Tomorrow Ferriby face Sutton United and the last couple of games should have given them some optimism going into what is on paper a winnable game. The problem for the manager will be selecting a team that can win the game. Simon Russell was injured in the first half at Woking last week and will be out for around 8 weeks with a knee injury. With fellow midfielder Connor Oliver already side-lined the news emerging that Captain Danny Clarke has left the club to join his former manager and several former teammates at Halifax the squad of players available to Housham is suddenly looking very thin on the ground. It is certainly disappointing to see Clarke leave midway through the season especially as he had seemed keen to stick with the club for their tough first season in the National League. The fact is one of our best players has gone and we have to deal with that starting tomorrow.
The last couple of games have been better from the Villagers. They have managed to stop the rot with two draws after enduring a run of 9 straight defeats in league and cup. The home game with Wrexham was a pretty dull affair and both teams ground out a scrappy 0-0 draw. Rory Watson was on hand however with one fantastic save to secure the point. Last week Ferriby faced Woking in a relegation 6 pointer live on BT sport. To have a league game on National TV shows just how far Ferriby have come in a short space of time and the TV time was undoubtedly good publicity for the club.
The Villagers opened the scoring with a goal worthy of the TV cameras. They won a free kick 25 yards out in the centre of the pitch. Stephen Brogan stepped up and curled a beauty into the top right hand corner. It was a great goal and it was a lead for Ferriby to try and hold onto. Throughout the second half they seemed scared to go forward and sat back to defend the lead. They survived Woking hitting the post and bar while Watson was on hand on several occasions to keep them out. It looked like they had secured the 3 points until the 93rd minute when Chike Kandi fired in a shot at the near post from just outside the box. Heartbreak for Ferriby who must have thought the 3 points were theirs. Positives can be taken from these results and Steve Housham will be hoping they can turn these draws into wins.
Selection Headache for Housham?
We all like a good cliché in football and the “Selection Headache” is certainly one of them. There are good and bad selection headaches for a manager to have to ponder. Unfortunately for Housham this week he is experiencing the latter with injuries and departures leaving him with a squad that is down to the bare bones in midfield.
Ferriby have been playing in a 3-5-2 formation in the last few games which has made them much more solid as a defensive unit. Stephen Brogan and Sam Topliss have been employed as wing backs with 3 players occupying the central area of midfield but with the injuries that may not be possible tomorrow. Simon Russell was injured early on last week and Danny Emerton came on to replace him. Emmo acquitted himself well in an unfamiliar position and may have done enough to force himself into the starting eleven. If this is the case Housham may be inclined to go back to a 4-4-2 formation with Curtis Bateson and Danny Emerton on the wings although Bateson is not fully fit and may not last a full match. Ross Armstrong may also get a chance to play alongside the excellent Ryan Fallowfield. Fallowfield has been arguably Ferriby’s best player since breaking into the first team and given the chance Armstrong will be hoping to make just as good an impression.
As has been mentioned earlier Ferriby have drawn there last 2 games and are beginning to steady their ship again after a torrid run. The visitors Sutton are unbeaten in their last 7 games in league and cup but the last 4 league games have been draws. Sutton will be tough opponents for Ferriby and their decimated squad but on the flip side of that the last few games have seen Ferriby steadily improve and a win may be just around the corner.