Kidderminster Harriers v NFU (NLN 17-18)

Kidderminster Harriers v North Ferriby United
 Vanarama National League North
Tuesday 21  November  2017
 Kick-off 7.45pm

Ferriby head to Kidderminster on Tuesday with a mountain to climb if they are to have any chance of climbing out of the relegation zone. The Villagers are now effectively 14 points from safety. Whilst it looks a big ask at the moment, there are still enough games left for a major turn round. However, it is difficult to see that happening without some big change in fortunes.

In some ways, Steve Housham can take some comfort from the defeat at league leaders Salford City on Saturday. Ferriby went in level at half-time despite Salford dominating the first-half. Unfortunately, the second-half saw the regular errors re-appear and The Villagers conceded four times. The scoreline, but not the result, flattered Salford. The major difference was that Salford had, in Jack Redshaw, a striker who could take chances. Ferriby did not, neither did they create much for Kuda Muskwe and Curtids Bateson up front.

It is scoring that is The Villagers’ biggest weakness. Strikers need opportunities to find the target and for that they need good quality balls into the penalty area. Ferriby regularly fail to get crosses beyond the first defender so there is little threat in front of the opposition goal.

Tuesday’s  game is the second of three away games in eight days. It is a demanding week for Steve Housham’s players.

Kidderminster lie 12th in the National League North table on 24 points. They have won three, drawn four and lost one of their home games. They go in to Tuesday’s game with a 1-1 draw at York behind them from Saturday. With the new extended play-off system, Harriers will see themselves as contenders so will be as keen for the three points as Ferriby.

Perhaps what Ferriby need is to grab an early goal or two in a couple of games. This should boost confidence and also take some pressure of the defence. It may seem like a tall order at the moment but the players have to make it happen.

Some change in fortune with penalty decisions would also not go amiss. At Salford Ferriby conceded another dubious penalty yet do not seem to win them for blatant offences by opposing defenders. It is not clutching at straws to mention this. Many of the decisions have occurred when the games have been evenly balanced and have had a major effect on the final result.

Following the Bradford game, Housham commented,

“We walked in at half-time. We hadn’t played great but we were level. But second-half we fell like pack of cards. You have to mark your men.

“A lot of harsh words were said in the dressing room, amongst the players as well. That, in a way, is good because it shows that they care.

“I think the scoreline was harsh. We gave away sloppy goals at the end. We had half-chances but weren’t brave enough in the final third.

Looking towards the Kidderminster game, Housham says,

“We go again on Tuesday. The players have to go out and play for themselves and put themselves in the shop window. Put on a show, there  Some of the players cannot take criticism or handle a mistake. Some of them act like babies sometimes and you have to pamper them. But welcome to men’s football.

 It’s not an easy trip to Kidderminster. They are quite a good side. We have to believe in ourselves. As long as I see work-rate I will be happier. I didn’t see that against Salford.”

Housham continues to be without Danny Emerton due to a long-term injury. Darnelle-Bailey-King is unavailable

Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant, Jordon Cooke, Jake Picton, Mark Gray, Jake Skelton, Ross Barrows, Mason Warren,Simon Russell, Callum Rzonca, Bobby Johnson, Russ Fry,  Luke Loftus, Joel Ambalu, Curtis Bateson, Kuda Muskwe,  Yannick Gomes


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