Vanarama National League
North Ferriby United v York City
Monday 26 December 2016
Kick-off: 12.30 pm
Ferriby play the first of two crucial games in six days against York City at The Eon Visual Media Stadium on Boxing Day. A four-figure crowd is expected for the game which kicks-off at the early time of 12.30pm. Despite the game being important to both clubs, it is hoped that there will be a good festive and family atmosphere inside the ground.
At the start of the season the two fixtures against York were looked on with anticipation as local derbies but they have added significance with both clubs in the relegation zone. Both sides will be looking for a minimum of four points to draw closer to the clubs just outside the zone and, possibly, climb outside it.
It is something of a surprise to see York in the relegation zone as they were only relegated from the Football League at the end of last season. However, they have struggled to adapt ot life in the National League. They parted with manager Jackie McNamamara and Gary Mills is now the man in charge.
York are bottom of the table with 18 points from 25 games. They have scored 22 goals and conceded 43 in their league games this season. Away from home they have drawn three and lost nine of their 12 games, scoring just seven times in the process. They are on a dreadful run without a win in their last 17 games of which they have drawn seven.
Their top scorers, all with three goals, are Matt Fry, Simon Heslop and Aidan Connolly. Richard Brodie, who is on loan at Macclesfield, is actually the top scorer for them this season.
Ferriby go in to the game with two consecutive wins behind them, only the second time they have managed that this season.
Steve Housham will be expecting his side to get positive results in both games against York. Perhaps for the first time this season, The Villagers will actually start as favourites on Monday.
Housham and his assistant Darryn Stamp will be trying to ensure that the two wins against Gateshead and Maidstone do not get the team over-confident. The side needs to maintain the momentum it is now generating.
The joy on all the players’ faces was very evident at Maidstone last Saturday when Kyle Wootton scored his first goal for the club. The striker commented,
“It was a huge relief [to score]! I’ve missed that feeling of scoring, it’s been too long. But most of all, I’m happy to have helped the team”
Wootton’s fellow striker, Reece Thompson who joined The Villagers from York, is eagerly anticipating the York games.
“I can’t wait. It will be nice to see a few of the lads I used to play with. It’s a massive game for Ferriby and hopefully we can get another three points.”
Last week’s win at Maidstone was thoroughly deserved. Whilst it may not have been the best performance of the season it was certainly the most important win as it provided three crucial points ahead of the festive period games.
The team has a chance of escaping the bottom four. The spirit in the team is tremendous and there have been good performances in most matches even if the results have not gone The Villagers’ way. There is a belief at the club that the club can avoid a bottom four finish but everybody knows it will need a lot more hard work over the final four months of the season.
Housham was delighted after Saturday’s victory at Maidstone,
“This was our biggest win of our season. It was a long trip, setting off early and getting home late. The win shows the spirit that is in this squad. I’m delighted for Kyle to score his first goal for the club. He’s worked hard in previous games and today he got his own personal reward.
“The win tightens up the relegation battle and the more clubs that are involve, the better chance we have of climbing out of the bottom four.”
Looking towards Monday’s game Housham commented,
“It’s a massive game for both clubs. But we have to believe that we can win it. We need to perform like we have done in our last two games and make it three wins on the bounce. When you are in our position, you have to win matches against the sides who are round about you. That will improve our chances of getting out of the bottom four and push York in to further trouble.”
With the exception of Simon Russell, Housham should have his full squad to choose from.
Ferriby from: Rory Watson, Sam Topliss, Ben Middleton, Steve Brogan, Jake Skelton, Mark Gray, Danny Emerton, Connor Oliver, Ryan Kendall, Taron Hare, Ryan Fallowfield, Darryn Stamp, Ross Armstrong, Curtis Bateson, Alfons Fosu-Mensah, Reece Thompson, Kyle Wootton, Levi Sutton
NFU urges fans of both clubs to arrive early and get a good vantage point and help to create a festive and family atmosphere for this crucial fixture.
North Ferriby United reserves the right to search all attendees. The following items are not allowed in to the ground: alcohol, flares, smokebombs, fireworks, any other items that could be classed as missiles or dangerous, and drums.
Closed circuit television is in operation at The Eon Visual Media Stadium
The game is pay at the gate. Turnstiles open 11am.
Bar and catering outlets open at 11 am
Car parking is available at North Ferriby Primary School which is situated at the top of Church Road. Please follow the directions of the stewards. The fee is £2, all of which goes to the school.