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North Ferriby United exceeding expectations?

North Ferriby United climbed to within a point of National League North leaders Solihull Moors with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Brackley Town at the weekend, with the thoughts of voluntary relegation now a distant memory.

Fresh from lifting the FA Trophy at Wembley in a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Wrexham, the Villagers were catapulted into the spotlight of Non-League football with their unlikely triumph last season.

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However a number of uncertain weeks followed in the build-up to the newly-named National League North, with chairman of 20-years Les Hare stepping down and cost-cutting measures put in place with the owners Eman and Steve Forster spending a reported £250,000 over the last two years funding the side.

Naturally the club lost some of the their trophy winning side, most notably the departures of Matt Wilson, Jonathan D’Laryea and Nathan Jarman to Gainsborough Trinity along with winger Jason St Juste.

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That said under the guidance of managerial duo Billy Heath and Mark Carroll, who themselves signed a new three-year deal recently, the club have risen to the higher echelons of the table with some impressive displays.

All too often last season their Achilles heel was their inability to turn draws into victories recording the league’s highest at 16 – which saw the club finish tenth but crucially 11 points off the Play-offs places. The Villagers have now turned draws into wins this campaign which has attributed to their climb to second in the table.

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Whilst Billy Heath trimmed his squad, his current crop of players have been performing admirably. Liam King, captain of the club, has been pulling the strings in midfield scoring 14 goals already in all competitions – whilst Tom Denton and Curtis Bateson have both found the net a combined 22 times. Ashley Palmer, who joined from Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Buxton has performed valiantly filling the void left at centre-back playing 26 times along with the ever-reliable Josh Wilde at left-back.

Next up for North Ferriby is a trip to 16th-placed Worcester City, who themselves ended a two game losing run by beating AFC Fylde 3-2. Whilst elsewhere Solihull Moors will want to put their 6-0 capitulation against Harrogate Town behind them when they take on Brackley Town.

Published on January 28 2016 for The Non-League Football Magazine

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