30th Dec 2018 6:00:00 by Phil Withers
Evostik Northern Premier League
South Shields v North Ferriby United
Tuesday 1 January 2019
Kick-off 3.00 pm
Ferriby finish their festive period programme with a visit to high-flying South Shields on New Year’s day for an Evostik Premier Division match.
This will be the third meeting between the two clubs this season. Ferriby won the reverse league fixture 3-0 at the end of August. However, The Villagers crashed 0-4 in the FA Trophy at the ned of October. That was an unhappy start for Paul Foot as Ferriby’s manager.
Wednesday’s game promises to be jus at difficult with Shields well-placed in the play-off spots. They will still be hoping to take the table. They have games in hand on surprise leaders Nantwich Town but will face stiff competition from Farsley Celtic and Warrington Town.
Shields were many people’s favourites for automatic promotion but they have been let down by a relatively poor away record. At home, however, they have nine straight league wins scoring 28 goals and conceding just five. Their last game was an away win, 3-1 at Scarborough so they will be in high-spirits on Wednesday.
Foot acknowledges the size of Ferriby’s task on Wednesday,
“We know what South Shields are about and we just need to try to take on board what we’ve done in the last couple of games.
“However’ it’s about us and how we deal with ourselves. If we can do that positively we can perhaps go there and, hopefully, get a result. We’ve got to go there and be first on the ball and be on the front foot all the time. They might think it’s easy because they beat us 4-0 last time and they will see that we lost today so we may be able to go there and upset them.”
Ferriby go into the game with another home defeat behind them. The Boxing Day defeat by Hednesford was hard to take as Ferriby were the better side. The players were committed and made very few errors during the game.
However goals in the final minute of each half sealed their fate. Conceding late in each half has been a feature of The Villagers’ performances this season and it is deeply frustrating to everybody. Equally frustrating is that, once again, Ferriby finished with just 10 players. One has to ask if they would have won with 11 on the pitch for the final 15 minutes.
Commenting afterwards, Foot had this to say,
“I’m massively proud of the boys today because I think the what we’ve been working on over the last few weeks regarding the shape, passion and desire showed itself today.
“I don’t know whether the players switched off or what but we’ve said in there [the dressing-room] that you have to keep going to the final whistle. The goal in the first-half was bang on 45 minutes and the second one was on 49 minutes. You have to keep playing right to the end. It doesn’t matter if you’ve played well for 85 minutes you can’t just switch-off; you’ve got to keep going for 95 minutes.
“It was a cruel punishment today and it’s something I hope the players take on board. The players are obviously down but I think they would have been down with a point because I really think we should have won the game.”
Ferriby will be hoping to eventually climb away from the bottom three but they are now nine points from safety with a massively inferior goal difference. They have also played more games than the other relegation battlers. It is going to be a long end to the season.
Jack Mail is still unavailable through injury and Gary Bradshaw is able to play as his suspension for this red card on Boxing Day does not start until January 2nd. Josh Vickers will be available following his three match suspension.
Ferriby’s squad: Lewis Exall, Johnny Saltmer, Jordan Windass, Ben Leyland, James Williamson, Jack Smith, James Piercy, Dan Nichols, Joe Lamplough, Charlie Dunkerley, Kent Bannister, Josh Vickers, Tom Waudby, Luke Hogg, Jake Martindale, Gary Bradshaw, Callum Harrison, James Nichols, Jordan Harrison, Mark Hutchinson