Preview: Shirebrook Town v North Ferriby

North Ferriby embark on their 2021-22 league campaign when they visit Shirebrook Town in their opening fixture of the Northern Counties East League Division One. After two curtailed seasons due to the pandemic, the Villagers will be hoping the trip to Mansfield will be the start of a season to complete. 

It has been an indifferent pre-season for the Villagers with three victories and two defeats from their five games played. The wins were 2-0 at home to Pickering Town, a 3-2 win at Grimsby Borough and a great 5-1 home win over Albion Sports last Saturday with the defeats of 3-1 to Hull City Academy and 2-1 to Knaresborough Town both at home. 

Manager Chris Bolder has been pleased with the way his squad have performed against higher placed opposition and a hard-working young Hull City side. He knows his squad are ready for the season ahead and has a healthy squad for a rush of early-season games. 

“It has been an indifferent pre-season for us and the real stuff starts on Saturday when we travel to Shirebrook, a new team to our league,” said Bolder. 

“We had them watched last week and from the report back they are a strong, big and physical side so it will certainly be a tough start for us. That said we have got a lot of minutes into the players in pre-season so we are as ready as we can be for the season ahead. 

“We have a good squad which will certainly be utilised to its full by way of players being unavailable for whatever reason as the season goes on. The hard work has gone in to make sure we are ready to go and I know the players are looking forward to the challenge ahead.” 

Bolder goes into the Shirebrook game without skipped Niall Tilsley who picked up a suspension at the end of last season so he will sit this one out. Tilsley’s natural replacement should be close-season signing and former Hull City defender Matt Plummer who has been playing in the role at times during the build-up to the new season with the only other absentee Danny Clarke. 

Shirebrook have joined the Northern Counties East League after playing, also in a truncated season last year, in the East Midlands Counties League Premier Division. When their season was curtailed in 2020 they were 13th in the table having won three of their twelve games played. 

Meanwhile, while all eyes will be on the first team’s opening game at Shirebrook on Saturday afternoon, The Villager’s up and coming Development team will be at home entertaining their Cleethorpes counterparts at the Dransfield Stadium with a 2 p.m. kick-off. Admission is free and The One Point Sports Bar will be open from 12 noon serving both hot and cold drinks. 

Isaac Hutchinson and Francois (Frank) Muyololo will be recognisable to supporters from their pre-season outing with the first team recently. There will certainly be some exciting new talent on show and so it’s hoped those Villagers not travelling will opt to come along and support our next crop of young guns.