Vanarama National League
North Ferriby United v Wrexham
Saturday 5th November 2016
Kick-off: 3.00 pm
Ferriby entertain Wrexham on Saturday in the first meeting between the two sides since the memorable 2015 FA Trophy Final. No Ferriby supporter will forget that amazing day but, unfortunately, this Saturday is not a time to linger on memories. The Villagers are anchored to the bottom of the Vanarama National League and desperately need three points.
They need to show the spirit and commitment that they gave on that March day at Wembley when they came from two goals down to beat Wrexham on penalties after extra-time. That said, only Danny Clarke, Ryan Kendall, Sam Topliss and Mark Gray of the sixteen players named for that game are in this season’s Ferriby squad. Danny Emerton and Curtis Bateson were also in the Wembley party.
Wrexham may be keen to prove a point on their first visit to The Eon Visual Media Stadium. Their current , and very recently appointed manager, Deane Keates, was captain of the Welsh side that day. He was running the game on the pitch but was substituted with 20 minutes left and with Wrexham two goals ahead. It was to prove a major mistake as it allowed The Villagers to get back in to the game.
Only two of Wrexham’s current squad were in the starting-line-up that day, Mark Carrington and Robbie Evans.
This game epitomises how fortunes can change in football. Wrexham have represented Wales in European competitions, the last time being 20 years ago. However, off-field problems contributed to the club’s slide down the football pyramid and it is now eight years since they lost their football league place.
Wrexham are in 14th place with 24 points. They have had an uneven season so far but go in to Saturday’s game on the back of two draws and one win. They have scored 17 goals and conceded 24. Wrexham have lost five of their away games winning two and drawing two. John Rooney is their leading scorer with five goals.
Ferriby were bitterly disappointed to lose to Bromley last Saturday. The Villagers finally managed a League goal after seven blank sheets. Despite taking the lead they fell, once again, to a late goal. That now makes it eight league defeats on the run and one that has to end soon if Ferriby are not to be in the bottom four all season.
Manager Steve Housham was frustrated but still reasonably upbeat after the game,
“I thought that we dominated the game against Bromley. Brogan hit the bar, their keeper made some good saves one-on-one with Thompson. The lads deserved the goal. After that, we needed a leader to calm things down. Instead, I think we let the excitement get to us.”
Certainly after the goal, Ferriby seemed to forget their game plan on the pitch and started conceding space to Bromley who score an early equaliser. It is something that Housham and assistant manager Darryn Stamp will no doubt drive home to the players in training this week.
Looking towards Saturday’s game Housham commented,
“We’re targeting points in this next month. We have to go in with nothing to fear, starting against Wrexham. We need to be brave and start November in good form. We will keep going. It’s been a bad run but our luck will change. Everyone’s realistic about how tough the league is; players, staff, fans. I wouldn’t swap these players, they give everything.
“Our fans are conducting themselves. They are enduring a poor run of results but are still supporting week in and week out. We can’t thank them enough.”
Despite the poor run of results, the players have been putting in good performances and it would be a big boost to them to see that commitment rewarded by larger crowds.
Housham has virtually his whole squad to choose from with only Curtis Bateson definitely out. Connor Oliver will, hopefully, be fit after missing the Bromley game through injury.
Ferriby from: Rory Watson, Sam Topliss, Ben Middleton, Steve Brogan, Connor Oliver, Mark Gray, Danny Emerton, Danny Clarke, Ryan Kendall, Simon Russell, Taron Hare, Ryan Fallowfield, Darryn Stamp, Ross Armstrong, Jake Skelton, Vinny Mukendi, Alfons Fosu-Mensah, Reece Thompson, Kyle Wootton, Conner Robinson