Vanarama National League
Boreham Wood v North Ferriby United
Saturday 22nd October 2016
Kick-off: 3.00 pm
Ferriby return to Vanarama national League action when they travel to Boreham Wood on Saturday. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
Ferriby manager Steve Housham will be looking for a big response from his players following last Saturday’s disappointing and embarrassing display against Macclesfield in the FA Cup.
Housham was scathing in his comments of the players and the performance after the game,
“We played well for the first forty-five seconds. We haven’t scored for so long and we didn’t seem to know what to after we did take the lead. After that it was a shambolic performance. We had no shape or control and paid the price.”
It may seem a harsh judgement but it was refreshingly honest after the side’s worst display of the season.
There will need to be a big improvement at Boreham Wood if The Villagers are to begin to turn round their league season. They are in the bottom four and are one of six clubs at the bottom of the table who are beginning to be cut adrift from the rest of the other clubs. They need two or three wins quickly if they are to start to climb the table towards safety.
There are a number of issues for Housham to consider as he and assistant manager Daryn Stamp think about the line-up for Saturday.
Goal- scoring is a major problem with just six goals in 15 league games. Ferriby have a number of striking options but it is difficult to know which could be the best pairing. In recent games, Housham has actually played with three up-front but this has left Ferriby exposed in midfield so Housham could return to a 4-4-2 formation.
When goal opportunities have presented themselves, players have tried to create that little bit of extra space for a clearer opening and the chance has been lost. Macclesfield, last week, showed the benefit of shooting early and on-sight. It’s a habit Ferriby have to find.
The midfield has generally functioned well as far as frustrating opponents has been concerned and has created opportunities for the strikers. However, the failing has been in giving the ball away far too easily and too often. This allows the opposition to build attacks again and again and to pressure the Ferriby defence midfield and defence. Eventually something cracks and goals are conceded.
Again, Housham has selection choices here. If he reverts to 4-4-2 he could bring in Danny Emerton for a striker and may consider Steve Brogan or Ryan Fallowfield in Connor Oliver’s role. Not an easy choice.
Defensively, Ferriby have looked fairly comfortable but they are prone to making the same errors and teams have now worked this out. Too many of the goals that are conceded are “soft” where opponents are allowed to create chances and score without any real challenge. The defence is young but the National league is unforgiving and the players have to learn quickly.
Last Saturday apart, nobody has really been able to fault the attitude and commitment of the players but as Housham said,
“We had no heart or desire today. We had no leaders on the pitch. We conceded poor goals and gave the ball away too easily. The performance was worrying .”
Looking towards the Boreham Wood game Housham said,
“It’s obvious that we need to start collecting points. We need 10 wins for a fighting chance of survival this season. We have two tough games ahead of us this week.
“We have to think we have a chance of coming away with something on Saturday given that their home form is not too different to ours.
In terms of signing players, we are looking for the right players to join us but I’m not going to break the bank just for the sake of bringing people in. More importantly, I’m still looking for our current players to improve and take their chance.”
Boreham Wood are 12th with 24 points but have won only twice at home, drawing two and losing three. They have scored five and concede five so a low-scoring game is in prospect. However, those home figures for Boreham should give The Villagers some encouragement.
Housham has virtually his whole squad to choose from with only Curtis Bateson definitely out and Conner Robinson doubtful through injury
Ferriby from: Rory Watson, Sam Topliss, Ben Middleton, Steve Brogan, Connor Oliver, Mark Gray, Danny Emerton, Danny Clarke, Ryan Kendall, Simon Russell, Taron Hare, Ryan Fallowfield, Darryn Stamp, Ross Armstrong, Jake Skelton, Vinny Mukendi, Alfons Fosu-Mensah, Reece Thompson, Kyle Wootton