217 days after their last competitive game, Shirebrook started the 2021/22 season with defeat to North Ferriby.
Shirebrook went into the game knowing that this was going to be one of their hardest games of the season with North Ferriby being one of the promotion favourites.
The visitors' class was on show from minute one as they dominated the possession so it was no surprise when the first chance of the game fell their way with Danny Emerton having a shot from distance going just over the bar; chances kept coming for Ferriby with a header from Tom Corner going just wide and Jamie Forrester was next to try his luck but saw his free-kick saved by Ball in the Shirebrook goal and ex-Shirebrook player Liam Nelthorpe saw a cross/shot tipped on to the bar by Ball.
It was no surprise when the visitors opened the scoring on 24 minutes when a corner from the left caused panic in the Shirebrook defence and after a goalmouth scramble MATTY PLUMMER smashed in to give the visitors the lead. Even after the goal, it was still one way traffic with Danny Emerton, Tom Corner and Louis Kirk all having the chance to extend Ferriby's lead.
The visitors did get their second on 38 minutes when a long ball over the top found JAMIE FORRESTER who cut inside on to his left foot and smashed his shot past Ball from 25 yards and Shirebrook went in at the break with a huge mountain to climb to get back into the game.
Shirebrook made a change at the break with Josiah Robinson being introduced replacing Jordan Parsons and this move looked to have sparked Shirebrook into life with them now beginning to get some chances on goal of their own with the best of them chances falling to Robinson who forced the Ferriby keeper into a fantastic save but as the half wore on North Ferriby began to get back on top and again Ball had to be on top form to keep the score at two with Eddie Rogerson, Louis Kirk and Danny East all going close to extending the visitors lead.
In the 78th minute, North Ferriby wrapped up the game with their third goal after DANNY EAST capitalised on a defensive error leaving him one-on-one with Ball and he calmly slotted into the net.
Shirebrook are next back in action next Saturday when Swallownest visit Langwith Road, KO 3pm.
SHIREBROOK Ball, Eagle, Ordridge (Sykes-Tobin), Hutchinson, Lennaman, Harris, Cockburn (Greaves), Ramsey, Fullwood, Devereux, Parsons (Robinson). Subs not used: Gregg, Knowles
Match report by Sam Glover.