National League: North Ferriby confident of bouncing back in return with Minstermen

Guiseley's Will Hatfield.
Guiseley's Will Hatfield.
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NORTH Ferriby United manager Steve Housham insists the pressure is off his side ahead of the second festive derby encounter against York City.

The Villagers head to Bootham Crescent tomorrow looking to avenge their Boxing Day defeat to the Minstermen.

York’s first away win in 36 attempts – achieved amid blustery winds that made conditions difficult for both teams – was enough to dump Ferriby back to the foot of the National League table, but Housham is adamant his players can turn things round.

“I felt we showed York too much respect and didn’t get close enough in the first half,” he said.

“We were a yard off it and maybe the occasion got to us. We are a young side, but we can learn from that. Facing York again is a great chance to bounce back.

“We are under no pressure because people felt we would be down there anyway. We will go there and give it a right old go.

“We have nothing to fear and, hopefully, there will be no storms over York on New Year’s Day because the wind did make a difference.”

Ferriby went close to grabbing a point in front of their record crowd for a league game during a late fightback but, on the balance of chances created, York were worthy winners.

A failure to be clinical in front of goal has been a problem for the Villagers, as underlined by just 13 goals having been scored by Housham’s side in 26 league games this term.

Asked how he felt Ferriby’s first season in the top flight was progressing, he added: “With the side we have got and what we are up against, I think things are going really well.

“People expected us to be way adrift, but that isn’t the case. We are in there with a fighting chance. No one probably thought York against Ferriby would be a six-pointer, but that is exactly what it is. We keep fighting.

“Boxing Day was a funny game and very much a game of two halves due to the wind. There wasn’t much quality because of the conditions, which are the hardest to play in as a footballer.

“We can shout and bawl on the touchline as much as we want, but we have played in conditions like that before so know what it is like.”

Gary Mills, meanwhile, is determined to build on his first league win as York manager at the 11th attempt.

Beating Ferriby was a positive start to what he believes can be the Minstermen bucking the recent trend of teams bottom at Christmas being relegated come the end of the season, seven of the last eight to prop up the National League having suffered that fate.

“Boxing Day was a massive three points, but that has gone now and we have to get ready for Ferriby again,” said Mills.

“No one is getting carried away. But we did have a smile after Boxing Day because we had waited a long time for that win.

“The big thing is I do now believe we can win games. That wasn’t the case until recently, if I am honest.

“Back in August, September, October, I don’t believe York would have won a game like the one we had on Boxing Day. But now we have better players, there is a spirit in the dressing room and players playing for each other.

“Players can go out there and not worry about others doing their jobs. North Ferriby have had good results of late, but we are above them now.”

Guiseley, meanwhile, head to Lincoln City looking to repeat the heroics of their Boxing Day triumph over the leaders.

Will Hatfield netted both goals in the shock 2-1 win over the Imps to stretch the Lions’ unbeaten run to six games.

“I still think we have room to grow,” said manager Adam Lockwood ahead of a return that Lincoln will be desperate to win due to having been deposed at the top.