NFU v Bath City (FAT SF 2L)

FA Trophy sponsored by Carlsberg
Semi-Final Second Leg
North Ferriby United  v Bath City
Saturday 28 February 2015 ; KO 3.00 pm

Ferriby are hoping for a four-figure crowd for Saturday’s FA Trophy semi-final second leg against Vanarama Conference South Bath City at the Eon Visual Media Stadium in the of the FA Trophy. The game is Ferriby’s biggest game for a number of years.

With Hull City plying away, Ferriby are hoping that Tigers fans, and East Yorkshire football fans in general, will get down to the Eon Visual Media Stadium to back Ferriby’s Wembley challenge. City fans will know how important a trip to Wembley is after their FA Cup Final appearance last year. As a show of faith and a  thank you to their fans, The Villagers have held prices to the usual £12 with £6 for concessions and £3 for under-16s

This is the first time that The Villagers have reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy. It is also the first time since 1997 that Ferriby have reached a national semi-final. On that occasion they beat Guisborough 3-1 on aggregate in the FA Vase to claim a Wembley place.

It is going to be tense afternoon for both sides with a place at Wembley being the prize for the winners.

The tie is finely balanced after Saturday’s 2-2 draw but Ferriby, with home advantage, will start as slight favourites. The first leg was the first time the two clubs have met and they will have learnt a little about each other on Saturday.

The Villagers were somewhat disappointed with the final result. They appeared to be in control at the hour mark having gained a 2-0 lead. However, a highly controversial referring decision saw Bath score from the penalty spot. This changed the whole complexion of the game and Bath threw everything at Ferriby for the final 30 minutes. The equaliser came with five minutes to go and set-up what should be an exciting game on Saturday.

 It will be interesting to see how Bath approach the game. They showed on Saturday that they can be dangerous going forward but it is possible that they may choose to sit back and look for a goal or two on the counter-attack.

Equally, Billy Heath’s starting line-up will be a source of speculation. Heath is never afraid to make player and formation changes to suit the circumstances and much thought will go into the line-up for Saturday.

The game will be played to a finish on Saturday with extra-time and penalties if required. Away goals do not count double. Wrexham or Torquay United await the winners at Wembley on Sunday 29th March.

Commenting on Tuesday’s home defeat to Hednesford, “It was vital to give players as much game time as possible which is why we made so many changes against Hednesford.  We produced a good performance but it was always going to be difficult when we had to play the second-half with just 10 men.

 “That said, we could have got something from the game. Margins are so tight in this league as was shown when Nathan Jarman’s shot rebounded from the bar and led to a quick counter-attack that saw Hednesford score their second.”

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s second-leg Heath said, “It’s a massive game as there is a lot at stake. It’s big in terms of both finance and prestige for the club. For the players, it presents a great opportunity to reach and play in a final at Wembley.

“Both sides now know what they need to do to reach Wembley. Following last Saturday’s draw it is now down to just one game. We have to believe that we can win. We will be slight favourites as we have home advantage.

“Bath showed that they are capable of attacking and providing a threat and they will feel that they now have nothing to lose. However, it’s our performance on the day that matters for us. We will make our usual preparations and hopefully, produce a good and winning performance.

Apart from Danny Emerton who is unavailable due to injury and Curtis Bateson is ineligible, Heath should have virtually a full squad to choose from.

NFU’s probable squad : Adam Nicklin, Tom Nicholson, Sam Topliss, Louis Bruce, Josh Wilde, Nathan Peat, Mark Gray, Gregg Anderson, Danny Hone, Adam Bolder, Liam King, Jon D’Laryea, Russell Fry,  Tom Denton, Ryan Kendall, Jason St Juste, Nathan Jarman, Danny Clarke, Matt Wilson

Admission is being held at the usual prices of £12 (£6 concessions/ £3 under-16). Season passes are not valid for this game. The game is PAY AT THE GATE on the day. Gates will be open at 12.30

Car parking is available at North Ferriby Primary School. Proceeds go to the school.

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