National League: North Ferriby boss Steve Housham trying to conjur survival ‘miracle’

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STEVE HOUSHAM admits North Ferriby United need “something of a miracle” to remain in the top flight of non-League football.

The Villagers, after enduring a nightmare 20-hour return journey in losing heavily at Sutton United a week ago, are back on the road again to Forest Green Rovers.

If a return trip to the National League North is to be avoided then Ferriby, effectively 11 points adrift of safety with six games remaining, need to pull off a shock victory at the home of the title hopefuls.

“Forest Green have been up at the top of the table all season,” said manager Steve Housham, whose side faced traffic delays en route to Sutton and then a coach breakdown on the return.

“They have a good home record with just one defeat and they have a large and experienced squad. That experience helps in tight games but we will go there believing we can get something from the game.

“It is not looking good when you see the bottom of the table but we are still in with a shout, even if it needs something of a miracle. I know my players will keep battling.”

It is not looking good when you see the bottom of the table but we are still in with a shout, even if it needs something of a miracle. I know my players will keep battling.

North Ferriby manager, Steve Housham.

York City’s own survival hopes look healthier after two wins from their last three games but Gary Mills’ team still sit four points adrift of fifth-bottom Torquay United.

The Minstermen host Braintree knowing victory will cut the gap between the two clubs to just three points. Scott Loach, on loan from Notts County, will remain in goal despite Kyle Letheren being fit after injury.

On the task of facing Braintree, Mills added: “They are a tough, honest side. I know the manager well and he has got his players working hard and playing for each other. But I don’t think any team is working harder than us at the moment.”

Guiseley, 17th and five points above the dropzone, can do both themselves and their Yorkshire neighbours a big favour by beating Southport at Haig Avenue.

Victory would take the Lions on to 49 points, the tally that proved enough to stay up a season ago when the Leeds side pipped FC Halifax Town during a dramatic run-in.

Chairman Phil Rogerson said: “It would be nice for a quieter end to the season. It would be amazing if we could pull it off after the ‘Great Escape’ of last season.

“It has almost been the other way around this season to last in that we started well last season and this time it was a pretty disastrous start and a battle getting out.

“Now a couple of wins and we would be mid-table. That is the daft thing.”