Vanarama National League
North Ferriby United v Eastleigh
Friday 14 April 2017
Ferriby entertain Eastleigh on Saturday with the visitors making their first-ever visit to The Eon Visual Media Stadium. It is the first of two games over the Easter weekend. Ferriby make the long trip to Barrow on Easter Monday.
Last Saturday’s home defeat to Boreham Wood was a massive disappointment in terms of both the results and the performance.
It left The Villagers nine points from safety and anything but a win against Eastleigh could see Ferriby relegated on Saturday
Surprisingly, it is not all doom and gloom around The Eon Visual Media Stadium. Despite the results, most people have enjoyed the experience of playing in The National League. It is not something that many would have expected from a club with Ferriby’s resources.
Few expected anything other than a relegation battle this season but many have been surprised by how competitive the team has been. The loss of experienced players through injury has hit the side hard. Had they been available some results would probably have been different as these players would have had the experience to manage a game.
The National League is a difficult place in which to develop your game when everybody around you is of a similar young age. Teams always need a balance of youth and experience.
Steve Housham was delighted for striker Reece Thompson who score his tenth goal of the season in the Boreham Wood game,
“This was probably the only bright spot of the game and it’s great for Reece to have scored 10 goals at this level.”
Eastleigh are said to have one of the bigger budgets in The Vanarama National League and the club was expecting to be challenging for promotion. That has not been the case as they have bobbed around mid-table.
Ferriby lost the reverse fixture 2-0 at Eastleigh in September. As has often been the case this season, it was a game from which Ferriby could have taken at least a point.
Eastleigh are comfortably placed in mid-table and have little more than pride to play for in their final games.
They have won six, drawn eight and lost seven of their away games. They have score 27 and conceded 33 in those games.
Looking towards Saturday’s game, Housham commented,
“Eastleigh will be disappointed with their form this season and we need to add to their disappointment.
“Our situation is difficult but we will go in to the game with confidence. On our day we are as good as most teams in the league. We have just not been consistent enough this season. We’ve found it difficult to put two or three good results together and that has been a major frustration for everybody.
“We are still not down but it is obviously going to be difficult to stay up now. However, despite the results, we will continue to enjoy the ride.
“We’ve got two home games left and it would be nice to turn it on in those games for our supporters who have been tremendous all season.
“A good finish to the season is important as everybody has their eye on next season and it’s always good to finish on a high before the summer break.”
Housham will be without Ryan Kendall, Ross Armstrong, Simon Russell, Steve Brogan and Curtis Bateson.
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
Supporters are reminded that voting for the player of the season closes at 6pm on Friday. Voting slips will be available at the Eastleigh game. Alternatively, votes can be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The home fixture with Aldershot on 22 April will now kick-off at the originally planned time of 3pm. This is on instructions from The Vanarama National League.