Vanarama National League North
Gainsborough Trinity v NFU
Saturday 26 December 2015
Kick-off 3.00 pm
Ferriby continue the festive period games with a trip to Gainsborough Trinity on Boxing Day in the Vanarama National League North. The clubs will be hoping that the game does not suffer the same fate as last year when it was abandoned due to a floodlight failure.
The Villagers then entertain Bradford on the 28th and play the reverse fixture with Gainsborough on 2nd January. It is a testing period for part-time players.
Ferriby go in to Saturday’s game on the back of two wins against promotion rivals. Following their excellent and thrilling win at Chorley, The Villagers inflicted only the second league defeat of the season on Tamworth last Saturday. This was a game which Ferriby controlled for the most part and for the final 30 minutes they looked to be the only side which would score.
Villagers’ skipper Liam King will be looking to keep his scoring touch going. The midfielder is actually the second-top scorer in the division with 13 goals. Curtis Bateson and Tom Denton both have eight goals in a side where just about every [layer is capable of scoring.
Whilst the Christmas/New Year fixtures are not exactly make or break for clubs, they can set the tone for the second-half of the season. A good set of results should see The Villagers consolidate their place in the promotion race.
The Villagers are in second place, two points behind leaders Nuneaton and with a game in hand. However, Solihull and Fylde are also on 40 points and have games in hand on Ferriby. The Villagers are the division’s top scorers and points and goals are going to be needed over the next week if they are to remain second, if not actually go top.
The Gainsborough games will be something of a reunion with no fewer than 6 former Ferriby players in the Gainsborough squad. Trinity have recently added former Ferriby striker Anthony Wilson to their squad where he now teams up again with former Ferriby striking partner Nathan Jarman.
Ferriby’s assistant manager Mark Carroll is keen to play down the number of ex-Ferriby players in Trinity’s squad,
“We obviously know what our former players are capable of and Ant (Wilson) and Nathan (Jarman) are proven scorers. However, we are defending well and we have the quality to deal with their threat. The players like and respect each other but any friendships will be forgotten about on the pitch.”
Gainsborough are comfortably in mid-table and have lost only twice at Northolme in the league this season. Overall, they have scored 24 goals and conceded 28. Trinity are 12 points off the final promotion spot and will need to start a good sequence of results if they are to threaten the leading pack.
Trinity go in to the game having won their last three home league games, including wins over promotion chasers Chorley and Harrogate. The Villagers will certainly not be under-estimating them.
Manager Billy Heath comments,
“For a club our size to be going into the Christmas fixtures in second place is amazing. I’ve got to give credit to the players for the way they have played this season. We now need some good results over the next three games to consolidate our position.
“They will not be easy games. There is always an edge to fixtures against Gainsborough and Bradford as they are the closest we have to local derbies. Both teams have yet to really get their season going and they will see tis period as the ideal time to start a run that will see them climb the table.
“League position means little going in to Christmas as there are always unexpected results. The Christmas/New Year period is always testing but a good set of results will achieve two things. It will give us the points that ensure we are in this division, at least, next season, and keep us in the promotion battle.
“This division is so difficult to predict because everybody is capable of beating everybody else. As always, one or two clubs will see their form greatly improve or dip and that will make for interesting changes in the table.”
It is hoped that Danny Hone will finally have recovered from injuries and be back in the squad. If so, it will give Heath his full squad for the first time in a number of months. Keeper Adam Nicklin returned to the side last week against Tamworth and looked as if he had never been injured.
NFU squad: Tom Nicholson, Adam Nicklin, Ben Middleton, Sam Topliss, Josh Wilde, Ash Palmer, Louis Bruce, Mark Gray, Danny Hone, Liam King, Russ Fry, Adam Bolder, Danny Clarke, Danny Emerton, Tim Taylor, Curtis Bateson, Nathan Hotte, Wayne Brooksby,