Vanarama National League North
Solihull Moors v NFU
Saturday 9 January 2016
Kick-off 3.00 pm
Second-placed Ferriby have a difficult task when they travel to leaders Solihull Moors on Saturday.
Moors are four points ahead of The Villagers and also have a game in hand and both sides will see a win as being crucial in the title and promotion race.
The Villagers have the highest-scoring attack in the Vanarama National League North but they will be up against the meanest defence. Solihull are also no slouches in the goal stakes and have the ever-dangerous Stefan Moore in their ranks.
Moors beat relegation threatened Brackley 3-0 at home on Tuesday. This followed a 1-0 win last Saturday at the then leaders Nuneaton Town.
The Villagers go in to the game on the back of three wins in the four festive games and will be quietly confident that they can get a result at Solihull. Ferriby are a certainly a side that fears nobody but they treat all their opponents with professional respect and it will be no different on Saturday.
Ferriby’s performance against Gainsborough last Saturday was an excellent all-round team display. The Villagers defended well and scored some well-crafted goals. The Villagers gave a very professional display and did not react to two Gainsborough’s sometime robust challenges, two of which deservedly earned red cards. The dismissals had no effect on the result as Ferriby were 3-0 ahead by the time of the first.
Solihull go in to the match with only one league defeat all season, a home defeat to Boston United at the beginning of December. They needed an added time goal from James Armson to avoid defeat at the Eon Visual media Stadium in August. Moore may take the headlines for goal-scoring but Armson, Darryl Knights and Akwasi Asante are all regular goal-scorers. It certainly will not be an easy afternoon for the Ferriby defence.
The promotion race is in danger of becoming a six-horse race. Moors will be favourites at the moment as they have at least one game in hand on the chasing pack with the exception of AFC Fylde who are seven points behind them having played one game fewer. The other current contenders are Nuneaton, Boston and Harrogate. They will all be hoping that Ferriby can win in order to peg Moors back.
No doubt some team will come from mid-table with a late run as often happens. Tamworth have wobbled recently and ar now nine points off the final play-off spot but they cannot be discounted.
there is an even fiercer battle at the bottom of the table. AFC Telford are bottom, a little adrift of the next placed club, Corby Town. However, Telford apart, only five points separate the next nine sides.
Manager Billy Heath comments,
“We know it will be aparticularly tough game on Saturday. Solihull are an extremely good side and they deserve respect for being top of the table. However, we know that on our day we can be a match for anybody in this league. It’s highly competitive.
“As usual, the Christmas and New Year games have done little bit of sorting out. We certainly have no complaints about our position. We played some very good football against Gainsborough and we need that sort of form again on Saturday.
“We are in a great position to launch a promotion challenge and will be giving it our best shot. There are still plenty of games left and there will be some twists and turns before anything is decided.”
There was good news for The Villagers in the week with skipper Liam King being named Vanrama National League North “Player-of-the-Month” for December.
With the exception of Danny Hone, Heath should have a full squad to choose from.
NFU squad: Tom Nicholson, Adam Nicklin, Ben Middleton, Sam Topliss, Josh Wilde, Ash Palmer, Louis Bruce, Mark Gray, Danny Hone, Liam King, Russ Fry, Adam Bolder, Danny Clarke, Danny Emerton, Tim Taylor, Curtis Bateson, Nathan Hotte,