Evostik Northern Premier League
Grantham Town v North Ferriby United
Saturday 24 November 2018
Kick-off 3.00 pm
Ferriby travel to fourteenth-placed Grantham Town on Saturday an Evostik Premier Division match. The reverse fixture at The Chadwick Stadium in September was a 2-2 draw with The Villagers scoring twice in the closing minutes to snatch a draw.
That result and the late fight-back was something of a false dawn for The Villagers. The expected impetus the result should have generated never came.
The Villagers’ situation is beginning to look desperate but it is not irrecoverable at the moment.
Manager Paul Foot remains optimistic,
“We’ve played three of the top five teams in the league recently and we have been punished when we’ve made individual errors. They have used their experience to punish us. I still believe we can get out of the relegation zone but the lads just have to believe in themselves and know how to manage the game when they’re on the pitch.”
Results have been disappointing to say the least although there have been some good performances that have not gained the reward they deserved.
Grantham have a mixed home record with four wins, one draw and four defeats. They have scored 11 goals and scored 13 in those games. It is tempting to say it could be a tight game with those figures but The Villagers have by far the worst defensive record in the division. That said, they have conceded far fewer goals on their travels than they have at home.
Prior to last Saturday’s 4-1 win at Workington, Grantham had lost eight games on the run after what had been a reasonably promising start to the season.
Ferriby will certainly need a much better performance at Grantham than the one they gave against Farsley Celtic last Saturday. The side was well-beaten. The team was not helped by the dismissal of Ben Leyland midway through the first-half. Even so, they reached half-time only one goal down. An early goal in the second-half led to a collapse and there was no complaint about the result.
Everybody at the club is aware of the problems on the pitch. Opponents do not have to work hard enough to score goals whilst needless free-kicks and penalties are conceded. Players sometimes seem to lose track of where they are in relation to their direct opposing player and this also creates issues at both ends of the field.
One has to feel some sympathy for management duo Paul Foot and Joe Lamplough. The players are constantly reminded of what is required of them. Tactics are worked on in training, as are the basics of organisation. Unfortunately, all managers can do little once the game starts. On the pitch, it is largely up to the players themselves. Unfortunately for Ferriby, there is a lack of experience on the pitch that could organise matters during a game.
Equally, the players give all that they have. They work hard and they are aware of what they do wrong both as individuals and collectively. What they lack is experience of football at this level. It is not something that, as a team, you can grow in to overnight. It requires time and patience. That is something that the team’s supporters are aware of but it is still frustrating for them, just as it is for the players and managers.
“I feel it’s a massive game at weekend. We need to start taking the positives we have seen in games and make them count.
“We’ve lost a number of players in recent weeks but that means I am left with players who want to be here.. It takes a special person to be able to turn up week in week out and keep believing that somewhere it will change!
“The lads that stay and fight are the ones that I want at this club. There’s no moping around, there’s no blaming other people. The lads are in good spirits and want to get Ferriby out of the relegation zone.”
James Piercy returns from a one-match suspension. Ben Leyland and Dan Nichols are both suspended. Also missing from the squad will be Eddie Rogerson, who has left the club, and Jordan Harrison who is working in London.
Foot is hoping that a new left-footed signing will be registered in time for Saturday. According to Foot, he is a player that likes to get at people.
Ferriby’s squad: Lewis Exall, Jordan Windass, James Williamson, Jack Smith, James Piercy Jack Mail, Joe Lamplough, Charlie Dunkerley, Kent Bannister, Alex Knox, Josh Walker, Johnny Saltmer, Tom Waudby, Alexander Wollerton, Jake Martindale,Gary Bradshaw, Lance Moyo, Callum Harrison, James Nicols