Evostik Northern Premier League
North Ferriby United v Bamber Bridge
Saturday 16 March 2019
Ferriby go in to Saturday’s game against Bamber Bridge knowing that they must win if they are to delay confirmation of their relegation from the Evostik Premier Division.
Bamber Bridge are now the only team outside the relegation zone that Ferriby can possibly catch. To do so, however, requires the impossible of The Villagers winning all their remaining games and Bamber Bridge losing all theirs. Whilst relegation is inevitable, the players would like to hang in there until as late as possible.
Bamber Bridge are one place above the relegation zone at the bottom of the table. A win will not guarantee them safety but will increase their chances of avoiding the drop.
Bamber Bridge were looking fairly comfotable in mid-table until a month ago but five straight defeats has seen them drop down the table. Last Saturday they lost 1-3 at home to Whitby Town. They will certainly be anxious to get back to winning ways on Saturday.
Bamber’s away record has seen them win one game, draw seven and lose nine. They have scored 19 goals and conceded 29 in those games. It’s a record that should give The Villagers some hope of gaining something from the game.
The reverse fixture at Bamber Bridge in October saw Bridge gain a 3-1 victory. It was a game that Ferriby probably did not deserve to lose but they were let down by conceding an unnecessary penalty after equalising.
With Ferriby’s scheduled match at Workington being postponed last Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch it means that The Villagers’ last match was the
narrow single goal defeat at Matlock Town a fortnight ago.
The Villagers were unfortunate not to come away from Matlock with a point. The side gave a much more consistent and mature performance. In the final 20 minutes they played with a confidence and belief that has not really been there in recent weeks. They certainly had Matlock rattled, especially in defence.
Skipper James Piercy comments,
“We all know the situation we, as a club, are in now and that it’s going to take a miracle for us to stay up, but we have now got to ensure that we don’t just give up and that we carry on week in week out giving our all until the end of the season. That said, we have prepared for this afternoon’s game as normal and we will try to take the three points from the game.
“Of course the players are aware of the off-field stuff that is going on, but the lads have been different class to be fair. The gaffer has been great with us in every training session, too and we just try to forget about it and enjoy playing.
“The last game at Matlock was a game of fine margins and could have gone either way but, again, their goal could have been avoided and that’s the most disappointing thing because the worst result we should have come away with was a 0-0 draw, but it was a more positive performance and it’s got to be one we build on. The fans that keep on travelling the miles to the away games are great and personally, for me, it’s an honour and a privilege to play in front of them because no matter what has gone on behind the scenes and off the field, these fans have stuck by the team throughout the whole season, so a massive thank you from me and all the players for that.”
There is a worry, of course, that that game could have been the club’s final game. The Villagers face a winding-up petition on Friday morning. Nobody can accurately predict the outcome of the hearing, or the ramifications of it. There is a possibility that the club could be liquidated and that could well mean that they will not be allowed to play Saturday’s game. It is not a good situation for Joe Lamplough and his squad as they prepare for Saturday. However, it is not a situation over which they have any control.
“We know, as a team, that only a win will prevent relegation this afternoon and we will approach the game exactly the same as we have since I’ve been in charge, we will be going to attack them and get a result. I want us to play with a bit of flair and try and get at Bamber Bridge from the off.
“I know they like to play football, and they are a good passing side, so we will try and be patient when defending to try and keep our shape and attack them with men pushing forward when we get the opportunity.
“The relegation thing hasn’t altered my mindset as the way the season has gone I just believe it is what it is, it’s something I’m really disappointed about, but it’s what we have to accept and grow from for next year.
“In terms of the off-field issues having an effect on the players and management the short answer is no it’s not. We will see what happens and hope for the best for the club and continue to do our jobs. Off-the-field events won’t discourage us from doing our best for this club as it’s a proud moment every time you put the shirt on.
“I was really pleased with the performance against Matlock Town and was gutted to not get a result, but that’s the way the season has gone so far. Sloppy mistakes for goals cost us games, one cross that we couldn’t deal with and we are 1-0 down. The lads worked really hard and stuck to the system we discussed which I think suited us in the game, I definitely went away disappointed with the result and not the performance.”
Lamplough should have a full squad to choose from on Saturday.
Ferriby’s squad: Lewis Exall, Lewis Hill, Jordan Windass, Aaron Brettell, Ben Leyland, Jack Smith, James Piercy, Dan Nichols, Luke Mascall, Joe Lamplough, Leon Smith, Josh Vickers, Niah Payne, Jake Martindale, Callum Harrison, James Nichols, Joseph Robinson, Alex Knox