NFU v Leamington (NLN 17-18)

North Ferriby United  v Leamington
 National League North
Saturday 3 February 2018
 Kick-off 3pm

Ferriby entertain Leamington on Saturday for a National league North fixture. The Villagers lost the reverse fixture 0-3 at Leamington at the end of October.  The game itself was fairly lacklustre and was settled, largely, by two disputed penalty decisions.

By contrast, last Saturday’s game at Chorley was an entertaining and exciting match. The result saw Ferriby end a run of 10 consecutive defeats. The point gained has given a lift to the players and management.

Perhaps to everybody’s surprise, The Villagers took the lead when Brett Agnew headed home his first goal for the club. The lead did not last long and The Villagers fell behind after the interval. However, they showed the resilience and character that has been lacking for much of the season and drew level. Jordan Harrison came on as substitute a substitute and scored with a confident low shot.

Agnew, who could have had a hat-trick, was delighted after the game,

“It was a big relief to finally get on the score-sheet but I never doubt myself, I knew I would eventually come. It feels like a big weight has been lifted off our shoulders as it stops the losing streak and that will instil huge confidence throughout the team.

I love training as Chris puts on a great session as there is plenty of ball work, shooting and drills to get you thinking. The squad is starting to settle down and the boys are starting to find out how each other play which can only be a good thing in the long run.”

A mention must be given to Jordan Cooke who had a magnificent game in the centre of the defence. Cooke drew a lot of praise from Chorley fans and officials. In fact, there was applause from some Chorley fans in the main stand as The Villagers left the field at the  end of the game.

Newly appointed assistant manager/player Paul Robson was sent-off for denying  Khius Metz a goal-scoring opportunity which meant Ferriby had to play out the final 15 minutes of playing time with 10 men. Such is the new spirit in the side that they managed to hold-out for a draw despite all Chorley’s efforts to grab a goal. As Chris Bolder said, “We do make life difficult got ourselves, don’t we?”

Leamington are involved in the relegation battle They are currently in 16th position with 31 points. This puts them just one point above a relegation position. With Ferriby virtually doomed to go down, the remaining two relegation spots look to be between 10 clubs. Consequently, Leamington will be looking to complete the double over Ferriby and claim three vital points.

Leamington’s away record id slightly better than their home one. They have found away goals a little more difficult to come by but they have had two good away wins at Salford City and Tamworth, scoring three times in each of them.

Bolder comments,
"It was a fantastic collective effort from everyone involved. The lads know the ethos and identity that I want to create and today we epitomised that.

“It would be hard to single out any one player because each and every single one played a huge part. Training has had a specific focus since I took over and it will take time but today was a nice step in the right direction.

“On the whole, the defence did its job. Taking the defensive display overall there were plenty of positives. Players held their positions better and we defended the first ball in much more strongly.It feels strange celebrating a point but it was more the way we went about our job today which is what we are really happy with."

 “The lads played as though they wanted to win and they showed a determination not to get beaten, especially when e went down to 10 men.

“Looking at Leamington’s results, they have shown that they can compete with the best teams in the division, but they have lost three of the past four, so they will be looking to try and get back to winning ways on Saturday. Like all teams in this division, they have some good experienced players and have a clear way of playing so we will be looking to nullify that.

“All of our new lads that have come in have settled in well and are getting used to the intensity and quality required at this level. These lads are being given an opportunity to test themselves at a new level and, therefore, it will take time for them to fully implement certain aspects.

“I am delighted to welcome Paul on board both from a playing perspective, and also as an

assistant manager. Paul has great experience and knowledge of the game, so this will give me another pair of eyes and opinions on all aspects.

“Paul is someone that has the respect of all players and has already formed a very good reputation for being a coach from his previous roles at other clubs.”

Bolder’s coaching and management style now look as if they are beginning to show dividends. It would be good for Bolder nd his team if Feriby’s fans would get behind the side for the remainder of the season.

Bolder should have his full squad to choose from with the exception of Paul Robson who is suspended following his red card at Chorley and Alex Davidson who is injured.

Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant,  Lewis Exall, Ben Clappison, Jack Walters, Kojo Kyei, Jordon Cooke, Jack Mail, Jamie Taylor, Bobby Johnson, Adam Bolder, Luke Lofts, George Harrison, Sam Ansu, Carl Stewart, Jorome Slew, Jamie Forrester, Brett Agnew,


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