Ferriby fans can give us extra edge in FA Vase tie – Bolder

North Ferriby manager Chris Bolder

Chris Bolder admits he is frustrated North Ferriby cannot have all their supporters cheering on their team in the major FA Vase tie with Seaham Red Star next week.

Ferriby, the largest supported club in the NCEL, are expected to be only allowed to have only 150 spectators present for the mouth-watering battle.

But he agrees that because Seaham are not allowed to travel for the third round tie on December 29th his side have an extra in their bid to cause an upset against the Northern League giants.

The ex-Scarborough Athletic player also understands why clubs across the pyramid have sparked an uprising against certain leagues because of the effects of the Tier 3 restrictions.

“There’ll be no visiting supporters from Seaham and we’ll max out our 150 allocated capacity,” Bolder told Non League Yorkshire.

“As I’ve said to you before, our fans are really knowledgeable fans and they understand the lads and how we are trying to play and are really appreciative of it.

“Of course it is going to be advantage to have our fans (attending). We had 150 in (against Worsbrough), the limit we have but we have 184 pass holders so it is tough.

“We know we can rack up some really good attendance statistics but it is what it is in the world we live in at the minute.

“It is hard to understand how you can go to certain places and mixing with other people but you can’t safely socially-distance in a ground.

“Even after all the requirements we had to do in terms of sanitisation and signage, social-distancing – yet we can’t increase the capacity.

“That’s the most disappointing thing at the minute and it is having a knockdown effect throughout the leagues because a few clubs are saying it is viable to operate.

“I absolutely agree with them. They have to look at the long-term view and you look in the National League and the National North and South and they have had a lot of financial aid to enable them not to rely on attendances.

“If you don’t have that financial aid and teams can’t get appropriate amount of supporters to cover their running costs then of course it is not viable.”

The Vase tie is arguably the biggest game since Ferriby reformed last year and Bolder is under no illusions of the kind of battle they face. 

“We have a mixture of lads who have experienced football at much higher levels and we have got some lads who are relatively in-experienced,” he said.

“Perhaps for some it will be the biggest game of their careers, maybe for those who haven’t gone too far in cup competitions before. 

“But we have some relatively experienced players who have been there and done it in the game and achieved some things. They won’t be fazed.

“Everyone is eager to do well for North Ferriby and desperate to be successful with the club. Everyone is enjoying their football and being part of what we are trying to achieve at North Ferriby.

“It is an opportunity to do something in a prestigious cup competition. 

“Everyone is looking forward to it and everyone is excited about it and we go into the game as underdogs because they are in the league above us and have swept aside another Step 6 side Barnton who are not a bad side. They went away and comfortably won.

“It will be a tough task but we do play really well at home and back ourselves to give anyone a run for their money on our pitch.”

Compared with other NCEL clubs, Ferriby are fairly ahead in terms of match fitness having beat Lower Breck in early December in the second round tie.


Ferriby followed that up with a dominant 2-0 Toolstation NCEL Division One win over Worsbrough Bridge on Saturday and Bolder says the score-line could have been greater.

“We controlled the game and we got sent the video last night and we had 28 shots at goal,” he said.

“When you’re getting into those statistics you’d expect a few more chances but the pleasing thing is that we’re creating them and playing some good stuff.

“You knew it was going to be one of those days. In the first two minutes we hit the bar and then the rebound got cleared off the line. There were other scrambles.

“Then we had the fortunate situation where the ‘keeper missed it and we scored – only for it to be ruled out. You can see on the video that there doesn’t seem to be any infringement.

“We thought it was going to be one of those days but we scored two goals in the end.

“Perhaps on another day and a bit more good fortune then maybe we rack up a few more goals.

“The end of the day if you’d said ‘would you take 2-0’ before the game, of course I would.”

The Worsbrough encounter is one of a few games Bolder has been able to properly scrutinise and the Ferriby boss sees many benefits in rewatching fixtures.

“We always have opportunities to see highlights but from the last couple of games we’ve had full match coverage,” he said.

“It is really good for use as a reflection tool to analyse the good bits and bits we could improve on so we are privileged to have someone who is willing to video the full game for us.

“Myself and my assistant Paul (Robson) watch it and we both enjoy analysing and you can always learn from it.

“Sometimes in the moment emotion can get the better of your judgements sometimes.

“It is only when you look back that you see why a player has made that decision or why an error was made or a chance was created.

“It is invaluable.

“We’ve shared a few things with the players like still images of where they are on the field.

“The group of players we have at the minute are all eager to learn and in the training sessions they are really receptive to everything we try and introduce to them.”

If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.

NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams. When we properly return to ‘action’, our work will play an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.

We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.

We have enjoyed great success over the past three years. Several of our players have represented Mencap GB in Geneva, including Billy Hobson from Selby and Greg Smith, whose story is quite inspiring.

You can learn more about the organisation HERE and on our Facebook page.

Watch the video below to see highlights from our three years as an organisation. The video was produced for our players at the end of March to remind them of good memories from the last three years.


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