Blyth Spartans v NFU (NLN 17-18)

Blyth Spartans  v North Ferriby United
 Vanarama National League North
Saturday 19 August  2017
Croft Park
 Kick-off 3.00pm

Ferriby travel to Blyth Spartans on Saturday still looking for their first goal and point of the season. It will not be an easy task to get either at last season’s Northern premier League Champions.

Blyth won the title in something of a canter finishing on 101 points and scoring over 100 goals. This season is proving slightly tougher with two wins and two losses so far. Their two home games have seen them beat Tamworth 4-2 and lose 0-2 to York City.

Although they have conceded 12 goals, Ferriby’s major problem is scoring. Failing to do so puts so much pressure on their own defence and eases the pressure for opponents. Defensive errors have cost goals, the latest being Alfreton’s winner on Tuesday. A free-kick floated in to the goal are is usually seen as the keeper’s ball but with Ross Durrant rooted to his line, Billy Priestley was able to head home unmarked. It was Durrant’s first mistake of the season and could , perhaps, also be due to unfamiliarity with his two central defenders.

Ferriby gave their best performance of the season on Tuesday and were unfortunate not to have come away with a point. New loan-signing Akeel Francis played well up-front with Joe Pugh and when they were both replaced in the second-half, Joel Ambalu and Alberto Seidi also created problems for the Alfreton defence. Unfortunately, the fact is that The Villagers only managed on on-target shot all night despite their generally good approach play.

Manager Steve Housham will be hoping for a similar performance at Blyth.

Housham comments,
“We’re trying everything to turn results around. Me and Stampy are working hard behind the scenes. Saturday was, without doubt the lowest point in my career. We showed no heart, passion or pride. Forget budgets, we didn’t show the  spirit that we need to. It’s not acceptable. I apologise on behalf of the players and the staff.

“Thankfully we got a response from the players  at Alfreton but unfortunately still not enough to get teh goal. WE’ve brought in some new players to strengthen things up and Thursday’s training session we’ll be doing shooting, shooting and more shooting practice.

“Fortunes will change! When you’re down it feels like everything goes against you. It was a harsh decision against Brogan [the free-kick that led to the goal] and Ross’s first mistake of the season. At the end of the match there was a handball shout in their box which the referee dismissed.

“We will keep fighting and there will be no repeats of Saturday. I’m here to stand by this squad and get the results. I want to do well, I want the club to do well.”

 Ferriby will be without Mark Gray who sits out the final match of a three game suspension. Eddie Rogerson and Leigh Hutchinson are still injured and the club is still waiting for international clearance for Mitch Langton.

Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant, Lewis Exall, Steve Brogan,  Jordon Cooke, Jake PictonKojo Kyei, Jake Picton, Ross Barrows, Russell Fry, Danny Emerton, Simon Russell, Callum Rzonca, Bobby Johnson, Kyle Dixon, Jack Barlow, Joel Ambalu, Curtis Bateson Alberto Seidi, Joe Pugh, Akeel Francis


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