Vanarama National League
North Ferriby United v Aldershot Town
Saturday 22 April 2017
Ferriby entertain Aldershot Town on Saturday with the visitors making their first-ever visit to The Eon Visual Media Stadium.
Although Easter Monday’s defeat at Barrow condemned The Villagers to relegation the mood at The Eon Visual Media Stadium remains positive. The team may be down but it is not downhearted.
The game is Ferriby’s final home game and it is hoped that large crowd will turn-up to applaud the team for their efforts this season.
The players will do a lap of honour at the end of the game to say “Thank you” to the supporters. They have been behind the side all season. Fans at other clubs would have turned on the manager and players before Christmas and the players have appreciated this has not happened.
Aldershot currently occupy the final play-off spot but they can be caught by both Barrow and Dover if they slip up against The Villagers.
They have won seven, drawn eight and lost seven of their away games. They have scored 25 goals and conceded 24 in those games. They are figures that will give Ferriby hope of taking something from the game.
Aldershot won the reverse fixture 2-0 in August but it was a game in which Ferriby missed good chance when they were still level and others when they were just one goal down. It was typical of results earlier in the season.
Pride is still important at Ferriby.
“I don’t want to finish bottom,” said Steve Housham after the Barrow game and the players will be trying to ensure that that does not happen.
That pride showed itself during the second-half on Monday. Losing 3-1 at half-time, the players knew that relegation was certain. Many sides in Ferriby’s situation would probably have offered little for the remainder of the game. yet the Ferriby players came out in the second-half and were by far the better team. Such was their performance that the Barrow fans were heckling their own side despite the fact that they were winning. Contrast that with the attitude of Ferriby’s fans as mentioned above.
Housham was clearly in a subdued after the game. He and assistant manager sat the players down on the pitch in the late afternoon sun and told them that they could be proud of their performances this season, just as they were.
The squad has let nobody down and has, in fact, earned praise from many of their opponents for their ability and attitude. More than one opposing manager or club official has said,
“You’ve actually got a team that plays for each other.” At this level, that is praise indeed. Large playing budgets may count for a lot but they do not always give you team spirit, or even a promotion-winning team.
Most people will not be surprised at the team going down but many have been given the proverbial bloody nose that it has taken until the 43rd game for the team to be relegated. In a very competitive division somebody could still get 51 points and be relegated. That is how hard it has been this season.
Continuing after the Barrow match, Housham commented,
“ We’ve competed well in most games.
“You can always talk about “ifs and buts” over a season. It’s frustrating that we’ve started to score more goals in recent weeks but we’ve also started to concede too many goals.
“The players have developed as individuals and as team over the season. The loss of the experienced players through injury has placed a lot on the
shoulders of very young players but they have responded magnificently.
“We have two games left and the aim is maximum points to finish the season on a high and avoid the bottom spot..
“Aldershot will obviously be a highly competitive game because they are
desperate for three points as they chase the play-offs. We know our fate now, so the pressure on Saturday is all on Aldershot.
“However, we can now go out to enjoy the game and show people just how well we can play.”
Housham will be without Ryan Kendall, Ross Armstrong, Simon Russell, Steve Brogan and Curtis Bateson. Jake Skelton was substituted early at Barrow with a shoulder injury but it is anticipated that he will be fit to play.
Ferriby from: Owen Evans, Sam Topliss, Ben Middleton, Jake Skelton, Mark Gray, Ryan Fallowfield, Connor Oliver, Danny Emerton, Matty Templeton, Darryn Stamp, Curtis Bateson, Reece Thompson, Jordan Cooke, Sam Cosgrove, Robbie Tinkler, Matty Dixon, Tom Bolton, Kojo Kyei, George Bell
Following the match, the club and supporters’ club will make the end –of-season presentations to the players. The players will also be presenting their signed shirts to their individual sponsors. It is hoped to start the presentations around 5.30.
Prior to the game, the club’s Academy side will be presented with the East Riding County League premier Division Trophy following their highly successful season.