Vanarama National League
Braintree Town v North Ferriby United
Saturday 11 January 2017
Kick-off: 3.00 pm
Ferriby return to Vanarama National League action with a trip to Braintree Town on Saturday. Although The Villagers did not play last Saturday, the results of the teams in the relegation fight generally went Ferriby’s way
The reverse game against Braintree on the opening day of the season ended in a goalless draw. Ferriby will be hoping to secure a similar result at the very least against another side that is in the relegation battle. The game is very much a “six-pointer” as a win for Ferriby would draw Braintree even deeper into the relegation battle.
Braintree are in 18th place, just two points above the relegation places and four points ahead of The Villagers. The Essex side have won three, drawn three and lost eight of their home games league games. They have scored just 15 goals in those games and conceded 23, figures that will give Ferriby some confidence. Their main goal threat comes from Michael Cheek who has netted 11 times in league games.
Braintree suffered a heavy 5-2 defeat at Dulwich Hamlet in an FA Trophy replay on Tuesday night and it will be interesting to see how they respond to that.
Depending on Saturday’s Vanarama National League results and scorlines, Ferriby could move out of the bottom four on goal difference. There are now just seven points separating the bottom eight clubs and even Solihull and Sutton could yet be dragged into the relegation scrap.
Looking towards the Braintree game, Ferriby manager Steve Housham commented,
“We’ve got 15 ‘Cup Finals’ now – we’ve got to keep giving our best and fight for every point! Pitches are starting to look bad on videos from around the league. This means that we may not be able to play the style that we want but I feel that I’ve got more choice now with the new signings so we can adapt.
“The results have gone in our favour this week and we’re all on about the same number of gamesat the bottom of the league. We have to build on this! We are confident ahead of Braintree, we know we can get results away from home.
Simon Russell continues with his rehabilitation following a fractured patella. Danny Emerton will hopefully have recovered from his groin injury. Steve Brogan may possibly be fit to play. Ryan Fallowfield and Connor Oliver will probably be out for at least a month with metatarsal and hamstring injuries respectively.
With the midfield positions particularly affected by injuries, Housham has signed Rob Tinkler from Middlesbrough and Matty Dixon from York.
Dixon is looking forward to starting for Ferriby, “
“Housham’s been good with me. He just said come in, play some games and start enjoying football again. I’m hoping my experience will help me as I know what this league is about now. Also, I know most of the lads here so that should help me settle in quickly.”
Tinkler has a similar message,
“Housham rang me and told me to enjoy myself and just to do my best on the pitch. Hopefully that will be enough to keep us in this league. I think it’s really important for me to ply first team men’s football at 20 years old. Hopefully this can be a first step in playing at this level.”
All the players will know that good performances at this level are noticed following Rory Watson’s recent three year contract with Scunthorpe. Watson remains at Ferriby on loan until the end of the season but teh contract is a good reward for his performances this season.
Ferriby from: Rory Watson, Sam Topliss, Steve Brogan, Ben Middleton, Jake Skelton, Mark Gray, Danny Emerton, Ryan Kendall, Taron Hare, Matty Templeton, Darryn Stamp, Ross Armstrong, Curtis Bateson, Reece Thompson, Jordan Cooke, Sam Cosgrove, Robbie Tinkler, Matty Dixon