Saturday 26th April 2014
North Ferriby United v Brackley Town
Ferriby face a vital league game on Saturday when Brackley Town make their first-ever visit to the Eon Visual Media Stadium. Ferriby know that a win or a draw will guarantee them at least second-spot in the Skrill North. A win would give them the title if Telford fail to beat Gainsborough Trinity whilst a draw would give them the title if Telford lose. The Villagers are hoping that a large crowd will come down and urge them on.
Should Ferriby miss-out on the title, second-place will give them home advantage in the second-leg of the semi-final plus a home game for the Final should they reach it.
Ferriby’s initial aim this season was to ensure that they remained in the Skrill North for a second season. Stepping-up a division is often difficult but Billy Heath’s side has performed well all season and thoroughly deserve to be in with a chance of the title on the last day of the regular season.
It has been an amazing season for The Villagers. They have equalled the club’s best ever run in the FA Cup and reached the last eight of the FA Trophy for the first time.
It is to the credit of the players that they have maintained their form throughout the season because they have suffered terribly with injuries since Christmas. The spirit and character within the squad is tremendous. As Chairman Les Hare comments, “The players have the hearts of lions.”
Contrary to popular opinion, the club has one of the smallest, if not the smallest playing budget, in the division. Players come to Ferriby because they buy-in to the club’s footballing philosophy. They know they are well-looked after with regard to training, travelling and treatment facilities and they respond appropriately to that on the pitch. Whilst the club is run by volunteers, the approach is extremely professional and allows the players to concentrate on the football.
The Villagers have played some attractive football this season, preferring to go looking for goals rather than sit back and defend. It is not likely to be any different against Brackley who have the meanest defence in the division. The big-spending Northamptonshire side will be disappointed at missing-out on a play-off spot after losing at home to FC Halifax Town in last season’s play-off Final.
The Villagers were grateful for the quick reactions and alertness of their coach driver on the trip to Boston on Monday. He was forced to make an emergency stop when a car driver decided to perform a three-point turn immediately in front of him on the ring road round Lincoln. The coach driver’s reactions averted what could have been a serious, if not, fatal accident.
Monday’s defeat at Boston was big disappointment to Billy Heath and his team. Ferriby could have had a point on the day but it was not to be. Manager Billy Heath commented, “ It was a massively disappointing result but we have the character to bounce back and put-in a good performance against Brackley on Saturday. We have achieved so much this season and we are still capable of gaining promotion, whether automatically or through the play-offs.
“To be in this position on the final day of the league season is tremendous. We have shown that we can more than compete in a very competitive league. There could be more twists and turns on Saturday.”
Heath will definitely be without Gregg Anderson, Jon D’Laryea and Jamie Yates due to injuries. Danny Hone is suspended and will miss the rest of the season.
Matt Wilson is likely to return to the starting line-up to partner Mark Gray in the centre of defence.
NFU from: Adam Nicklin, Antoni Pecora, Josh Wilde, Paul Robson, Nathan Peat, Matt Wilson, Mark Gray, Liam King, Russell Fry, Nathan Jarman, Ryan Kendall, Anthony Wilson, Lewis McMahon, Danny Emerton, Steve Gardner, Dean Lisles
Skrill North play-off dates
Wednesday 30 April
Semi-final 1st leg: 5th v 2nd; 4th v 3rd
Saturday 3 May
Semi-final 2nd leg: 2nd v 5th; 3rd v 4th
Saturday 10th May
Final: At ground of highest placed side
Voting has opened for the Club’s player of the season. Supporters can vote on-line by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Voting slips will be available at the Brackley game. Voting closes at 6pm on Saturday 26th April