NFU v Nuneaton Town (NLN 17-18)

North Ferriby United  v  Nuneaton Town
 National League North
Saturday 2 December 2017
 Kick-off 3.00pm

It is the start of another chapter in Ferriby’s history on Saturday when new manager Chris Bolder takes charge of the team for his first official game at the helm.

Bolder was a popular player at Ferriby during his playing career and was an instrumental figure in the club’s rise over the last 15 years or so.

“It’s good to be coming back to my home town club where I had a successful career”, comments Bolder. “I have an affinity with the club and the messages of support from fans on social media is appreciated.”

As to the game itself, Ferriby will face the Nuneaton Town that beat them 5-1 in the FA Trophy last Saturday. A poor defensive performance in the first-half left The Villagers four goals down and they had only pride to play for in the second-half. New owner Jamie Waltham, who took charge of the team for the game, was less than impressed with the first-half showing. His substitution of Joel Ambalu for Mark Gray  saw a re-organisation of the team at half-time and a stronger second-half performance and he believes that there is some quality in the side.

The players will be keen to impress Bolder as he begins to take stock of players he currently has at his disposal. With his knowledge and experience of the game locally, Bolder will, no doubt, be looking to make some additions to his squad.

Nuneaton are 20th in the National League North some 10 points ahead of Ferriby but still in the relegation zone. In effect Ferriby need five wins to climb out of the bottom three. In practice, they obviously need more than that as the teams above them are also going to collect some points.

Bolder is aware of the difficulty position the team is in but he is optimistic that things can still be turned round with just over the half season still to be played.

“Looking at the league table, it’s a big ask. But I’ve been looking at the recent results for other clubs and there is no reason why we can’t do what Gainsborough, for instance, have done recently, and put a little run together. If we can, that will generate confidence on and off the pitch.”

“The goal for the season is to try to stay in this division and we  will all be working to achieve that.

“The players should be spurred on by last Saturday’s defeat. It’s rare to get an immediate chance to turn the tables. I’ve got reports on Nuneaton. We know their strengths we will work on counteracting them.

“We have good players here but we need to develop the basics quickly and start reducing scoring opportunities for opponents. There is always something of a confidence issue when you are in a poor run of form but a few good results can turn that round.”

Bolder is right to comment on reducing goal opportunities for the opposition. Ferriby go in to the game with 13 goals conceded in the last three games and with just one scored.

It is to be hoped that Ferriby’s fans will get behind the team. There were a large number calling for a change of ownership and manager. Both have happened and with two respected former players now  in position, Waltham and Bolder deserve to some support. Turning the results round quickly is not likely to be easy but it is possible.

Central defender Mark gray has left the club to sign for his home town club, Cleethorpes Town. Ferriby fans have been quite excited about the signing of striker Brett Agnew from Bridlington but they will have to wait until Boxing Day to see him playing as he is suspended for three games. Bolder will also be without Danny Emerton due to a long-term injury. Callum Rzonca is unavailable. Bolder may well have players to add to his squad by Saturday.

Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant,  Lewis Exall, Kojo Kyei, Jordon Cooke, Jake Picton, Jake Skelton, Mason Warren, Adam Bolder, Simon Russell, Bobby Johnson, Luke Loftus, Joel Ambalu, Kuda Muskwe,  Yannick Gomes, Joe Pugh


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