Harrogate Town v North Ferriby United
National League North
Saturday 23 December 2017
Ferriby travel to third-placed Harrogate Town on Saturday for the first of three festive season games.
It is clearly going to be a testing fixture for The Villagers who are desperate for a win to kick-start their season again. The result may appear to be a foregone conclusion given the respective places of the two clubs but there could be a surprise if Ferriby show the enterprise and effort at Harrogate that were in evidence against Curzon Ashton on Tuesday.
Harrogate’s third position in the National League North places them firmly in the play-off spots. They will be eager for the points in order to consolidate their position.
Harrogate play on an artificial pitch. Since their introduction, many have said that such pitches give a big advantage to the home team as they are used to the surface. That may or may not be the case. Certainly, Harrogate have not had it all their own way at home this season with five wins, four draws and a single defeat at home in the league.
Ferriby. Like a large number of clubs these days, train on an artificial pitch so this type of surface is not unknown to them.
It could be an interesting game. New manager Chris Bolder is already changing The Villagers’ style of play. Against Curzon in midweek the team played the ball on the ground far more than they have this season. They actually looked threat going forward and created a number of half-chances. Callum Rzonca and new signing, Jerome Slew, had very good games on the wings. Harrogate’s pitch should allow them to play in a similar style. They could prove a handful for the Harrogate defence.
“We may change tactics our tactics. I’ve played on the Harrogate pitch and a lot of the players will also have played on similar pitches. It will be a good surface. You can move ball on it if it’s got a bit of zip. So we are all looking forward to it.
“It’s nice to be going to team that’s up there. It would have been lovely to have got a result on Tuesday and we would be going to Harrogate with even more confidence.
“The pitch will give Jerome and Callum chance to run. They are exciting players and look a threat but they are young and still learning.”
Ferriby were desperately unlucky to not take at least a point from the Curzon Game. The second-half was almost one-way traffic with Ferriby in control. A number of half-chances were created but the ball was not just falling right for Ferriby in and around the visitors’ penalty area. The players seemed to have more confidence and were looking effective with the ball being played on the ground. Lumping the ball long is not Bolder’s style and that will be welcomed by The Villagers’ fans.
Bolder comments further,
“The result against Curzon was harsh. They were panicking during the second-half. If we’d got one goal I think we’d have got another.
“We’d spoken all week about doing certain things during matches and we did that tonight. “We are definitely showing signs of making strides going forward as a team but it will take time.”
“It was good to hear the fans responding to the players because the players were working hard and fans see and recognise that effort on the pitch.
“The fans at Ferriby have always responded positively to players that give everything in a game and effort is the minimum requirement from every player.
Apart from striker Brett Agnew who is still suspended, Bolder should have his full squad to choose from.
Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant, Ben Clappison, Jack Walters, Lewis Exall, Kojo Kyei, Jordon Cooke, Jake Picton, Jake Skelton, Bobby Johnson, Adam Bolder, Simon Russell, Luke Lofts, Joel Ambalu, Craig Nelthorpe, George Harrison, Callum Rzonca, Sam Ansu, Carl Stewart, Jerome Slew, Jamie Forrester
The home game against York city on Boxing day is all-ticket. Tickets for that game will be on sale at the ground on Tuesday and from North Ferriby Post Office during the week. There will be no cash admission on the day.
The fixture at Brackley Town on 13th January has been postponed as Brackley have an FA Trophy fixture. No date has yet been set for the re-arranged game.