Emirates FA Cup First Round Qualifying
Dunston UTS v North Ferriby United
Saturday 8 September
Ferriby take a break from league action on Saturday when they travel to Gateshead to play their first-ever game against Dunston UTS. It will be Ferriby’s first FA Cup game at this stage for number of years.
With £6000 going to the winners in prize money, there is a big incentive for both sides to win. Ferriby still have financial issues and the prize money would ease the pressure slightly.
Dunston play in The EBAC Northern League Division and have had an impressive opening to the season. They have won seven and drawn one of their opening eight games and will be in a bouyany mood for the game.
They have already played two FA Cup ties, defeating Hebburn Town and then Pontefract Collieries in the last round.
Dunston’s top scorer is Mark Fitzpatrick who has scored in six of the games played and has totalled seven goals altogether. The team has scored 22 goals and conceded seven.
Ferriby will probably start as favourites given that they [lay two divisions higher but the FA Cup is no respecter of reputations. The Villagers have often found that out to their cost over the years.
It is almost certainly going to be a tough game at Dunston. Games against Northern League games are often physical affairs and there is likely to be a reasonably sized partisan crowd getting behind Dunston.
Ferriby players will not be intimidated by the crowd. As they showed at Scarborough on Tuesday night, they are more than capable of just focussing on events on the pitch. As a group of players they are maturing rapidly and are showing that they are capable of performing at Step 3 standard.
Manager Chris Bolder got the response from his players that he wanted at Scarborough. The first-half saw Ferriby make Scarborough struggle and The Villagers definitely deserved their half-time lead.
The second-half was dominated by Scarborough but they still did not find it easy as Ferriby defended well. It was only in the final 25 minutes that Scarborough managed to score their goals, much to the relief of their fans.
It is a very testing time for Bolder’s squad with two games a week virtually to the end of October. The physical demands are high and they are something that the squad is coming to terms with.
The Villagers are playing some attractive football and now carry more of a threat going forward than for the last two seasons. Defensively they are developing an understanding of how to work as a unit. The midfield does sterling work both as an attacking and defensive force.
Saturday’s will be the first FA Cup tie for a number of Ferriby’s players. Some people may say that it’s only another game of football but any cup match is a bit different to a league game as it is basically win or bust. That creates a different pressure on both sides involved.
Bolder was a fairly sanguine mood after the Scarborough game,
“The performance was pleasing tonight. I think it was a game of two halves.
“In the first-half we set our system up and played the game plan perfectly. We frustrated and limited their chances and looked a threat ourselves.
“The second-half, they made a tactical change at half-time and it stumped us a little bit and they got a bit of a roll on and we struggled to contain the attacks wave after wave. We tried a couple of different systems to try and counteract it but sometimes in football it is difficult to stop the momentum when it’s going against you.
“We tried to play two up front to stem the flow and we tried an extra man in midfield to contain them. But they’ve got quality players all round the pitch. What we’re finding at the moment is that we have to be at the peak of our performance physically, technically and tactically for the full game and that’s difficult to sustain at the moment.”
As for Saturday, Bolder has this to say,
“I don’t think many of the lads have played in an FA Cup game before but I don’t think they will be looking at the game any differently in terms of what it means to the club. They start every game determined to do their best and win and their attitude on Saturday will be no different.
“We’ve had Dunston watched and Pauld [Robson] and myself have watched some videos. We’ve had a couple of reports sent through. We know how they play and they have got some talented players. North-east sides work extremely hard and the financial reward [of winning] will be important to them as well.
“As always, Paul and myself will select a squad with a game-plan in mind and we’ll take it from there.”
Bolder and Robson are creating an ethos in the team and the players are left in no doubt as to what is expected both in terms of attitude and playing to a plan. The management pair are not afraid to make tactical changes during a game if they feel it is necessary. That is good to see, as is the fact that the players try to respond to those changes.
Bolder will have most of his squad to choose from. Despite there being so many games in the coming weeks, Bolder will probably not want to make too many changes on Saturday. He knows that this squad can deliver the goods.
Lewis Exall could miss the game following a dead-leg he received at Scarborough on Tuesday. Eddie Rogerson remains a doubt with a groin strain and Paul Robson’s hamstring has not yet fully healed so he may not be risked with at least eight games in September. .
Ferriby’s squad: Lewis Exall, Ben Clappison, Ben Leyland, James Willliamson, Jack Smith, James Piercey, Jack Mail, Paul Robson, Jamie Forrester, Joe Lamplough, Dan Nichols, Danny Norton, Charlie Dunkerley, Kent Bannister, Alex Knox, Alex Bannister, Luke Lofts, James Nichols, Josh Walker, Luke Hinsley, Eddie Rogerson
If a replay is needed it will be at The Chadwick Stadium on Tuesday 11th September with a 7.45 kick-off.
Ferriby have a scheduled home Evo-stik Premier Division for Tuesday. This will only go ahead, of course, if neither The Villagers nor Grantham Town require an FA Cup replay next week.