North Ferriby United FC
EON Visual Media Stadium
Ground Number: 648
Saturday 19th November 2016
North Ferriby United 2-1 Sutton United
NORTH FERRIBY UNITED - A BRIEF HISTORY
North Ferriby United were formed in 1934 and spent their formative years in the East Riding Church League, winning the title in 1938, The Second World War interrupted proceedings and when they returned to football it was in the East Riding Amateur League. They progressed onto the Yorkshire League in 1969. Starting in its second tier, they progressed to Division 1 in their second season and would remain in the top tier for all but one of their subsequent seasons here. In 1982 the Yorkshire League was swallowed up by the Northern Counties East League and North Ferriby became founder members. Starting in its second tier, they earned promotion to the Premier Division in 1986. A 3rd placed finish in their first season would put down a marker and for the rest of their time they would never finish below 9th. They celebrated the millennium by becoming NCEL champions and earning promotion to the Northern Premier League. Again they adapted well to their new surroundings and were NPL Division 1 champions in 2005. They'd go on to reach the playoff final in their first season, losing to Farsley Celtic before things levelled out with a trio of mid-table finishes. 2010 and 2011 would see playoff heartbreak, losing to Boston United and Colwyn Bay in consecutive semi-finals, After a series of good finishes, they'd eventually win promotion to the Conference North in 2013. A 2nd placed finish in their first season ended in disappointment as they lost in the playoff semi-finals to Guiseley. They matched that feat last season, only this time wins over Boston United and AFC Fylde saw the village club complete the incredible feat of promotion to the top tier of non-league football. Though they sit bottom at present, they are still well in touch with the clubs around them, and a good run of results could still see them survive relegation.
The club have never reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup, having suffered 4th Qualifying Round heartbreak on no less than 5 occasions. Better times have been had in the FA Trophy with North Ferriby winning the competition in 2015 with a giantkilling over Wrexham. The side were deadlocked at 3-3 after extra time, and Ferriby triumphed 5-4 on penalties. They also reached the final of the FA Vase in 1997, though there was no cup glory this time as they lost 3-0 to Whitby Town. Locally, the East Riding Senior Cup had been lifted on no less than 17 occasions, whilst they have also tasted success in league cups - namely the NPL Challenge Cup back to back in 2012 and 2013 and the NCEL Presidents Cup on 3 occasions. Despite being a village of less than 4,000, past residents of North Ferriby have included anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce and football manager Phil Brown whilst he was in charge locally at Hull City.
On the day of the game I woke up at 7am when my alarm went off. I'd not had the best nights sleep, having had a late night the previous evening after coming back from Framlingham. I had to push on though, and had a slice of toast and the rest of my Battenburg cake before leaving at 7.40. It was a freezing morning, with the temperature being -1 as I drove to meet Anwar at 8am. We had a good journey up, even with the long-running roadworks on the M1 for 20 miles. On the way up I tuned my phone into Viking 2 and listened to some great tunes. There was also a 'guess the year' competition on the station, and I was glad to say I got it bang on as 1988, whilst Anwar had guessed 2 years earlier. As a result of the traffic being good, we had bags of time to kill, so I had a look to see what grounds were on our route. I was pleased to see that Thorne Colliery was, as it was one that interested me. It was all secure, so I was lucky that someone was there working on the ground and therefore it was open. It was a cracker too, with a large stand with enough space for 500. Currently they sit at step 7 in the Central Midlands League, but with the addition of some hard standing and floodlights it would probably be not far off step 3.
We'd arranged to stop at Goole on the way to have lunch, arriving at 11.30. There had been a great cash converters I had seen when visiting Goole AFC a few weeks ago. I was tempted by a Sega Saturn for £45 as it was second only to the Amiga as my favourite computer. However I resisted the temptation to take a nostalgia trip as I hardly get the time to play the machines I already own, and I'm a bit of a nightmare for buying stuff on impulse, especially after a few pints and a trip onto eBay. Just after 12 we made our way to the local Wetherspoons, the City and County. The new Christmas menu had just landed and there were a number of things I fancied trying but I opted for the burger. I'm not sure that beef, bacon and breaded deep fried brie screams traditional Christmas, but it was delicious and a bargain at £7.25 along with a bottle of hazy hog cider. It was over 2000 calories with all the trimmings, so not the healthiest. From there we had a look around the rest of the shops before going back to the car.
I stopped at Morrisons in Brough to get some fuel for the journey home before arriving at the ground at 1.35. I paid £15 to get in, which is below the average for the Conference, but still I feel around a fiver too much for the level of football. Sadly running costs and players demands push the prices up, especially when only a small fraction of the community support the club. For such a friendly and welcoming club as North Ferriby, it's a shame the majority of the local football loving populous choose to watch some dodgy Albanian stream of the 3PM Premier League game or get the train up to Hull to watch the local Premiership side. I went in the bar and watched the Manchester United v Arsenal game and to keep warm which ended 1-1. After that I took a place on the side terrace towards the end that the home side were shooting, and chatted to fellow fans. The match report from the non-league paper is below.
So on reflection, visitors Sutton were unlucky not to grab a share of the spoils after spending the final half-hour battering the Ferriby goal. Up until then the hosts had been the superior side, but the game changed when visiting manager Paul Doswell made some inspired substitutions. Especially impressive was winger Chris Dickson who terrorised the home defence, in fact both wingers for Sutton looked excellent. There had been a delay in the Wycombe game and so we listened to the last 5 minutes after I found that BBC Radio Cambridge were doing live commentary. We went mad after Wycombe scored a last-munte winner to take the three points, though the post-match analysis was more interesting. The Cambridge contingent were not happy with the referee, not happy with their manager and not happy with Wycombe's 'gamesmanship. The last point was a salient one as it's the main reason I barely watch Wycombe away from home.There was also a nasty injury to a Cambridge player and racial abuse thrown at Wycombe player Adebayo Akinfenwa, which were both sad incidents to hear about. BBC Radio Cambridge gave way to Danny Kelly on TalkSPORT and that kept us entertained on the what was a good journey. This journey was broken by a visit to the Beer Shack Micropub in Hucknall where I got some cider to take home for Match of the Day. I dropped Anwar off at 8.20, getting home myself at 8.45. The rest of the evening was spent chilling before watching MOTD and going to bed around midnight.
GRANGE LANE is a ground I visited in October 2010 whilst on the way to Hull City v Portsmouth. It was a small but well-appointed ground, and as they were in the NPL Premier at the time, I was looking forward to seeing how it had changed with them having progressed 2 levels since my last visit. At the time there was a long stand which provided a mixture of a few hundred seats and some covered standing, while on the opposite side was a smaller area of cover for around 100 fans.
Things hadn't changed a whole lot since my initial visit when I went back for a game. Some seats had been renewed in the main stand and had increased in number. The bar was decent, not the biggest selection of drinks but it had Sky TV and club memorabilia on the walls. I didn't try the tea bar, but prices seemed reasonable, whilst the club shop had a decent range of stuff as well as old North Ferriby programmes. Overall, a nice friendly club to complete the Conference on, and well worth a visit.