Evo-stik Northern Premier League
North Ferriby United v Stalybridge Celtic
Saturday 6 October 2018
Ferriby play their third home game in eight days when Stalybridge Celtic visit The Chadwick Stadium on Saturday.
This really is a game that Ferriby need to win or they risk being cast adrift at the bottom of the table. A few good results could see them rise up the table as the situation really is quite tight at the bottom so there is scope for optimism.
Stalybridge are currently seventh in the table but this is largely on the back of their home results. Stalybridge go in to the game on the back of a 1-1 home draw with Nantwich on Tuesday. Saturday’s game will be only their fourth away league game. They have lost two and drawn one of the games, scoring once and conceding four goals.
Ferriby go in to the game with two disappointing performances behind them this week. The games against Witton last Saturday and Matlock on Tuesday saw Ferriby concede nine goals. What was frustrating in those games was the way in which goals were conceded. Both sides caught Ferriby on the break to score and other goals were conceded by some naive defending. It is something that manager Chris Bolder commented on after Tuesday’s game,
“Again we saw another inconsistent performance on Tuesday evening against Matlock Town.
“After conceding two goals early in the first-half, which turned out to be their only two
efforts on goal, we managed to finish the half very strongly and go into the break on level
“The half-time whistle probably came at the wrong time as we had excellent momentum
and were looking the most likely team to score the next goal. The second half stared again with us on the front foot, but unfortunately their first main threat ended in another poorly-defended goal, before conceding a further two goals which again were very avoidable.
“In the 12 league games played, we have been very competitive in nine of these and
perhaps have been slightly unlucky not to have had more points on the board. However,
the reality is that we haven’t and we are fully aware that this must change sooner rather
than later in order for us to climb up the table.
“It has been very demanding both physically and mentally for the lads, especially with those
who have never played at this level before. It has been Saturday, Tuesday games on top of their everyday jobs, which will take time for them to get used to this. We feel that the lads will soon become accustomed to this and, hopefully, that will show with future results.”
Ferriby showed against Matlock that they have the ability to do well when they do the simple things well. The villagers launched a stirring fightback to pull back a two goal deficit and go in level at half-time. The visitors were very much on the back-foot but Ferriby could not capitalise on that in the second-half.
Bolder comments further,
“Stalybridge are another well established side with lots of experienced players at this level
and above. After having a difficult start to September, losing four games on the bounce, they have followed that up with three wins, one draw and a single defeat coming in their past five games, so they are coming here in good form.
“On Saturday we have to do the simple things well and we need most of the team on the top of their game. Everybody is working hard at their game and we all know what is required. On our day, we know we can compete.”
Skipper James Piercy echoes Bolder’s thought
“It was a night were we just did not implement the basics well enough and were deservedly beaten.
“We now have to start getting results as some performances have been deserving of results, but at the end of the day it’s a results business and we need to start picking up points It’s been a very long start to the season playing Saturday, Tuesday every week and we have now got to focus on the positives.
“We know we have shown in some of those games that we are good enough to compete against the best in this league, so it’s now a case of doing this more consistently because the points will come.”
Bolder and Piercy should be praised for their openness and honesty. They acknowledge the issus and they know what has to change. That may be easier said than done but there is a desire and willingness to work hard to ensure that things do change on the pitch.
Tuesday’s attendance against Matlock was extremely disappointing. It may have been partly due to Hull City being at home to Leeds and/or to live Champions’ League football on television. No matter the reason, The Villagers really do need more people paying at the gate.
People will have seen a lot of publicity for the match on Non-League Day a week on Saturday when Ferriby entertain Stafford Rangers. However, the club needs a significant number of fans through the gate for every game. Fans often vote with their feet when their team is not doing well but that is, in many ways, when the team needs them most. Chris Bolder and his players need and deserve support because this side does have potential but that will take time to develop.
Bolder should have his full squad to choose from apart from James Nichols who is injured. New midfield signing Eddie Birch from Pickering Town will be in the squad
Ferriby’s squad: Lewis Exall, Ben Clappison, Ben Leyland, James Willliamson, Jack Smith, James Piercy, Jack Mail, Paul Robson, Jamie Forrester, Joe Lamplough, Dan Nichols, Danny Norton, Charlie Dunkerley, Kent Bannister, Alex Knox, Luke Lofts, Josh Walker, Eddie Rogerson, Luke Hinsley, Eddie Birch, Johnny Saltmer