The festive double header: North Ferriby United vs York City

City walk out at Grange Lane last Boxing Day. Photograph © Ian Parker / Ice Photography
26 Dec 2017 @ 10.06 am
| Sport

York City will be hoping to end the year on a high in a double header with North Ferriby United on Boxing Day and New Years Day

North Ferriby United vs York City

Eon Visual Media Stadium

Monday Dec 26, 12:30pm KO

It has proven to be one of the most miserable Christmas periods in York City’s history.

Back to back league defeats and bowing out of the FA Trophy at the first round lament a hat-trick of successive defeats for the first time in over a year for City.

Saturday’s 3-2 home reverse to Blyth Spartans pushed York further away from the play-offs into 11th place, with automatic promotion now out of sight.

However, the Minstermen now have the chance to turn their Christmas woes into end of year cheer with a double header against bottom of the league North Ferriby United.

And City have an impressive recent Boxing Day record, having only lost one match in ten years in the festive fixture.

York City team news

York City Manager Martin Gray. Photography © Ian Parker
It was business as normal on Christmas Day for the York City squad, who turned in for training to prepare for the Boxing Day match.

Martin Gray has demanded more positivity from his players and is desperate to fix the defensive woes that has seen no clean sheet in 15 matches.

However, after speaking to BBC Radio York following the Blyth defeat, Gray was not worried about his job security after a poor run of results.

The lack of self belief in the players was a serious concern. They’ve got to stand up and be counted now, because if not, we all know what football’s about, someone’s gonna go (be sacked).

I want the best for the football club and I want to be successful. We are in a results based business and we’ve got to turn it around now.

There’s no easy game in this league, I don’t care if you’re Salford or North Ferriby.

Everybody raises their game against us. We have got to handle the pressure, get together and give these fans the result they deserve.

Martin Gray

Alex Pattison takes on Blythe defender.
Alex Pattison takes on Blyth Defender. Photography © Ian Parker

York have no fresh injury concerns, but it is likely that changes will be made from Saturday’s defeat after a number of poor individual performances.

Left midfielder Daniel Rowe could face the drop. He was criticised by the manager after giving away a silly penalty and defending poorly for the Blyth goals on Saturday.

Gray was full of praise for loan signings Jonny Burn and Alex Pattison though, who are likely to retain their starting places on Tuesday.

North Ferriby United preview

North Ferriby United Football Club

Founded: 1934
Stadium: Grange Lane
Capacity: 2,700
Nickname: The Villagers
Manager: Chris Bolder
League Position: 22nd (Bottom)
Top Scorer: Kuda Muskwe (3)

After being relegated from the National League with York last season, it has gone from bad to worse for North Ferriby United.

The Villagers will go into 2018 rooted at the bottom of the National League North, having only won one game all season.

Former Ferriby striker Chris Bolder took over the managerial reins at the club in November, having only just retired as a player in January.

Speaking after their 3-0 defeat to high flyers Harrogate on Saturday, he spoke of his frustration with trying to change the mindset of his squad.

However, he told the club’s website that he is confident that the Villagers can unsettle York on and off the pitch on Saturday.

I am trying to change the mind-set and culture of the players and that is not easy and it also takes time. Saturday’s match was the most disappointing of my three in charge because of that.

We have to pinpoint weaknesses in individuals and as team and work on them as quickly as possible. If we can show total commitment against York we can unsettle them.

They will bring a lot of friends but if we can frustrate the team their fans will also be frustrated. If we can do that we give ourselves a chance.

Chris Bolder

Former City midfielder Simon Russell playing in the FA Trophy Final for York
Five former City players currently play for the Hull side: Callum Rzonca, Russell Fry, Craig Nelthorpe, Ben Clappison and Ferriby captain Simon Russell.

They will all be available to face their former side on Saturday, with no fresh injury concerns for the Villagers.

Ferriby will also be boosted by the return of injured striker Brett Agnew, who has a name for being a prolific striker in non-league football.

Back to back record

Last year’s City Loanee Aarran Racine scoring against North Ferriby. Photography © Ian Parker

The only other competitive meetings in history between the two sides came in last season’s crucial relegation double header in the National League.

City won the Boxing Day fixture 0-1 away at Ferriby, with Forest Green loanee Aarran Racine scoring the deciding goal for City.

North Ferriby came out winners in the last meeting between the two sides at Bootham Crescent. They beat City 0-1 on New Year’s Day, with unpopular former York striker Reece Thompson grabbing the only goal of the game.

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Higgs Predicts

If there has ever been a time for York to turn this terrible run around, it has to be now. Boston were in a similar position when City went there, but they at least had goals in them.

The same cannot be said for North Ferriby however, who have only scored nine goals all year.

The way City have been performing recently, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see another shock defeat. However, anything other than a win will be inexcusable for the Minstermen, who’s play off aims are diminishing with every winless match.

Higgs predicts: North Ferriby United 1-2 York City