Vanarama National League
Tranmere Rovers v North Ferriby United
Tuesday 25th October 2016
Kick-off: 7.45 pm
Ferriby travel to The Wirral to play their first-ever game against Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday evening.
Ferriby manager was pleased with his side’s performance at Boreham Wood on Saturday but was highly disappointed that his players got nothing from the game. He had told his players he wanted a big response after the poor performance against Macclesfield and he got one.
Once again, it was a narrow defeat for Ferriby in which they were not disgraced. The game highlighted how narrow the margin between winning and losing can be. Not for the first time this season, The Villagers had a very strong penalty claim denied. This one was for a clear shoulder in to the back of Connor Oliver. With the game still goalless approaching half-time Oliver was desperately unlucky to not give Ferriby the lead when his scorching 25-yard shot was somehow fingertipped on to the bar by Boreham keeper Grant Smith.
Unfortunately for Ferriby a momentary lapse of concentration just after half-time saw man-of-the-match Anthony Jeffrey score the only goal of the game.
The Villagers are finding goals hard to come by, partly through their own ability to score from decent positions but also from some bad luck.
Saturday’s defeat created a new, and unwanted, record as it was the club’s sixth successive league defeat. It also equalled the club’s longest run of defeat if cup ties are included. Those facts cannot be argued with but they do not tell the whole story of Ferriby’s performances. They have rarely been totally outplayed this season and have generally battled hard in every game.
For what is a relatively young and inexperienced team at this level of football they are performing creditably. This, to some extent, explains the lack of goals and also the errors that have seen Ferriby concede goals to the opposition.
The game at Tranmere on Tuesday will be a massive experience for the players. There will be a large crowd in a Championship standard ground, No doubt the Rovers’ fans will be expecting a fairly comfortable win with their side lying third in the table. However, football is not that simple and The Villagers may well rise to the occasion, just as they did at Gateshead.
Tranmere have not been scoring highly with 20 goals in their sixteen games so if Ferriby can defend well they will be in with a chance of gaining something from the game.
Ferriby manager Steve Housham may consider retain the five-at-the-back line-up that he used on Saturday. This left just three in midfield with two strikers but it made life difficult for Boreham Wood to get past the final five. Unfortunately, it has the disadvantage of conceding space and numbers in midfield which can lead to a lot of pressure from the opposition.
“Saturday was another performance which deserved a point It seems like you are looking for excuses when you complain about refereeing decisions but Connor Oliver was clearly fouled in the first-half.
“We could have been in front by half-time but their keeper produced a great save from Connor’s shot.
“It is going to be big test of character for the players on Tuesday but the players do have the attitude to rise to the occasion. It’s going to be about having the right attitude.”
Housham has virtually his whole squad to choose from with only Curtis Bateson definitely out. Conner Robinson and Steve Brogan are doubtful through injury. Brogan suffered a foot injury on Saturday in making a tackle on Saturday and whether he plays or not depends on the degree of swelling and bruising. Mark Gray returns to the squad after a one game suspension for accruing five cautions.
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