Departing the endeavours of another league defeat on the road against Sheffield outfit Dronfield Town, Humber see their league campaign continue this coming Saturday against mid-tabled Ollerton Town, who find themselves looking to bolster their victorious performance against Brigg Town and Rossington Main. Having walked away from a 5-3 defeat in the Club’s previous fixture, Humber have their intentions set on salvaging their season in a return to the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium in a 3.00pm kick-off. 

As has been the way for a sizable period of the season, Humber begin the day toward the foot of the table after what can only be considered as an inconsistent stricken first half of the season; furthermore, an ever growing presence looms over Humber to collect the required points to ensure their safety, despite sporadic performances that have signified the calibre of football the club can play. Dave Haley’s thoroughness and methods are seeping into the life force of the Humber squad, perhaps signifying efforts to come in improving on the ten points on the board.

Opposition View

Club History

Quoting official sources on Ollerton Town, FC Humber extend an opportunity to all, in viewing a brief history of the team they face in the next round of League fixtures: Ollerton has a long history of local football going back to the late 1800s. One of its best periods was immediately before the Second World War; when Ollerton Colliery reached three Notts Senior Cup finals in a row from 1936 to 1939, winning it in 1937/38. It’s reserve team also won the Notts Intermediate Cup the year previous.

In 1930, a side called Ollerton Forest defeated Welbeck Athletic 3–0 in the North Notts Senior Cup final at Mansfield Town’s Field Mill stadium. This is believed to be the first competitive football game in England to be played under floodlights and more can be read about it here. Ollerton Colliery ceased as a football club in the early 1980s but was reformed as Ollerton & Bevercotes F.C in 1988. The club won the Nottinghamshire Football Alliance Division Two championship in 1992–93, gaining promotion to Division One under the management of Adge Owen and David Kent.

Following the closure of the colliery in 1994, the club changed its name to Ollerton Town F.C. In the same year, Ollerton were champions of Division One in 1995–96 and were promoted to the top division of the Notts Alliance. After finishing runners-up in 1999–2000, the club was promoted to the Central Midlands League and entered the English Football Pyramid. In the 2007–08 season, Ollerton, under the management of Don Gethfield, David Kent and Anthony Thompson, the club won the Central Midlands Premier Division, earning promotion to the Supreme Division. That season they also reached the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup final where they were beaten 2–0 by Eastwood Town. In 2008–09, the club took part in the FA Vase for the first time, getting to the second-round proper in 2009–10. 

After the resignation of Don Gethfield back in 2011, and a brief stint under Paul Rawden, the club appointed Dave Winter as first team manager, with Stephen Bodle as his assistant. The former Kirkby Town pair guided the club to the Central Midlands Floodlit Cup final in their first season. For the 2011–12 season, the club was placed in the Central Midlands North Division following a league restructure.

In the 2015–16 season, with former-captain Jamie Allan now also on board as first team coach, the club secured promotion to the Northern Counties East League after finishing runners-up in the Central Midlands North Division. After several seasons in the NCEL Division One, Ollerton Town were moved laterally into the East Midlands Counties League for the start of the 2020–21 Season. The club topped the division after 12 games, winning 9 of them, but the season was brought to a premature end due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In May 2021, Dave Winter resigned from his role as first team manager after almost ten years, and over 360 games, in charge. The club moved quickly to appoint Stephen Bodle as his replacement, with Lee Needham assisting him moving forward. At the end of the 2020–21 season the East Midlands Counties League was dissolved and the club was transferred to Division One of the Northern Counties East League.

Season Review

Nestled in the heart of the Northern Counties East Division One, Ollerton Town find themselves sat in eleventh place heading into the next round of league fixtures. After picking three defeats and a draw from their opening four fixtures of the campaign, the 2021-22 league campaign appeared pretty dire for the Nottinghamshire outfit; one further defeat at Retford FC and the clubs opening points of the season away to Swallownest FC saw out the month of August with the club toward to the foot of the NCEL1 table. 

September however, began brightly for Ollerton with victory against Parkgate FC; two successive defeats followed before defeating Worsbrough Bridge at home. Defeat on the road to Glasshoughton Welfare and a convincing home victory against Teversal FC saw out the month of September. October offered an improvement for the Nottinghamshire outfit, picking up three wins and a draw despite losing heavily on the road against Armthorpe Welfare. November saw the Nottinghamshire side go unbeaten in the league as they saw the month out having picked up a win and three draws. 

Defeat to Hallam FC and a victory against Brigg Town opened up the month of December, whilst a four-two victory at home to Rossington Main has set up a tasty affair heading up against FC Humber United.

Head-to-Head

Tale of The Tape

When it comes to previous meetings between FC Humber United and Nottinghamshire outfit Ollerton Town, the two sides have only met in competitive action on eight occasions. Through an albeit short tenure as a football club, the now FC Humber United have met Ollerton on eight previous occasions and as the record stands, FC Humber have recorded two victories and two draws whilst the Nottinghamshire outfit have won four of the previous meetings between the two. 

From the eight previous fixtures FC Humber and Ollerton have met in competitive action, there have been forty goals between the two; fifteen from FC Humber and twenty-five from Ollerton Town. The last time these two met was in the opening month of the current season, meeting on the 18th August of this year; the tie ended in a somewhat entertaining 3-3 draw for FC Humber. A performance of similar calibre wouldn’t be sniffed at heading into the next round of fixtures, with NCEL1 safety the key.

Prior Engagement

Midway through the opening month of the 2021-22 NCEL1 season, Humber visited Nottinghamshire side Ollerton Town in what proved an entertaining game of football. Sam Foulds opened the scoring early on for Ollerton and the game could well have returned to an even playing field after Cam Hall’s fizzing header narrowly went over. Humber turned the game on it’s head as the game reached the fifteenth minute; Louis Blackwell netted twice within a matter of minutes with two trademark finishes. An end-to-end affair ensued and Humber proved unfortunate not to have an extended lead at the break through Sym Czubik and a defensive mishap. 

Nottinghamshire outfit, Ollerton then levelled the game five minutes into the second half after George Slack latched onto a Sam Reeves corner. An open and attractive game of football ensued and Humber regained the lead shortly after the hour; Louis Blackwell securing his first hat-trick of the season with perhaps another trademark finish. FC Humber perhaps thought they’d had the game won in the dying minutes of the fixture until a long throw-in from George Slack found Brandon Shaw, who provided the flick on for Sam Foulds to nod down for Gav King to slot home, completing an entertaining three-all draw. 

Pre-Match Thoughts

Prior to Saturday’s return to the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium, Gaffer Dave Haley commented on the week at hand as we head into another test against Ollerton Town: “This week we are still trying to recruit a couple of central defenders to strengthen our defence. We are struggling to find players who play that position. Last Saturday we had two central midfield players playing at the back and once again we conceded 5 goals. Defending as a team is our biggest problem, we are conceding far too many goals so finding two central defenders that can play every week is our number one priority.  

In training, this week, we will be planning ahead to the Ollerton game and addressing the problems we had last Saturday. Along with improvements in our defending, psychologically we need to be stronger, we need to react quicker when we lose the ball and be braver and more aggressive in 1v1s and aerial battles. Ollerton will be another huge challenge for us and we need to work very hard to get something out of this game. It would be nice to get three points for Christmas.”

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

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December 16, 2021