Vanarama National League
North Ferriby United v Gateshead
Saturday 3 December 2016
Kick-off: 3.00 pm
Ferriby are back in home action on Saturday when Gateshead visit the Eon Visual Media Stadium.
The match is The Villagers’ first opportunity this season to complete a double The reverse fixture at Gateshead in September saw Ferriby gain a 1-0 thanks to a Reece Thompson goal just after half-time. A repeat of that result would be a big boost for Ferriby as the team approaches the crucial Christmas period.
Gateshead are in 10th place with 34 points. They have scored 38 goals and conceded 26 in their league games this season. Danny Johnson with 10 goals and Sam Jones are Gateshead’s leading scorers.
Gateshead’s current form will give Ferriby some hope of gaining something from Saturday’s game. They have got 16 points from the last 30 and have won just once in their last seven games.
After a good start to November with a win and two draws, Ferriby’s mini-revival has come to a halt in the last two games. Defeats at Solihull and Chester were hard to take. Ferriby were as good as Solihull last Saturday but, once again, they could not create that little bit of fortune that can make all the difference. The game at Chester saw a solid first-half performance but two goals early in the second-half settled the game in Chester’s favour.
In both games, Ferriby had chances to take the lead. Not for the first time this season everybody was left asking “What if....?” The Villagers are generally competing well but the lack of goals is clearly hurting. There is no lack of effort or determination and the team is playing some good football and gaining many positive comments from opponents.
The two games highlighted the differences in which referees approach the game. At Solihull there were nine cautions in total to the teams. Theses in a game that did not contain one bad tackle. At Chester there were no cautions but two Chester players were perhaps fortunate to escape with no punishment in the first-half. One flung an arm in to Steve Brogan’s face and another grabbed the referee’s arm as the referee was walking away from him. No two referees will referee in the same way but the differing approaches can be frustrating for players, management and supporters.
The two defeats this week have seen The Villagers drop to the bottom of the table they face a difficult battle if they are to move out of the relegation zone by the New Year. The game’s against York over the Christmas period could be crucial.
Housham was disappointed after Tuesday’s game,
“We gave as good as we got in the first-half. We had the frustrated and told the boys we needed to start the second-half well. But we gave one of our worst defensive spells for a long time and got punished.
“It was disappointing to lose by conceding goals in the way we did.”
Unfortunately, Ferriby’s lack of goals puts tremendous pressure on the defence and there will be games where they are not necessarily at their best.
Looking towards Saturday’s game Housham commented,
“On the plus side we have players coming back from injury and suspension and that gives us more options for the Gateshead game on Saturday.”
With the exception of Simon Russell, Housham should have his full squad to choose from. Curtis Bateson returns following his one game suspension and Reece Thompson has recovered from illness.
Ferriby from: Rory Watson, Sam Topliss, Ben Middleton, Steve Brogan, Jake Skelton, Mark Gray, Danny Emerton, Ryan Kendall, Taron Hare, Ryan Fallowfield, Darryn Stamp, Ross Armstrong, Curtis Bateson, Vinny Mukendi, Alfons Fosu-Mensah, Reece Thompson, Kyle Wootton, Levi Sutton
Ferriby will play at Alfreton Town in the Buildbase FA Trophy First Round on Saturday 10 December.
The Vanarama National League game at home to York City on Boxing day will kick-off at 12.30.