Saturday 12th April 2014
Altrincham v North Ferriby United
Ferriby travel to Altrincham on Saturday for a game that could have a big bearing on the Skrill North title race.
A win for The Villagers will all but guarantee a play-off spot at the very least. It would also keep the pressure on leaders AFC Telford who lost at Oxford City in midweek. Telford are still a point ahead of Ferriby but have now played one game more. A win for Altrincham on Saturday will make the title a three-horse race.
Ferriby’s midweek game at Stalybridge was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and will now be played this coming Wednesday. It may have been a bit of a blessing given The Villagers’ injury list as it will have allowed for a little more recovery time for the players.
Ferriby now face a testing four games in ten days. Manager Billy Heath will be hoping that the experience of last season’s closing stages will help his team to the title. Last season’s title race went to the final game but The Villagers held their nerve to win the title from Hednesford.
The title race looks as if it will be between Ferriby, Telford and Altrincham. Behind the top three are another six clubs who could claim a play-off-spot. Guiseley and Hednesford will still believe they have an outside chance of the title.
Whatever happens in respect of promotion, we must not lose sight that this has been a highly successful season for The Villagers. They have shown that they are more than capable of competing in Conference football. The on-field exploits have been matched off the field with the Club gaining the necessary B grade that ensures Conference football next season.
Manager Billy Heath is now down to the bare bones of a squad at a crucial part of the season. He will be hoping that some players will be able to return at weekend. Clubs cannot sign any new players at the signing deadline has passed. However, Steve Gardner has been brought back from Frickley Athletic. He is eligible to play as he was signed on Conference forms earlier in the season. The title/promotion run-in will be a big challenge for Ferriby’s small squad.
Heath commented, “It is a massive game for both clubs on Saturday but it will not decide the title race. There will be plenty of twists and turns over the last fortnight of the season. We have a difficult run-in but we are now back in control of our own fate.”
Heath will definitely be without Matt Wilson, Gregg Anderson and Jon D’Laryea and Dean Lisles due to injuries. Danny Emerton remains doubtful. Anthony Wilson will sit-out the second of his two game suspension.
NFU from: Adam Nicklin, Antoni Pecora, Josh Wilde, Steve Gardner, Paul Robson, Nathan Peat, Mark Gray, Danny Hone, Liam King, Danny Clarke, Russell Fry, Nathan Jarman, Ryan Kendall, Jamie Yates, Lewis McMahon, Tim Taylor, Louis Bruce