Maidstone United v NFU (NL)

 Vanarama National League

Maidstone United v North Ferriby United

Saturday 17 December 2016

 Kick-off: 3.00 pm

Ferriby return to Vanarama National League action on Saturday. They make their first eve visit to Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium. 

Maidstone won the reverse fixture at Ferriby in September to record theri only away win to date. The Gallagher Stadium has a 4G pitch. These pitches do not necessarily give home teams the advantage that they once did. Many teams, including Ferriby now train on good quality artificial pitches so have an understanding of their characteristics.

Maidstone are in 18th place with 25points. They have scored 27 goals and conceded 44 in their league games this season. Their top scorers, both with five goals, are Liam Enver-Marum and Bobby-Joe Taylor.

The hosts have won only twice in their last 12 league games. One of those wins was against high-flying Eastleigh at the Gallagher Stadium. Maidstone’s home form is patchy with just 13 goals scored in their 12 games. Of those games, they have lost six and drawn three. Those statistics will give Ferriby some hope of getting a good result.

A win for Ferriby on Saturday could see them climb out of the relegation zone and it would have the double benefit of drawing Maidstone closer to the relegation battle.

The Villagers will need to produce a significantly better performance than they did at Alfreton in last week’s FA Trophy defeat. Ferriby should have taken the lead in the opening minutes. Had they done so, the result may have been different. As it was, they struggled for much of the matter and rarely looked like scoring.

The Vanarama National League has been tough for Ferriby this season but this was expected. On the whole, the side has competed well. Despite the team’s league position, they have one of the best defensive records. The problem, obviously, has been at the other end where players have not taken the chances on offer.

The team can hold its head up high. Many people thought the side would be dead and buried by this stage of the season and would struggle to reach double figures in points over the whole season. The attitude and commitment of the players has been excellent and, as a team and a club, new friends are being made both on and off the pitch.

Housham was disappointed after Saturday’s defeat at Alfreton,
“Saturday’s performance was ok at times but not anything like the standard of previous weeks. We stated well but they were always on the front foot after that. They were much more physical than us which is a big learning curve for our young lads who were bullied off the ball through the game.

Looking towards Saturday’s game Housham commented,
“The lads are ready to bounce back and show what they are made of. If we win on Saturday we could be out of the bottom four at Christmas. That’ll be my ideal present from Father Christmas! Me and the players are keen on showing a better standard on Saturday.

“ We’re seeing more from Curtis Bateson and Connor Oliver now who are getting back to match fitness which is a real bonus.”

It is expected that Ryan Fallowfield and Ryan Kendall will have recovered from illness so with the exception of Simon Russell, Housham should have his full squad to choose from. 

Ferriby from: Rory Watson, Sam Topliss, Ben Middleton, Steve Brogan, Jake Skelton, Mark Gray,  Danny Emerton, Ryan Kendall, Taron Hare, Ryan Fallowfield, Darryn Stamp, Ross Armstrong, Curtis Bateson, Alfons Fosu-Mensah, Reece Thompson, Kyle Wootton, Levi Sutton,

The Vanarama National League game at home to York City on Boxing day will kick-off at 12.30. The game is not all-ticket and usual admission prices will apply.

The Vanarama National League game at Wrexham has been brought forward from Tuesday 28 February 2017 to Saturday 14 January 2017

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