18th Jan 2019 7:00:00 by Phil Withers
Evostik Northern Premier League
Whitby v North Ferriby United
Saturday 19 January 2019
Kick-off 3.00 pm
Ferriby travel to the Turnbull Stadium for an Evostik Premier Division match against Whitby Town. It has been a stop-start few weeks for The Villagers with a number of blank Saturdays. Hopefully, they should now be back to playing regularly until the end of the season.
The lack of games for Ferriby has seen other clubs play their games-in-hand and the picture at the foot of the table is now clearer. The Villagers are 17 points from safety though with a large negative goal difference another point could probably be added to that.
Despite the club’s situation, there is still a belief and an optimism amongst the players and management that the team can avoid relegation. Everybody accepts it will be the equivalent of a footballing miracle if it were to happen. However, recent games against Hednesford and Marine have shown that the side is not far from winning games.
Both those games could have been won but the side was caught cold at the beginning and end of halves and it cost them dear. The players are only too well aware of the need to concentrate for the whole of the game.
Much of the problem this season has been conceding sloppy goals and this has improved of late. Fewer mistakes are being made and more mature decisions are being made during games. Results have been frustrating for all concerned at the club but it must be remembered that this is a young and mainly inexperienced team that is still learning the game, especially at Northern Premier League level.
Whitby are lying in 13th position on 33 points. Ten of those have come in the last six games. Their last outing was a 0-2 defeat at Buxton but their last home game saw them defeat Scarborough Athletic 2-0.
Whitby’s home form is patchy with six wins and seven defeats. Goals have been in short supply in those games with just 14 scored and 12 conceded. They are figures that will give Ferriby some cause for returning home with a positive result. Given that Ferriby’s away form is slightly better than their home form there may be some cause for optimism. The reverse fixture in August saw Whitby win by a single goal at the Chadwick Stadium.
Manager Paul Foot has this to say about Saturday’s game,
“We’ve trained well over the last couple of weeks. We’ve done some 11v11 games to keep trying to iron out our problems.
”We know it’s going to be a tough game on Saturday but the players are up for it. Their attitude and resilience is amazing. We know we can get a result if we are at our best and can concentrate for the whole game.
“Losing Scouse [James Williamson] to Scarborough is a big loss but we all wish him well.”
Foot should have his full squad to choose from though the departure of Williamson and the unavailability of Charlie Dunkerley reduces his options. Hopefully, Jack Mail will return to the squad following his recent injury.
Ferriby’s squad: Lewis Exall, Johnny Saltmer, Jordan Windass, Ben Leyland, Jack Smith, Jack Mail, James Piercy, Dan Nichols, Joe Lamplough, Kent Bannister, Josh Vickers, Leon Smith, Niah Payne, Luke Hogg, Jake Martindale, Gary Bradshaw, Callum Harrison, James Nichols, Jordan Harrison, Mark Hutchinson