NFU v Stalybridge Celtic (Evo Prem 18-19)

Evo-stik Northern Premier League
Premier Division

 North Ferriby United v Stalybridge Celtic
Saturday 6 October  2018
Kick-off  3.00pm

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


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