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The NLP says… Villagers are a special lot!

Pictures: Mike Smith

By Alex Narey

The pictures you see here tell a very poignant story, and will resonate with many a fan that lives and breathes football in the lower leagues.

It shows North Ferriby players, to a man, acknowledging the travelling support at Matlock Town two weeks ago. The pain and emotion still clearly evident after a 1-0 defeat – their 27th in what has been a crushing campaign in the Northern Premier League.

Relegation would have been confirmed for the Villagers on Saturday with another defeat had they had the chance to take on Bamber Bridge, but after being wound up on Friday the players never got the opportunity to pull the shirt on and play with pride for their fans.

Perhaps during this emotional moment, they knew it would be the last time they would represent the club. It’s a lovely touch that shows the bond between players and the fans at this level.

Four years ago, North Ferriby were riding another emotional roller-coaster after claiming the FA Trophy; beating Wrexham on penalties. A year later they would reach the promised land of the National League where they were found wanting on the pitch, but never off it with a trip to the East Riding club providing one of the warmest welcomes for visiting fans.

Whatever happens in the near future, with hope that former chairman Les Hare’s rescue package will see the formation of a new club for the people of the village, Ferriby will leave so many lasting memories on the Non-League community.

The support and well wishes the club received on social media after the news had broken of their fate was testament to a club that always strived to do things the right way, with good people driving out the bad eggs that tried to get in the basket. We wish them all the best.

These are beyond worrying times for Aldershot Town, who are slipping out of the National League following two seasons of promotion-chasing for Gary Waddock’s side. Having been to The Rec – as I will always refer to it – on more occasions than any other Non-League ground, I have seen first-hand the emotions that run deep at the club.

Like North Ferriby there are some very good people working there and I have no doubt they will bounce back stronger next season.

This article was brought to you by The Non-League Paper, the UK's best-selling football title on the newsstand, on-sale every Sunday.
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