It would be fair assessment that FC Humber have compiled a mixed effort thus far in their northern counties east campaign, collecting a well-deserved victory on the opening day in a 7-1 drumming of Dronfield Town. Then came an away trip to Worsbrough Bridge in a battle of the early leaders, FC Humber unfortunately came away worse off after a 5-2 defeat. However, despite the mixture in fortune FC Humber have shown what they are capable of as a team and it is only a matter of time until this begins to click on a regular basis, with sights firmly set on the commencement of the NCEL Division One season. 

As for Tuesday’s League Cup opposition, Hall Road Rangers have opened their Northern Counties East campaign with two defeats, narrowly losing to Worsbrough Bridge in a 1-0 defeat on the opening day and subsequently they were unable to capitalize in their second fixture, losing two-one away to Glasshoughton Welfare. However, with the focus during pre-season being around fitness and working through tactical aspects during games, a side may not have the best of pre-season campaigns but could go on to have a decent season. 

As the club enters its second week of the season and with the hopes of many, that football does not fall into yet another period of disruption, FC Humber have the opportunity to size up their opposition once more in what is perhaps considered a local derby. The club begin their second week with a League Cup fixture at home to Hall Road Rangers in a 7.45pm Kick off at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium.

With the season now underway, the opportune moment has come for FC Humber to learn from their efforts and continue to move forward. Quoting sources on Hall Road Rangers’ history, FC Humber extend an opportunity in viewing a brief history of the team they face Tuesday:

The club was formed in 1959 as a Sunday league team by Ted Richardson. They later switched to Saturday football, joining the East Riding County League. In 1968 they joined Division Two of the Yorkshire League. League reorganisation saw the club demoted to the new Division Three in 1970. They went on to win the division in 1972–73, earning promotion back to Division Two; the season also saw them win the East Riding Senior Cup for the first time. They were relegated to Division Three at the end of the 1975–76 season but won the division again in 1979–80 and were promoted back to Division Two.

In 1982 the Yorkshire League merged with the Midland League to form the Northern Counties East League. Hall Road Rangers were placed in Division One North, but finished bottom of the division in the league’s first season, resulting in relegation to Division Two North. League restructuring saw them placed in Division One North for the 1984–85 season, and the following season they were placed in the new Division Three. However, Division Three was dissolved after a single season and the club moved into Division Two. In 1990–91 they won the Division Two title and were promoted to Division One. The 1993–94 season saw the club win the East Riding Senior Cup for the second time.

In 2003–04 Hall Road Rangers won the league’s Wilkinson Sword Trophy, beating Garforth Town 5–4 on aggregate in the final. In 2007–08 they were Division One runners-up, earning promotion to the Premier Division, and also won the Wilkinson Sword Trophy for a second time with a 3–2 aggregate win over Teversal in the final. However, after finishing bottom of the Premier Division in 2012–13 they were relegated back to Division One. In 2016–17 they won the Division One title and were promoted to the Premier Division. The club finished bottom of the Premier Division in 2018–19 and were relegated back to Division One.

Last Season

FC Humber United 

The club made a good start to the 2020-21 season, collecting two victories from their opening three games. Collecting a 1-0 victory at home to Armthorpe Welfare on the opening day; the very same score line appeared a week later when away to Worsborough Bridge Athletic, A 6-2 defeat to Retford FC separated victories. The then East Hull, would go on to collect one further point thereafter in a 2-2 draw at home to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic. 

Prior to the prematurely curtailed season, FC Humber or East Hull as they were then known closed out the season in 18th place above Worsbrough Bridge Athletic and Selby town, having collected seven points from their ten games played. 

Hall Road Rangers

Hall Road began their 2020-21 season at a steady pace, collecting one victory, one draw and a loss from their opening three games. Hall Road opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Parkgate FC; This draw was followed up with a 3-1 defeat away to local rivals, North Ferriby FC, A 2-1 away win at Glasshoughton Welfare left Hall Road of four points by the end of September.

Prior to the prematurely curtailed season, Hall Road Rangers closed out the season with a respectable mid-table finish, ending the campaign in 10th place, after securing a further ten points from their ten games played.

Head-to-Head 

Tale of the Tape

When it comes to FC Humber United Versus Hall Road Rangers, the two sides have only met in competitive action on three occasions. Through the short period FC Humber have existed in their many forms, three occasions they have met Hall Road Rangers and as the record stands, it is not a pretty sight for FC Humber as Hall Road have won all three prior games. There has yet to be a draw between the two sides or a victory for FC Humber, perhaps this opening salvo between the two may break the streak. 

Of the three fixtures FC Humber and Hall Road have met in competitive action, there have been sixteen goals between the two: Two from FC Humber and fourteen from Hall Road. The last time these two met, 11th January 2020, the tie ended in a well earned 2-0 victory for Hall Road Rangers, so it would be suffice to say that FC Humber will have their sights set on bettering that in their favour. 

Pre-Match Thoughts

In a pre-match interview, Club Manager Mark Maspero shared a few thoughts ahead of FC Humber United’s League Cup fixture at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium and a Hall Road Rangers. We began with Mark’s thoughts on Hall Road Rangers and challenges that will come with an established NCEL outfit? 

“As a club we will look at established NCEL clubs like Hall Road for inspiration. We want to establish ourselves in this league before gaining promotion. Hall Road have had a good pre-season but a tough opening league campaign. So, I imagine they will see this as a game they can get a result from to kick start their campaign. Also, as a local derby it’ll add an extra edge.”

We’ve now opened our account as FC Humber having faced Dronfield and Worsbrough in the league; However there has perhaps been a selection nightmare for yourself with a sizable number of players out for various reasons. With that said, are we likely to see any returns to the squad, if not for Tuesday, then Saturday? How do you feel the squad is shaping up?  

“We have been dealt a blow in relation to player injuries and absences, but we are slowly seeing these players returning for selection. Unfortunately, we will lose TMC due to suspension and there will be some rotations after a poor showing last Tuesday. We had a few new faces in training this week that raised the standard in training and will add greater competition for places. We have to remember; we are a new side that is still finding its feet at this level and we are constantly evolving. I’ve said it many times, we have quality, but we are missing leadership. Once that void is filled, we will be happier.”

As you often see with the professional side of football cup competition; Will you be looking to rotate the squad ahead of Tuesday’s League Cup tie and perhaps offer much needed game time to those with less minutes under their belts? 

“We aren’t in a position to rotate, we need to play our strongest side, we need to breed a winning mentality. That only happens with winning. Unfortunately, this means the fringe players may have to wait a little longer for a start, but that is their challenge. Can you fight for a shirt?”

After a disappointing evening away to Worsbrough Bridge and perhaps another reality check for the squad, you’ve had the best part of a week with the squad on the training field; How do you feel they’ve responded through your efforts? 

“It was disappointing, but again, we are evolving, we are young, our form will be up and down. Every game is more experience, another game in our lockers. As long as we learn from our mistakes and grow. We had a good session Saturday. The game will show us if they have learnt.”

There’s no denying, everyone loves the magic of the cup. A good underdog story and a belter of a cup run. Is that something that has perhaps crossed your mind? And, something you’d like to say is achievable from FC Humber? 

“We are realistic, we are unlikely to win this cup. So, there is no pressure to get a result. But everyone loves a cup run, it breeds a winning mentality and togetherness. With a right mentality and a little luck, anything is possible in a one-off game. So, we will secretly dream.”

In conclusion, everyone at FC Humber United look forward to the start of the League Cup Tuesday night and welcoming Hall Road to the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium in what will hopefully be a decent game of football. FC Humber would also like to take this opportunity in offering supporters and the wider football community in viewing the club’s official website www.fchumberunited.co.uk for further updates and information throughout the season. 

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

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August 9, 2021