With the dawn of a new month, FC Humber will perhaps look to start a fresh in their Northern Counties East campaign. The club can now put the opening month behind them, as we approach new experiences within games, we will perhaps be looking to get something from. With Non-League football fast approaching it’s second month of the season, Humber will perhaps have their sights aimed at further points on the board, particularly in their fixtures at home to Clipstone FC on the 4th, Teversal away on the 18th and Shirebrook Town at Home on the 28th.

With the month of September upon us, the main targets for Humber will see the club revert to mammoth efforts witnessed against Selby, Ferriby and Ollerton. However, perhaps the main target will be, collecting sizable points haul from games against the teams around us. Between these fixtures, Humber host Nostell MW on the 21st and open their second month with an away trip to Armthorpe Welfare. Taking a view on Wednesday’s opposition, Armthorpe have seen variety in their opening month of the campaign; collecting four victories and three loses from their seven games played. 

With a new month beginning, the opportune moment has returned for FC Humber to learn from the Hallam FC defeat and continue to move forward. Quoting snippets from the official Armthorpe Welfare website, FC Humber extend an opportunity to all, in viewing a brief history of the team they face Wednesday:

The club was formed in 1926 as part of the Colliery Social Welfare scheme. Throughout its years, it achieved varied but limited success before disbanding in 1974. The lack of senior football in the village was soon recognised, and the club was reformed in 1976 when they registered in the Doncaster Senior League Division Three.

It wasn’t long before honours were arriving, starting with the Senior League Championship in 1978/79 season. The following years brought further success by way of the Second Division Championship (1979/80), then the First Division Championship in the 1981/82 season, when they also lifted the West Riding Challenge Cup. Welfare also won the Doncaster Senior League Cup in the 1979/80 season and retained it for the following three seasons.

The 1982/83 season proved to be the most productive season as this included the Doncaster Senior League Championship, the West Riding Challenge Cup, the Goole and Thorne District FA Challenge Cup and the Doncaster Senior League Cup. The reserve team also lifted the Doncaster and District Challenge Trophy.

The following season saw Welfare Join the Northern Counties East League in the Northern Second Division. They finished runners-up, which was enough to gain promotion to the Central Division One. Once again, they were promoted at the first time of asking by topping the division in 84/85. It was this year where the goal scoring talents of Martin Johnson; the former Boston FC striker, and Peter Camm saw them score 42 goals between them.

Since the glory days of the early 80’s, Welfare have maintained their place in the Northern Counties East Premier Division since 1985, but have not lifted any silverware in that time. They came close in 2007/08 when they reached the Presidents Cup Final, but were beaten 4-2 (AET) by Liversedge.

The 2009/2010 season was their most successful of recent times, and if not for a late drop in form, could have gained promotion to the Unibond (now Evo-Stik) First Division. They still managed their highest point’s haul (79) to finish third, and reached the fourth round of the FA Vase where Wroxham beat them on penalties in the replay. Welfare also reached the League Cup Final, but finished runner-up to Dinnington Town.

Welfare’s most high-profile signing has been former Doncaster Rovers, Cardiff City and Rotherham professional Leo Fortune-West, who contributed 7 goals in 13 appearances in his first season. Fortune-West made 29 appearances in 2010/11, but he gradually took more of a back seat, assisting manager Des Bennett on the coaching side.

Welfare moved swiftly, and it seemed a natural transition to appoint Fortune-West as manager, with Gary Paton joining him as assistant manager. They certainly had a challenge on their hands after a number of players left the club, and it was a challenge that proved too great. The squad failed to gel together, and there were multiple personnel changes throughout the season. A major change occurred half way through the campaign when assistant manager Gary Paton resigned, but there was no time to dwell on the situation as the games were coming thick and fast. Brian Johnston was appointed assistant, and with him he brought a host of new faces. Despite the quality of some players showing through, there was still inconsistency in team selection and tactics, and Fortune-West was struggling to get his players playing as a team.

The club also changed chairman in 2017 with Lee Carmody taking over from Steve Taylor whose work and personal constraints meant he was unable to fully commit to the role. Lee has brought fresh enthusiasm to the role and the club have been making massive strides during the close season to improve the facilities at Church Street. The complete refurbishment of the clubhouse means the club now has a welcoming and fit for purpose area for supporters to come and enjoy whilst on the field Michael Carmody has finally had the chance to shape the squad and his backroom team from the bottom up without the constant pressure of competitive games.

Positivity around the club has not been higher for a long time. We have a young and enthusiastic manager who has a dedicated assistant manager and coaching team. We have an expanding committee which includes a dedicated media and press manager, Steve Pennock, ensuring our online presence is one of the best in the league, and we now have a brand-new Development Team starting its first season in 2019/20 in the Doncaster Senior League which aims to bridge the gap between adult and youth football and hopefully provide so fantastic talent for the first team

Such is the high morale and positivity there is a feeling amongst players, management and committee that on our day we can go out and compete and beat anybody. The league is tough and our squad is relatively young, so mistakes will be made. We don’t have the resources of other clubs in the league to set our stall out and say we want promotion, but our strong team ethic should get the club moving back in the direction it belongs, and who knows where that will take us?

Head-to-Head 

Tale of the Tape

When it comes to FC Humber United Versus Armthorpe Welfare, the two sides have only met in competitive action on seven occasions. Through the short period FC Humber have existed in their many forms, seven occasions they have met Armthorpe Welfare and as the record stands, FC Humber have picked up two victories and a draw, whilst Armthorpe have won on four occasions. The Wednesday night under the lights will prove a test for FC Humber, however, the Club will certainly aim to improve their fortunes. 

Of the seven fixtures FC Humber and Armthorpe have met in competitive action, there have been twenty-three goals between the two; Ten from FC Humber and thirteen from Welfare. The last time these two met, 22nd September 2020, the tie ended in a hard fought 1-0 victory for FC Humber. It would be suffice to say, Humber will aim their sights on a similar result in the latest meeting between the two, as the club search for more points on the board. 

Pre-Match Thoughts

In pre-match discussions, Mark Maspero offered comment ahead of the club’s trip on the road to Doncaster and a fresh month ahead: “Armthorpe are a well run team and they’ve recruited well. This week bringing in a very good striker. They will provide another stern test, but a test we will be ready for. We’ve had a tough 3 games with 3 defeats. Now we have another run of fixtures that we feel we can get success from. Starting on Wednesday. After Saturday’s abomination I expect to see a reaction.”

Off the back of the disappointment that was Hallam at home. Mark added comment on the work required back at the training ground, outlining perhaps a reset in their approach and mind-set: “All we can do is go through the clips of the game and highlight where we must be better. Then talk to individuals about their thought process. Unfortunately, with player mentality it isn’t going to be a quick fix. The group is inexperienced at this level and you only get experience by playing and going through these moments. All we can do is hope the lads learn from them.

But let’s not hit the panic button, up until Craig was sent off, we were a goal up, should have been 3 and in control of the game. This followed on from good displays against Selby & Ferriby.”

We then conversed on the club moving forward through a fresh month of football, to which Mark added comment on big games against Clipstone FC, Teversal FC and Shirebrook Town; this was then backed up with his thoughts on facing Nostell MW: “Those 3 games have to produce points. We would expect to win all 3, no more excuses.

Nostell will be a huge challenge. They have recruited very well and it isn’t a surprise to me that they are top at present. I’m particularly looking forward to some banter between the dugouts and seeing how we compete against some very good attacking players.”

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

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August 31, 2021