North Ferriby United v Ashton United
Evostik Northern Premier League Premier Division
Saturday 4 May 2013 KO 3.00 pm
It is crunch-time for Ferriby on Saturday against Ashton United at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium. This is probably The Villagers biggest game since the FA Vase Final in 1997.
Ferriby go in to the game knowing that a win will almost certainly give them the Evostik Premier Division title and automatic promotion to Conference North. If Ferrriby win, title rivals Hednesford Town have to beat AFC Fylde by more than eight goals to deny The Villagers the title.
Ferriby have led the division since October 9th and Billy Heath's side will be determined not to be overtaken on the final day of the season.
The Ashton game is sure to be a tense affair. Ferriby are widely acknowledged as one of the best footballing sides in the league but character and patience will be as important as skill on Saturday. Heath says, "We have to play the game on Saturday and not the occasion. We need to play football and stay calm and not let the occasion get to us. We know exactly what we have to do and must focus on that."
Ferriby go in to the game with a 16 match unbeaten run behind them which has seen them win 12 and draw four of the games. There is a belief and determination in the squad that they have what it takes to finish the season as Champions. At the same time, they are not over-confident and will treat Ashton with professional respect.
Ashton will finish the season in mid-table having flirted with the play-offs earlier on. Manager Danny Johnson will be in charge for the final time before he moves to Nantwich Town. Ashton will, no doubt, be looking to send him off in style. This is one party that the normally friendly Ferriby will be hoping to spoil!
With Hull City kicking-off at 12.45, it is hoped that Tigers' fans will dash to Ferriby in the hope that there will be a double promotion celebration in the area on Saturday night.
Striker Anthony Wilson (hamstring) and defender Gregg Anderson (ankle) should be fit after being substituted against Chorley last Saturday. Skipper paul Foot is unlikely to be fit due to his hamstring injury.
Possible Ferriby squad: Adam Nicklin, Paul Robson, Nathan Peat, Liam King, Gregg Anderson, Paul Foot, Mark Gray, Russell Fry, Danny Clarke, Chris Bolder, Ryan Williams, Ryan Kendall, Gary Bradshaw, Steve Ridley, Rob Youhill, Jason Stokes, Antoni Pecora
AFC Fylde, FC United of Manchester and Witton Albion will complete the top five this season. Ferriby or Hednesford will finish second and be guaranteed a home semi-final in the play-off on Tuesday 7th May against Witton or Fylde. The play-off final is scheduled for Friday 10th May at the ground of the highest placed finalist.