Salford City v NFU (NLN)

Salford City v North Ferriby United
 Vanarama National League North
Saturday 18 November  2017
 Kick-off 3.00pm

Ferriby face a daunting trip to league leaders Salford City on Saturday. With Ferriby trapped at the bottom of the table the result will be seen as a foregone conclusion by many. However, Ferriby fans will be hoping that their side can produce one of its’ renowned backs-to-the-wall performances that have characterised the club’s attitude over the years.

The game is one of three away games in eight days with trips to Kidderminster and Nuneaton next Tuesday and Saturday respectively. It is going to be a demanding week for Steve Housham’s players.

Much has been written about Salford over recent years due to the 50 per cent ownership of the club by five former Manchester United players. The club has ambitions of reaching The Championship in the not too distant future. The club is one of a number of full-time professional sides in The National League North and this gives them a major edge in the division.

Salford are currently six points clear at the top and it is difficult to see anybody preventing them from taking the automatic promotion spot. They have lost just two league game, both at home. Despite being comfortably ahead at the top of the table, most of Salford’s results have been quite close affairs but that is hardly going to be much comfort to Ferriby.

The Villagers’ performance against Bradford last Saturday was fairly solid but they are still struggling to create goal-scoring opportunities. Kuda Muskwe was unlucky to not score on two occasions against Bradford, being denied by two excellent saves from Steve Drench.

Once again, Ferriby conceded from a set piece that they failed to clear properly. This was not helped by the delay in finding a “blood shirt” for Jordon Cooke which meant the defender was off the pitch at the time of the goal.

The Villagers felt that they were denied a clear penalty and the referee seemed to agree after the game that the ball hit the defender’s hands but it was not, in his opinion, a deliberate act. Decisions like this affect results and frustrate all concerned.

It is hard to criticise the effort put in by Steve Housham’s players but effort on its own is not enough. Errors seem to be punished regularly. The players, at times, seem to be lacking confidence. In most games they can match their opponents for periods of the game. However, they need to develop consistency.

Following the Bradford game, Housham commented,

“I’m proud of all them players today because they put in a right shift. The last two weeks I’ve seen a lot of positives. We’ve got crosses in but not just been able to get on the end of them.

“The players are just kids and I’m not going to kill them. We get little chance to work with them in the week.”

Looking towards the Salford game, Housham says,

“We know we go there as massive underdogs. We will go there and give it a go and enjoy ourselves. We are a mixture of young kids and some experienced players.

“There will probably be over 1500 people there but it is a freebie for us next week. There is no pressure on us. We went to places last year where people gave us no chance and we got a result.  All I ask the players to do is go out and put  a shift in for themselves and the fans.”

Housham will be without Danny Emerton and Joe Pugh who have a long-term injuries. It is hoped that Cooke will have recovered from his facial injury and will be able to play at Salford.

Possible Ferriby squad: Ross Durrant, Lewis Exall, Jordon Cooke, Jake Picton, Mark Gray, Jake Skelton, Ross Barrows, Mason Warren,Simon Russell, Callum Rzonca, Bobby Johnson, Russ Fry,  Jack Barlow, Luke Loftus, Joel Ambalu, Curtis Bateson, Kuda Muskwe,  Yannick Gomes, Darnelle-Bailey-King


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