It would be a fair assessment that FC Humber have compiled a mixed effort in the pre-season campaign with two victories and four loses from their six fixtures. However, despite what results may suggest 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 Saturday’s league opposition, Dronfield Town have chalked up one win from their six games played throughout pre-season. Both FCHU and Dronfield Town have faced a familiar foe in Thorne Colliery during pre-season, FC Humber winning 5-2 and Dronfield departing with a 2-0 defeat. 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. 

For the first time this season, FC Humber United have the opportunity to size up their opposition as football returns after an extended period of disruption. FC Humber begin their latest chapter with an opening day fixture at home to Dronfield Town in a 3pm Kick off at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium.

With time now reducing down to a matter of hours until a ball is kicked in competitive action, the final touches can now be put in place. Quoting the official Dronfield Town website, FC Humber extend an opportunity in viewing a brief history of the team they face Saturday;

 A Dronfield Town existed in the mid 1890’s but folded in around 1914. Although the club was revived in the 1920’s, it dissolved shortly afterwards. Another incarnation of the club in the 1950’s also folded soon after being re-established. The club was re-established again in 1973 as a Sunday League team, playing in the Sheffield Sunday League. It continued until folding in 1996.

The modern club was originally formed as Dronfield Sports Junior Football Club, before becoming Dronfield Town when we moved to the Pioneer Club ground in 1998. An adult team was established under the name Dronfield Cavaliers, but became Dronfield Town in 2001. We joined the Hope Valley Amateur League in 2001 and were B Division runners-up in 2001-2002, earning promotion to the A Division. 

A second successive promotion was secured in 2002-2003 and the Premier Division title was won at the first attempt in 2003-2004. In 2005 we moved up to Division One of the Midlands Region Alliance, which we also won at the first attempt, earning promotion to the Premier Division. The club went on to win the Premier Division in 2007-2008 and in 2009 moved up to the Premier Division of the Central Midlands League.

Dronfield Town’s first season in the Premier Division saw them finish runners-up, earning promotion to the Supreme Division. In 2011 league restructuring saw us placed in the North Division, We won the League Cup in 2011-2012 and were North Division Champions in 2012-2013, resulting in promotion to Division One of the Northern Counties East League. 

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 Worsborough 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 Worsborough Bridge Athletic and Selby town, having collected seven points from their ten games played. 

Dronfield Town

Dronfield Town started the season a little slower than FC Humber, they also won their opening fixture in a three-one away win at Skegness Town. However, that opening day victory would be the only points Dronfield collected in their opening five games, subsequently coming up short against league favorites North Ferriby, Emley and Campion. Dronfield Town would collect seven further points from two wins and a draw. 

Prior to the prematurely curtailing of the season, Dronfield Town ended two places better off than FC Humber United in sixteenth place, having collected ten points from their eleven games played. Harrogate Railway Athletic separated the two teams. 

Head to Head 

Tale of the Tape

When it comes to FC Humber United Versus Dronfield Town, the two sides have only met in competitive action on six occasions. Through the short period FC Humber have existed in their many forms, six occasions they have met Dronfield Town and it is a level playing field for the two teams thus far, winning three games a piece. There has yet to be a draw between the two sides so perhaps this opening tie of the 2021-22 season may break the streak. 

Of the six fixtures FC Humber and Dronfield have met in competitive action, there have been twenty-one goals between the two; Seven from FC Humber and fourteen from Dronfield Town. The last time these two met, 31st October 2020, the tie ended in a comfortable 4-0 victory for Dronfield Town, 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 opening league fixture at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium and a visiting Dronfield Town FC. 

Hopes for the season? 

“We were quietly confident with the current players registered, but after several challenging pre-season games, we realise that we are missing a few vital ingredients. Once we rectify these short falls we will be a very competitive team and we will expect to finish mid table. Success for us, is being competitive this season and building on that success year on year.”

Are you happy with the direction the squad is moving? 

“We have a young technically good squad. Every player is hungry to prove they can play at this level and want to progress further. We have competition for places and a good vibe in the changing room. I would like some more experienced players, but they are hard to come in our situation presently.”

Happy with continuing efforts in training? 

“Training has gone well. We still have a lot more to work on in relation to our game model, but we are getting good numbers, supported by our partner club, Hemingbrough. We are seeing more and more understanding of what we want in games and the players are starting to trust the system. Hopefully this Saturday against Dronfield, we will see more understanding and for longer.”

Thoughts on transitioning those efforts from the training ground to match days? 

“I’m expecting to see a better Understanding of our training and game model this Saturday at home to Dronfield. We haven’t managed to dominate a game for 90 minutes yet. But with a little more concentration, understanding and belief, we expect to get a positive result.”

Thoughts on Jill Stacey’s appointment and how her experience will have an effect on the squad in moving forward? 

“I’m looking forward to seeing the fruition of Jill’s influence on the squad. She has settled in extremely well and has left positive impressions with everyone she has worked with. Like Marc Brown, she will challenge my thinking and my ideas, which will drive up standards around the club. Jill has a vast amount of knowledge and experience and the players are buying into her ideas and positivity.”

In conclusion, everyone at FC Humber United look forward to getting started come Saturday and welcoming Dronfield Town 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 for further updates and information throughout the season. 

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

July 29, 2021