Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying
Stalybridge Celtic v NFU
Saturday 24 October 2015
Kick-off 3.00 pm
Ferriby return to FA Cup action on Saturday when they travel to Stalybridge Celtic in the FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying. The Villagers will be looking to make club history by winning the game and reaching the First Round Proper for the first time. This will put the team in the draw with League One and Two clubs on Monday evening.
The FA cup is an important competition for the players and the club. For the club, it is an opportunity to gain additional income through the extra matches and from prize money for winning. It is an also an opportunity to gain recognition outside the local area and to generally raise awareness of the club. For the players, it is an opportunity to perform on a national stage with the hope of reaching at least the First Round Proper where there is the possibility of playing a League One or Two club.
Ferriby go in to this game with a 15 game unbeaten run behind them. They will be hoping to extend this on Saturday to be in the draw for the First Round Proper. The Club has achieved so much over the years but a First Round Proper place has always eluded them. Last year they lost at Warrington Town at the Fourth Round Qualifying with what was probably their worst performance of the season.
Vanarama National League North rivals Stalybridge are currently lying ninth in the table, three places and four points behind Ferriby. The Villagers are the division’s top scorers and have one of the meanest defences. Stalybridge are pretty much conceding as many as they score. They have lost two and drawn one of their three home games. The Villagers only defeat so far was on the opening day of the season at Tamworth.
Stalybridge have reached this stage by beating Kendal Town 3-2 away and Chasetown 2-0 at home after a 1-1 draw. The Villager have beaten Newton Aycliffe in a replay and Nuneaton Town. Stalybridge will probably start as favourites as they have home advantage but Ferriby will not be daunted by playing away.
Manager Billy Heath commented,
“We are playing some great football at the moment without any strikers. Not having Tom (Denton) and Ryan (Kendall) has meant changing our style of play. It has also put more responsibility on other players to score goals and the way the players have responded has been magnificent.
“Stalybridge will present a tough challenge but we are in good form and are capable of getting through if we play to our ability.”
Assistant Manager Bobby Carroll said,
“It’s an important game for everybody connected with the club. We all want to have the opportunity of playing a Football League club. Some may say that it’s a dream but so was the thought of winning the FA Trophy last season and we made that one come true.”
Both Heath and Carroll believe that the pressure the players dealt with in last season’s FA Trophy run will stand them in good stead this season. They have proved that they can handle the pressure of big games and will be desperate to succeed on Saturday.
Ferriby will still be without a recognised striker against Stalybridge. Ryan Kendall is not likely to be available and Tom Denton sits out the final match of a four game suspension. Also missing is central defender Danny Hone.
NFU squad: Adam Nicklin, Tom Nicholson, Josh Wilde, Ash Palmer, Louis Bruce, Mark Gray, Liam King, Russ Fry, Adam Bolder, Danny Clarke, Danny Emerton, Tim Taylor, Curtis Bateson, Tom Davie, Nathan Hotte, Jamie Forrester, Ben Middleton, Ross Armstrong
Admission at Stalybridge is £12, £7 concesions, £2 under 14s.
If a replay is needed it will be at the Eon Visual Media Stadium on WEDNESDAY 28 October with a 7.45 kick-off. Admission prices will be £12, £6 concessions and £3 for under 16s. Everybody must pay.
The game is being played on Wednesday to avoid clashing with Hull City’s League Cup fixture on Tuesday.