NFU v Alfreton Town (NLN 17-18)

North Ferriby United  v Alfreton Town
 National League North
Saturday 6 January 2018
 Kick-off 3pm

Ferriby entertain fellow strugglers Alfreton Town on Saturday in the reverse fixture.  The Villagers lost the away game 0-1 in August. The performance on the night deserved a point but sloppy defensive work at a free-kick allowed Alfreton to score and take all three points. Chris Bolder’s side is quite capable of reversing that result.

The festive season saw The Villagers pointless in their three games but there were signs in th games against York that Ferriby are beginning to improve.
Bolder commented,

“At home there were elements of the performance I was disappointed with, but at Bootham Crescent I thought we had a very good shape about us and each player implemented the change of system well.

“We knew that they would have good possession of the ball and that we would have to be disciplined and work together as units. I feel that we were wasteful in possession in the early stages of the game but this did improve as the game wore on.”

“M y players showed their ability today and played with the confidence that I am looking for. We played some good football, even when we were down  to 10 men,.

“If Jorome’s shot had gone in it would have made for a very interesting final few minutes.  As it was, it was York who were slowing down the game in the final few minutes.

“The players have shown what they can do and we’ve got to perform like this each week.”

The Villagers really did show that they have the ability to play football. They looked confident on the ball and played it around with skill and assuredness for parts of the game. Perhaps, most pleasingly, in some ways, was the way that they continued to play the ball around after the dismissal of Jake Skelton after 69 minutes. It would have been so easy to start hoofing the ball upfield only to see it returned and giving the advantage to The Minstermen.

Ferriby looked more threatening going forward and were combative in midfield and defence. They frustrated both York’s players and fans.

Brett Agnew playing just behind Carl Stewart gave Ferriby something they have lacked all season, a strong player up-front who can hold-up the ball and distribute it. Alex Davidson, back in Ferriby’s midfield after a few years’ absence also brought some experience to the side. With him, Adam Bolder and Simon Russell in midfield The Villagers have a midfield that can be both creative and solid defensively.

Alfreton are in the relegation zone. They started the season fairly well but have won just two of their last 12 games, losing the other 10, including the last four. Most of those defeats have been by a one goal margin and they have  also scored in most of them. Those figures should give Ferriby some degree of comfort. If they can display the same performance as they gave at York they are capable of picking up at least a point.

Looking towards Alfreton, Bolder has this to say,

“Alfreton have found themselves  towards the wrong end of the table of late and I know their manager will be working very hard to turn their results around.

“We have to approach every game as a must-win fixture, but obviously trying to get points off the teams around us is vital. So we will be going in to Saturday’s game looking to assert ourselves and gain a positive result.

“Alfreton have not picked up points of late but recent reports suggest they have still been creating chances and they will see this game as a good opportunity to get back to winning ways.”

Bolder is making progress with his team but it may be somewhat slow and uneven. The players showed at York that they are responding to Bolder’s demands. They now need the confidence and morale boost that a victory will, undoubtedly bring.

The team also needs the fans to get down to the match and get behind the team. There were just over 80 Ferriby fans at York. That is around a third of the club’s current core home support. Home crowds need to increase and get behind the new owner and manager as well as the team.

Hull City season pass holders can gain admission for £5 on production of their pass. Ferriby full season pass holders can bring in a friend for the same £5.

Bobby Johnson was  a late withdrawal from the starting 11 on New Year’s Day due to illness but he may recover in time to be in the squad. Kojo Kyei came off with a rib injury and was in some pain. He is a doubt for Saturday. Central defender Jake Picton has left the club.

Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant,  Ben Clappison, Jack Walters, Lewis Exall, Kojo Kyei, Jordon Cooke, Jake Skelton, Bobby Johnson, Adam Bolder, Simon Russell, Luke Lofts, Joel Ambalu, George Harrison, Callum Rzonca, Sam Ansu, Carl Stewart, Jerome Slew, Jamie Forrester, Brett Agnew, Alex Davidson


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