NFU v Stockport County (NLN17-18)

North Ferriby United v Stockport County
 National League North
Saturday 7 April 2018
 Kick-off 3.00 pm

Ferriby face a difficult afternoon when Stockport County visit The Eon Visual Media Stadium on Saturday. County are in fifth place in The National League North and are chasing play-off position. They are still in need of points to secure one.

The reverse fixture at Stockport  in September saw Ferriby lose 1-4 in front of a large crowd. Looking at County’s away form they have won six, drawn three and lost eight games. They have scored 28 goals and conceded 33. With Ferriby showing improved form in recent weeks, Chris Bolder’s team will feel they can take something from the game.

That said, it will be far from easy with The Hatters  on a five game winning streak. This has seen them score 14 goals and concede six. They go in to Saturday’s game on the back of a 3-2 win ovet Tamworth last Tuesday. County’s main goal threat comes from Jason Oswell who has scored 23 goals in league games this season. Alongside Matthew Warburton, the pair will provide a stiff test for Ferriby’s centre-back pairing of James Piercey and Jack Mail.

Until their current winning run, County’s form has been patch during the season and it seemed that they were destined for a mid-table place and another season in The National League North. That may still happen and, if so, it will be hard for all at the club to take. It is not that many years ago that they were a Football League Championship side. Their current position shows how things can change. Their fall down the divisions in recent years perhaps put Ferriby’s double relegation in to some sort of perspective.

Ferriby’s captainRoss Durrant says

“We try and approach every game the same. Stockport County were a really good side last time we played them, but I think we’re a lot more organised now, especially defensively. The message is consistent - your work ethic needs to be there or you won’t play.

“We’ve proved over the past 10 games that we aren’t a team you can just turn up and beat, we’ve had excellent results and it’s really encouraging for next season that the squad is competitive.

“My personal highlights are obviously being made captain. It’s something I’ve really ejoyed. From a team perspective, I think games like Bradford Park Avenue away where we put in a really positive

performance and got a result.”
With the Easter Monday game against Gainsborough postponed, Ferriby’s last game was on Good Friday at Tamworth. The Villagers’ performance that night was disappointing after the way the side had played against promotion-chasing Blyth and Salford the week before. The Villagers never really go going at Tamworth in a game played in incessant driving rain.

Bolder comment,
“The two results and performances against Salford and Blyth were very pleasing, so to follow that up with the result against Tamworth was disappointing. We struggled to reach the performance levels that have been evident in previous games and we also didn’t defend set pieces very well, which is something that has drastically improved prior to this game.

“In all honesty, I was disappointed that the game on Easter Monday was postponed, as it would have been an ideal opportunity for us to put in performance to eradicate certain failings from Friday evening. Although it has allowed us to have that extra recovery period as well as another training session where we can focus on specific elements.

“We still have some fitness concerns over Brett and Jamie, so we will have to see how they respond to treatment this week, but as I have said before any players that miss out means an opportunity will be presented to someone else.”

Looking towards Saturday, Bolder has this to say.

“We face another really strong side in the division today who are in fantastic form and are looking to really cement a play-off spot. They have a real attacking threat with some good forward players who are full of confidence at the minute, so we will have to really be fully focused to try and nullify this threat.

“If we reach the levels of performance that we have shown at times in recent weeks then hopefully we can impose some of our own attacking play cashing them some defensive problems.
“It was nice to see a number of fans that travelled to Tamworth on Friday and again these lads really do appreciate every bit of support they receive, so continue to get

behind them again today and hopefully we can get another positive performance and result”

Bolder should have virtually all his squad to choose from.
Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant,  Lewis Exall,  Ben Clappison, Jack Walters, Jordon Cooke, Jack Mail, Jamie Taylor, Bobby Johnson, Paul Robson, Luke Lofts, AJ George, Lewis Collins, George Harrison, Jamie Forrester, Brett Agnew, James Piercey, Josh Walker, James Nicholls, Alex Bannister


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