NFU v Darlington (NLN 17-18)

North Ferriby United v Darlington
 Vanarama National League North
Saturday 26 August  2017
Eon Visual Media Stadium
 Kick-off 3.00pm

Ferriby entertain Darlington on Saturday. It will be the first time that the County Durham side has visited The Eon Visual Media Stadium. The game is the first of two over the Bank holiday weekend with Ferriby making the short trip to Gainsborough on Monday afternoon.

The Quakers are a former Football League club with ambitions to return to that competition.  The club suffered a number of financial problems but is now under fan ownership. They qualified for the Vanarama Conference North play-offs last season but were denied entry to an issue surrounding the number of seats at their Blackwell Meadows ground.

Darlington are currently in seventh place. They won their first three games but they then drew at York before losing at home to AFC Telford last Saturday. The Quakers have scored ten goals and conceded five.

Ferriby will  go in to the game with some confidence after their morale-boosting win at Blyth Spartans last Saturday. The win lifted The Villagers off the foot of the table as well as giving them their first goal and points of the season.

The Villagers thoroughly deserved the win which came thanks to an Akeel Francis goal. The victory was gained through a superb team performance with every player playing well. There were very few mistakes which was surprising given the very windy conditions that made judging the pace and movement of the ball difficult.

As well as the game seeing Ferriby’s first goal and points of the season, it was also their first clean sheet. Keeper Ross Durrant, who has been one of Ferriby’s most consistent players so far this season, was upbeat after the game,

“It was obviously a massive result for us. A lot felt right on Saturday in terms of the shape of the team and how organised we were. Any team in the league would have snapped your hand off for a performance like that. We were solid all the way through.

“I thought the forwards did a really good job of allowing us to get up the pitch and create opportunities. As a back four the first thing you look at is a clean sheet. It was a great team effort and hopefully it will give us the momentum to go and get more results like that.”

Durrant is right to comment on the role of the forwards. They were well-supported by Ferriby’s midfield and this took pressure off the Ferriby defence for probably the first time this season.

Manager Steve Housham was also a happy man

“The shooting practice paid off at last! But in all seriousness it probably could and should have been more than the one goal.

“It’s great to get that first win under our belts. Blyth is always a difficult place to get a result and the players were tremendous. It was a great team performance. It will provide confidence.

“Hopefully we can use this as a springboard and our fans will respond with a good turn-out against Darlington on Saturday. We know how important that game will be and we have to build on the win at Blyth."

After a disappointingly low crowd for the last home match, Ferriby will be hoping that last Saturday’s result will see supporters return to The Eon Visual media Stadium on Saturday. The performance at Blyth was a good indication of the quality of football this team can produce.
Ferriby will be without Eddie Rogerson and Leigh Hutchinson are still injured and Danny Emerton is doubtful after injuring his knee against Alfreton. The injury forced him out of the game at Blyth.and The club is still waiting for international clearance for Mitch Langton. On a more positive front, Mark Gray returns to the squad following suspension.

Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant, Lewis Exall, Steve Brogan,  Jordon Cooke, Jake Picton, Mark Gray, Kojo Kyei, Jake Picton, Ross Barrows, Russell Fry, Simon Russell, Callum Rzonca, Bobby Johnson, Kyle Dixon, Jack Barlow, Joel Ambalu, Curtis Bateson Alberto Seidi, Joe Pugh, Akeel Francis


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