ahead.
Roffey continued to press as Ferring could not find any cohesion in their play. Roffey seemed able to cope with the blustery and difficult conditions better than the home side but Ferring were thrown a lifeline when Pete Christodoulou met a deep free kick from Josh Gibbons to head superbly in to the corner of the net on 33 minutes.
There was still time before the break for Gibbons to produce another free kick which evaded everyone but struck the upright.
The second half was a total contrast to the first and Ferring dictated play and pressed hard for an equaliser. Matt Searle emerged from a difficult first half to dictate play and drive the team forward from midfield as it was the visitors’ turn to soak up the pressure.
Various chances went begging and it seemed that, despite a far better performance, Ferring would not get their just rewards. However, with ten minutes remaining the persistent pressure paid off when a deep cross by Joe Matthews was handled by a defender and the referee did not hesitate in giving a penalty. Gibbons capped a fine display to dispatch the spot-kick.
A couple of late chances were not converted and Ferring ended up slightly disappointed not to complete the comeback with a win.
Ferring boss Peter Matthews said: “Following our unbeaten run, we seemed somewhat complacent and strangely lacked confidence in the first half.
“As manager, I must take responsibility for that. At half-time I asked for a response from the players and they did not disappoint, chances were created and, uncharacteristically, we did not take them. On reflection, a draw was disappointing but we once again showed our togetherness and resilience to come back from two goals down.”
FERRING: Gammons; Da Costa, Gibbons, Harris-Hardy, Christodoulou, Heward; Barnes, Searle, J.Matthews; Fraser, Stakim. Subs: O’Reilly (Stakim 65), Cave, Buckland.