Vanarama National League North
Lowestoft Town v NFU
Tuesday 26 April 2016
Kick-off 7.45 pm
Third-placed Ferriby make their longest trip of the season on Tuesday when they travel to Lowestoft on Tuesday. It is not an ideal midweek journey as it will probably be a 14 hour round trip. However, it is one of the consequences of playing at this level of football
Ferriby are one point behind AFC Fylde and the Lowestoft game is Ferriby’s match-in-hand. A point, or even better, a win, will give The Villagers the advantage as they go in to Saturday’s final round of fixtures. Should Ferriby and Fylde finish level on points, The Villagers should take second spot on goal difference.
Despite losing at Gloucester on Saturday, Ferriby are certain of a top three finish. This means that they will play the promotion play-off semi-final first leg away on Wednesday 4th May. The second leg will be at the Eon Visual media Stadium on Sunday 8 May. Their opponents will be one from Harrogate, Boston United or Nuneaton Town.
Lowestoft are one place above the drop zone but a win on Tuesday will ensure their safety and send down Brackley Town. They are not going to need a bigger incentive than that to try to beat The Villagers.
Lowestoft have score 47 goals and conceded 65. They have a reasonable home record, having won eight, drawn five and lost six of their home games. They will be hopeful of gaining at least a point on Tuesday.
The reverse fixture was a goalless draw so Ferriby know that Lowestoft are likely to be hard to break down.
Ferriby go in to the match on the back of a poor performance at Gloucester City on Saturday. The Villagers gave an abject display in the first-half and conceded three poor goals. They were second-best in every department of the game. They had only one attempt on goal in the half. That was free-kick that was blazed way over the bar a minute from half-time. Not for the first time this season, Ferriby played below their best against a side that has generally struggled all season.
Manager Billy Heath left his players in no doubt as to how unacceptable their first-half performance had been and they improved somewhat in the second and could, with a bit of luck, snatched a point. Wayne Brooksby and Curtis Bateson score carbon copy goals in lobbing home keeper Jasbir Singh from 40 and 35 yards respectively. These goals were the highlights in a game that lacked skilfull football.
With a play-off spot secured, Heath may make some changes on Saturday. Skipper Liam King went Heath was without Liam King, Danny Hone and Adam Bolder, all injured, on Saturday. Hopefully, one or more of them will be fit for Tuesday’s trip.
“Our first-half performance at Gloucester was unacceptable. Had we been three down to a team that was playing really good football we would have had to acknowledge the fact that we were being outplayed.
“However, we gifted them three goals and did not match their desire for the game. We did better in the second-half but it was all too little, too late.
“We need a better performance and a result at Lowestoft on Tuesday. It is important that we try to clinch the runners-up spot. Not only would it be a wonderful achievement but it would give us home advantage in the final if we were to qualify. That is a big incentive for everybody.”
With King, Hone and Bolder all doubtful, Heath will add RossArmstong and Tom Nicholson to his squad, as he did on Saturday.
NFU squad: Adam Nicklin, Ben Middleton, Sam Topliss, Josh Wilde, Ash Palmer, Mark Gray, Danny Hone, Liam King, Russ Fry, Adam Bolder, Danny Clarke, Danny Emerton, Ryan Kendall, Curtis Bateson, Ross Armstrong, Tom Nicholson