Brackley Town v NFU (NLN 17-18)

Brackley Town  v  North Ferriby United 
 National League North
Tuesday 13 February 2018
 Kick-off 7.45pm

Ferriby make another long trip on Tuesday when they travel to Northamptonshire to play Brackley Town in a  National League North fixture. Saturday’s trip to Telford was a three-and-a-half hour journey each way. As such, it was a new experience for a large number of the squad who have been used to playing their football at a more regional level.

The Villagers lost the reverse fixture 0-5 at The Eon Visual Media Stadium in August. The Villagers were hopelessly outplayed that day and could take little comfort that day. Ferriby have a new manager and an almost completely new, but  largely inexperienced squad since that game. It is likely to be s very testing game on Tuesday evening for Chris Bolder’s team.

Brackley also had a long journey on Saturday, travelling to Blyth Spartans to suffer a 0-3 defeat. The result will have been a blow to Brackley but it  still left them in third position and comfortably in a play-off spot. The defeat ended a run of 9 games unbeaten during which thet won three and drew six.

Brackley are unbeaten at home with nine wins and four draws in their league games so far. Ferriby will do well to come back with a point. Brackley have scored 25 goals and conceded 9 in those matches.

Ferriby will have to play much better and much more convincingly than they did at Telford on Saturday. After good performances in the previous two games Ferriby’s hopes were reasonably high on Saturday. However, they produced a performance that was reminiscent of too many games this season.

The Villagers were largely over-run in midfield and were under pressure for much of the game. There is no doubt that Telford deserved to win and 3-0 was probably a fair reflection. Even so, One goal was a harsh, but technically correct penalty whilst the final goal came well in to added time.

The defence did a reasonably good job and many of Telford’s goal attempts came from around the edge of the area. Once again the penalty apart, Ferriby rarely looked like conceding from a set-piece.

Unfortunately, The Villagers never looked like scoring at the opposite end. Brett Agnew was isolated and received little service. In fact, he was often forced to go back in to his own half to find the ball.  Consequently, Ferriby did not have one attempt at goal.

Adding to Bolder’s and Ferrriby’s woes was the red card for his assistant Paul Robson. It was the type of overstrong challenge that is not allowed these days, even if the ball is won. Robson, perhaps rather embarrassingly, has now been dismissed in each of the two games he has played. It does not help Bolder when he has  relatively thin squad to lose one of the team’s more experienced players.

Despite the improvement in the previous two games, Ferriby are still a long way from being the finished product, a fact recognised by Bolder,

“The performance, especially in the first-half was extremely disappointing. We’ve played well in the last two games and to show such a poor work ethic in the first-half was not acceptable.

“It’s always difficult to get a foothold in the game when you are struggling as a team and we found it very difficult to get in to the game today. The second-half performance was better, We restricted Telford to just two on-target shots, and one of them was the penalty.

 “We all know that many of the players lack experience at this level and that they are up against some high quality players each game. That means we have to be prepared to work hard if we are to compete.

“Today was something of a step backward after the progress of recent weeks. At this stage of our re-development progress is always going to be uneven and today showed that. The players know what is required and they’ve got to be prepared to give that at Brackley on Tuesday.”

Paul Robson is available to play despite his red card on Saturday because the suspension does not kick-in for seven days. Alex Davidson is recovering from a hip injury and Jamie Forrester went off before half-time on Saturday with a groin injury so is doubtful.

Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant,  Lewis Exall,  Paul Robson, Ben Clappison, Jack Walters, Kojo Kyei, Jordon Cooke, Jack Mail, Jamie Taylor, Bobby Johnson, Adam Bolder, Luke Lofts, George Harrison, Sam Ansu, Carl Stewart, Jorome Slew, Jamie Forrester, Brett Agnew, James Piercey


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